• Book cover: Laser Quit Smoking Massage. Essays by Cole Nowicki cover: Handwritten letters are surrounded by painted white asterixis on a brush stroke filled green background. Cover blurb: Laser Quit Smoking Massage is a lozenge of literary absurdity that might just as soon sell you a watch as blow your mind. Carleigh Baker, award winning author of Bad Endings.

Laser Quit Smoking Massage


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978-177439-090-0 | 2024 April | 160 Pages


Witty reportage looking straight into the face of the unavoidable Canadian urban/rural divide.

A series of short nonfiction pieces, Laser Quit Smoking Massage explores the peculiarities of the urban and rural centres of the Canadian West. From prairie towns to sprawling cities, Cole Nowicki’s witty, insightful, and ever curious reportage explores the evolving states of community, family, and belonging.

    “Cole Nowicki’s Laser Quit Smoking Massage examines the externalized oddities of late-stage capitalism to illuminate the tiered pathos of our everyday, autopay existence. In short, morse code bursts of measured madness, Nowicki transmits life from Canada’s rural west with acerbic, unflinching prose, upturning every aspect of labor and its impact on family, identity and humanity’s willingness to wait in line for the stench of a celebrity flower. A stunner of a collection, punching in equal parts laughter and profundity, Nowicki heals (laser patent pending).”
    — José Vadi, author of CHIPPED: Writing from a Skateboarder’s Lens & Inter State: Essays from California

    “The essays in Laser Quit Smoking Massage are driven by the same gleeful curiosity that compels children to hunt for bugs in the tall grass. But instead of crickets or pillbugs, Nowicki uncovers missing relatives, dodgy home-based businesses, inexplicable urination, celebrity mentors, and yes, lasers. By holding a magnifying glass to these simple finds, they become complex, captivating, strange, and yet entirely relatable, all examined with empathy, warmth, and buoyant humour.”
    — Christopher Evans, author of Nothing Could Be Further from the Truth

    “Small town, big feelings. Cole Nowicki’s essays are an album of memories: moments in time, crisp at the edges, bright with love, and some, bent in the middle by the type of grief one can only hope will smooth out with the unrelenting passage of time. Warm, sardonic, gentle and human. (Lac La) Biche, you better buy this book!”
    — Alicia Tobin, comedian and author of So You’re A Little Sad, So What?

    “Urban poodle art, corpse flowers, and Craigslist's enduring humanity. These are the things that keep Cole Nowicki up at night. With warmth and wisdom to spare, Nowicki takes readers through a mix of imaginative and deeply entertaining topics. This is not just an essay collection, it's a guidebook of curiosities and family histories usually reserved for locals. Laser Quit Smoking Massage is a lozenge of literary absurdity that might just as soon sell you a watch as blow your mind.”
    — Carleigh Baker, award winning author of Bad Endings

    “[A]musing, insightful, and committed to uncovering truths, not matter how trivial or odd.”
    — Brett Josef Grubisic, The British Columbia Review (full review)

    “These are the best kind of personal essays, where the very specific experiences and interests of one person reveal something universal.” — Laura Frey, Reading in Bed (full review)