• Fishing For Bacon

Fishing For Bacon


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978-1-897126-37-0 | 2009 April | 240 Pages


My name’s Bacon Sobelowski, and I’m trying to find my someone. Kenny Rogers sings a song that says there’s someone for everyone, and in Bellevue where I live, Kenny Rogers’ word is gold. It’s just too bad my mother thinks girls turn boys into pigs, but that’s probably just because my father had enough of her Eggos and walked out. But maybe she’s right. I’m not sure if Sarah is my someone because she got mad and smashed chili peppers into a cut on my head, and maybe my someone wouldn’t do that. Karla could be it because she lets me stay at her condo, but she might be too old to be my someone. Then there’s Mr. Kwon’s daughter, but she’s sort of my cousin and I’m not sure if sort-of cousins can be someones at the same time. I think it might all come down to timing, and if that’s true then I’m in trouble. I’m Bacon Sobelowski—who knows if I’ll ever find my someone.

• Winner of the 2010 Alberta Readers' Choice Award!

• Winner of the George Bugnet Award for Fiction at the 2010 Alberta Literary Awards! 

Fishing for Bacon is raw, pungent, funny, and strangely poignant. Michael Davie is one of the most engaging authors to emerge in some time. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a sudden craving for beef dip.”
~ Will Ferguson, author of Spanish Fly

“I wish success on any book that has the word 'bacon' in the title.”
~ Dennis Cass, author of Head Case: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain

“The dialogue maintains a nice rhythm for humorous emphases, the gags are well placed and developed, and the plot keeps all its balls in the air for the duration . . . [it] makes for a fun ride, with many laughs along the way.”
~ Quill and Quire

“Bacon's story, told in the first person, is funny but painful, not unlike adolescence itself . . . Davie's ability to create bizarre, intriguing and yet believable circumstances make this a unique story. Fishing for Bacon is a charming and promising debut.”
~ Alberta Views

“Fishing for Bacon, with its cast of eccentrics, has some terrifically funny moments, and is never boring. Pick it up and you won't put it down until it's done, even if you cringe a bit at Bacon's escalating misfortune. Poor Bacon.”
~ Legacy Magazine

“A sudden burst of comic energy that, like a field of canola on the Prairie, just goes on and on . . . It’s also fun to watch Davie, whose first novel this is, exercise a love of the unlikely that boots him out of the predictable and into fresher and much suppler territory. [Davie] has placed himself squarely in the tradition of various classic Prairie writers.”
~ National Post

When I was ten my father left and so my mother gave me a fishing rod. Not a new rod or even a fly rod, but a green and brown second-hand spincasting rod, the kind with the closed-face reel and thumb-button trigger. Said she got it at a garage sale. I frowned at it and asked for a fly rod instead—a new one. But my mother rolled her tongue around the inside of her clenched lips and said I sounded just like my father. She said he liked new things too, and if I wanted to play with new things I could just walk right out that same fucking door he did. I wanted a new fly rod, but I sure didn’t want to walk out that same fucking door my father did. I didn’t even know which fucking door he’d walked out, the front or back.

Robert Redford never made a movie about spincasting. And if he did, you can bet your tackle box Brad Pitt wouldn’t star in it. Spincasting’s got none of the grace or romance of the fly-fishing cast. Fly-fishermen sneer and say that spincasting’s like drinking port from a coffee mug. Even still, it can be a difficult skill to master—especially at ten. In those first few weeks of learning, I snagged my shirt, my hair, my ear. Occasionally I’d hook people fishing next to me. Once I even tangled my line around my shoes and floundered into the river. Eventually I harmonized the snap of my wrist and the thumb-button release with the forward acceleration of the rod—at least enough to hit water. I figured out that spincasting is all about timing.

Since then I spend most days fishing. Fishing is the only thing worth spending time on, living along the Crowsnest River in a tiny old mining town with no mines where the streets have no sidewalks except for the few old slabs lining Main Street with weeds busting out of the cracks. For four years I clubbed out a lure with that stiff green and brown second-hand spincasting rod, snapping my wrist, casting out, reeling back in. And though I never caught a single fish, I eventually stopped snagging shrubbery, overcasting the river, and balling up my line inside the closed-face reel. Instead I started sailing lures across the river where they’d plop into the water just under the opposite bank, often within a couple feet of my aim. I was ripening into a master caster. At least until I turned fourteen.