Top 10: Worst Vacation Spots

May 31, 2016

While  certain  books talk about the life-changing benefits of travel, indie CanLit usually doesn’t play like that. Our settings are cold, unforgiving, sooty. Inns are haunted or derelict, proprietors grisled, if not absent entirely. In the spirit of this cruel tradition, we’ve rounded up the ten worst places in books that you’d never want to vacation to.

Note: We’d actually like to visit a lot of these places, but not as they’re depicted in these books, capisce?

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Welcome to All Lit Up’s Top 10 - a literary list of ten things we’re thinking about right now.

While certain  books talk about the life-changing benefits of travel, indie CanLit usually doesn’t play like that. Our settings are cold, unforgiving, sooty. Inns are haunted or derelict, proprietors grisled, if not absent entirely. In the spirit of this cruel tradition, we’ve rounded up the ten worst places in books that you’d never want to vacation to.

Note: We’d actually like to visit a lot of these places, but not as they’re depicted in these books, capisce?

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10. Mahihkan Lake (Fictional)
From Mahihkan Lake by R.P. MacIntyre (Thistledown Press)

Mahihkan Lake is “a place where disputes are settled with shotguns and arson is written off as an act of God.” Sounds real chill.

 

9. Belfast, Ireland
From Ruined Abbey by Anne Emery (ECW Press)

The “bullet-ridden bars” of Belfast, Ireland, serve as a backdrop to this prequel of the Collins-Burke mystery series. We prefer our drinks chappy to trigger-happy (boo).

 

8. Vancouver, Canada
From One Hundred Days of Rain by Carellin Brooks (BookThug)

While this author is a former resident of Vancouver and can't say enough good things about it, the eponymous 100-day rainy Vancouver depicted in Carellin Brooks' introspective novel is a big old NOPE.

raining_david_tennant

7. Cripplegate, London, UK
From  Will Starling by Ian Weir (Goose Lane Editions)

Ian Weir's Cripplegate – a neighbourhood of post-Napoleonic War London – is teeming with body snatchers and charnel houses, AKA, is Knockturn Alley for muggles.

 

6. Ramprend (Fictional)
From  In the Land of Two-Legged Women by Huey Helene Alcaro (Inanna Publications)

When they say vacations can cost an arm and a leg, everyone in Ramprend winks – in this fictional land, it is cultural practice for girls to have their right legs sawed off in a "beautification ritual", at the onset of puberty.

 

5. Australian Nullarbor, Australia
From  Hideout Hotel by Janine Alyson Young (Caitlin Press)

The only thing to do in the mining town outside of the arid, treeless Nullarbor – besides mining – is drink, as character Gina does on one of these short stories, when she sits at the bar to puzzle out her life.

coffeebeer

4. Convict Ship
From  Convictions by Judith Silverthorne (Coteau Books)

Fourteen-year-old Jennie Lawrence is on one of the few women-only convict ships on its way to the then felon-colony of Australia, rife with bedbugs, beatings, and inadequate food and water. A Disney Cruise this is not.

 

3. Watch Factories
From  Undark: An Oratorio by Sandy Pool (Nightwood Editions)

In the early 1900s, thousands of women were employed to paint watch faces to glow-in-the-dark – the radium-based paint later caused mysterious and painful symptoms that were misdiagnosed as syphilis. Thanks, Timex?

 

2. Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton, ON
From  The Midnight Games by David Lee (Wolsak & Wynn)

The post-industrial Ivor Wynne of David Lee's The Midnight Games is a Lovecraftian nightmare: the myth of Cthulu and an ancient order dog Nate Silva, the protagonist, as soon as he enters one late night.

hungergames

1. The Pleasant Inn, Ontario
From Pleasantly Dead, Judith Alguire (Signature Editions)

Judith Alguire's Rudley Mysteries are all set at the Pleasant – a picturesque Inn in Ontario's cottage country. There have been five mysteries in this series – which begs the question: how many murders does an inn need for people to stop going? The Rudleys must make a killer bed (because they definitely make killers' beds, amirite?).

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Want to read more travel-inspired CanLit? Check out our fake TripAdvisor reviews.


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