Leaping Up/Sliding Away


92 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-86492-080-6




Reviewed by M.E. Kappler

M.E. Kappler was a Toronto freelance writer.


Leaping Up/Sliding Away is a collection of what author Kent Thompson calls “postcard stories” short, self-contained stories, originally written on postcards Thompson sent to friends during his term as Canadian Writer-in-Residence at the University of Edinborough.

The book is a tour-de-force. The stories, at longest a page and some only a few lines long, are exemplars of elegant compression. Thompson is particularly deft at the art of implication, managing to convey a whole world of meaning just offstage in one seemingly casual sentence or phrase. Also outstanding are his creation of character and variety of narrative voice. Such economic virtuosity is astounding and makes for very enjoyable reading. Thompson’s stories are like peanuts, you can’t read just one. The reader is led effortlessly on and ends up gulping down a whole handful. The experience also resembles standing by a railroad siding at night and watching a train flash by: so many brightly lit glimpses of other people’s lives through the windows that leap up and slide away.


Thompson, Kent, “Leaping Up/Sliding Away,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/35135.