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Hellman's Scrapbook by Robert Majzels

The year is 1980, and the protagonist, David Hellman is writing a journal and a series of letters from inside a mental institution where he has been incarcerated after attempting to burn off his own hands. He is convinced he is cursed with a strange and terrible gift: the ability, simply by holding another person’s hand, to enter and lose himself completely in the other’s consciousness. By peeling away the layers, the reader begins the process of piecing together the shards of Hellman’s life: the concentration camp where he unearths his father’s legacy; the secret of the Coca-cola Ring Game behind the glitter of the World’s Fair; an inner journey under the guidance of Oscar, acid-guru of a Frat House gone bad; the grinding haze of class struggle in Continental Steels’ giant pipe plant… The novel explores the possibilities of a commitment to life and art in a world without absolutes. In order to achieve this sense of multiplicity, difference and polyvocalism, it relies on a number of fictional devices, mixing point of view and genres.

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Cormorant Books

Dunvegan, Ontario