Sex and Character


196 pages
ISBN 0-88750-914-2
DDC C813'.54






Reviewed by Susan Patrick

Susan Patrick is a librarian at Ryerson University.


Sex and Character continues the story of Mark Trecroci, begun in
Paci’s Black Blood and its sequel, Under the Bridge. It is 1967, and
Mark is now a student at the University of Toronto, his “mind churning
with knowledge and lust.” Although he is ready to break and try new
things,” Mark is a loner, always on the outside of life looking in.
His life is dominated by his larger-than-life friend Patrick Murphy, a
former candidate for the priesthood, who soon drops out of university
and immerses himself in Rochdale’s drug-and-sex hippie scene.
Murphy’s exploits become the raw material for Mark’s attempts at a

Paci’s writing conveys a strong sense of place and of a time when all
things seemed possible. Particularly evocative are his descriptions of
college life and student discussions, of Rochdale and the Blue Cellar
Room, and of real-life figures like Margaret Laurence, who encourages
the aspiring writer to find his own voice. By the end of Mark’s third
year at university, the 1960s are over. Patrick has nearly become one of
its casualties, but Mark has survived and found his own inner voice to
carry him on into adult life.


Paci, F.G., “Sex and Character,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024,