When asked, I often say my favorite piece of writing is a simple passage from Dan Chaon’s book You Remind Me of Me. It’s nothing more than a quick description of a man opening a can of tuna, but the wording is flawless. The gentle sigh of the can opening, god, I’ve read it so often I feel like I can hold the words in my hand.
Chaon transformed the mundane to magic, and that is a skill that Canadian author Chris Eaton has in spades. Any time I read Chris’ work, I connect with the characters and stories but the real delight comes from his ability to maneuver through free formed clouds and confusion to deliver a phrase as perfectly cut and bright as an engagement ring centerpiece.
Eaton, who you may know better as the front man for Rock Plaza Central, is obsessed with many things; craft beer, great ties, and run-on sentences, but his latest novel - Chris Eaton, A Biography - is a look at an obsession much more common. It’s an obsession with self.
Eaton’s book is based on the fantastic, “why the hell didn’t I think of that” premise of googling all the Chris Eaton’s and figuring out how their lives could intersect. Would he find connections in their stories? Would he find himself in these strangers? This book is a look at history, folklore, love, loss and everything in between. Chris Eaton may be a New Brunswick born, Toronto based author, but in this biography he is everyone and everything.
Authors always say that they put themselves into each and every character, but this is especially true of Eaton’s work. This collection of events is built from external fact and internal fiction, but regardless of the situation or a character’s flaws, Eaton treats each of his namesake fairly and with love. The line between real and fake has become increasingly grey in today’s digital based society, and Eaton journey mirrors our own digital obsessions and tailored identities without ever speaking directly to it.
Listen. This book is great, so by now you should be asking, “how do I win a copy?” Well, we are going to have some fun with this. To enter, just google yourself and share the funniest, strangest, sexiest, or most heartfelt story you find. Send it to us - herohill AT Gmail DOT COM - and we will let Chris pick his favorite. Sound good? Exactly.
Oh, and I’m not the Bryan Acker that collected 30,000 pop tin tabs. Just sayin’.