The Sunforth Chronicles

Description

176 pages
$20.00
ISBN 0-88962-799-1
DDC C813'.54

Publisher

Year

2003

Contributor

Reviewed by Lynne Perras

Lynne Perras teaches communication arts at the University of Calgary.

Review

Andy Juniper’s second novel is a hilarious and well-crafted portrait
of small-town life. Set in fictional Sunforth, Ontario, The Sunforth
Chronicles begins with a prologue by its narrator, Cornelius (Corny)
Wilson. Wilson writes from Nassau and recalls his return to Sunforth
along with the adventures that both he and the town experienced.
Recovering from a broken marriage, Wilson finds himself back in his
hometown working for its local newspaper, The Chronicle.

Like any small town, Sunforth has its share of eccentric characters,
internal squabbles, and attempts to revitalize and promote itself. Mayor
Wallace Justice is only one of many colourful and endearing characters,
and his bungled attempts at securing famous Hollywood stars (such as
Danny Thomas and Paul Newman) for local celebrations are extremely
funny. Baseball championships, parades, elections, referendums, and
young love are some of the concerns that occupy the town’s residents;
their efforts take outrageous and amusing twists and turns.

Interspersed among the accounts of the town’s activities are excerpts
from The Chronicle whose “typos” also provide a laugh: “‘Our
Mistake! In last week’s Community Calendar, the Sunforth Genealogical
Society was erroneously referred to as The Sunforth Gynecological
Society. The Chronicle assures its readers that this regretful [error]
was wholly unintentional and apologizes for any confusion, inconvenience
or embarrassment it may have caused members of either society.’”
“‘The Sunforth Swine Society will hold its monthly meeting at the
County Pork Breeders’ headquarters at the Sunforth Fairgrounds on
Thursday night at 7:30. Society members are reminded to bring their
fresh ideas on how to really dress up and get some deserved exposure for
the Porkmen’s Balls.’”

With its abundance of slapstick, irony, parody, puns, and wit, The
Sunforth Chronicles should appeal to almost every taste in humour.

Citation

Juniper, Andy., “The Sunforth Chronicles,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/17672.