Jericho

Description

259 pages
$32.95
ISBN 0-697-31222-6
DDC C813'.54

Year

2005

Contributor

Reviewed by Matt Hartman

Matt Hartman is a freelance editor and cataloguer, running Hartman Cataloguing, Editing and Indexing Services.

Review

Fetherling’s second novel is a convergence of three streams of
consciousness—the inner voices of two women and a man, as they sift
through the detritus of their own lives and, at points along the
journey, that of the others’ lives as well. Jericho is structured as a
road movie set in print. Beth, a refugee from Alberta, and Theresa, a
gay social worker in Vancouver, join Bishop, a post-hippie ponytailed
vagabond, on a journey in a stolen mail truck from Vancouver into
back-country British Columbia, to a kind of logging camp–cum–ghost
town he has named Jericho.

Structurally, as Fetherling moves from character to character, the plot
is presented in lighter or darker hues depending on whose consciousness
is centre stage. There is also the mixing of tenses, particularly with
Beth, as she moves from present to past and back again scarcely missing
a beat. Such a postmodern structure works only when the writer has a
good grip on his skills package; Fetherling (author of more than 50
books) maintains a tight control. As Theresa makes a play for Beth, as
Beth’s feelings for Bishop (and for Theresa) become more muddled, and
as Bishop’s picaresque past influences more of the present, the novel
moves fluidly along the blue highways of B.C., emotional journeys often
outpacing the distances travelled by the stolen van. Fetherling’s
prose is all dialogue, interior and in-your-face, a volatile mix kept in
check by a powerful talent.

Citation

Fetherling, George., “Jericho,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16248.