Nothing So Natural


78 pages
ISBN 0-88978-167-2





Reviewed by Les Harding

Les Harding is author of The Voyages of Lesser Men: Thumbnail Sketches
in Canadian Exploration.


Nothing So Natural is the winner of the eighth Annual International 3-Day Novel-Writing Competition. For a novel written in 72 hours, Nothing So Natural is remarkably good. Compared to a novel written with no deadline, however, it is not very good.

The book takes place in a slummy section of Brantford, Ontario, during a few days in the summer of 1968. The Republican convention that brought Richard Nixon to power echoes in the background. We are presented with the story of Tim Curly, a twelve-year-old boy, and his disgusting family. Tim’s father is a permanently unemployed alcoholic lout, his sister a spaced-out suicidal zombie, his brother a slow-witted mechanic. Tim’s grandfather has a grand passion for UFOs and his grandmother likes to antagonize his mother. Tim’s mother is the only character who is not repellent, but then she has bad teeth. There is not much plot here; the characters just hang around being crude and vile. Tim hangs around being embarrassed by them.

As a sample of the height this novel achieves I include the following: “There is nothing more natural than walking. It’s the most satisfying state man can achieve. Except when he’s on the can.”

Obviously somebody likes the book. It was produced on the stage in Calgary under the title Puffballs.

The author, Jim Curry, is a postal worker and a writer-in-residence at the Loose Moose Theatre. Nothing So Natural was his second attempt at winning the 3-Day Novel-Writing Competition.


Curry, Jim, “Nothing So Natural,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,