First Fiction Fridays: The Captain of Kinnoull Hill

October 28, 2016

Dennis Duckworth is widely considered the least-likeable person on the Chicago music scene. Divorced, friendless, and apathetic, Dennis’s only goal is to land a music contract for a band he represents at a major label in New York. When his routine flight from New York back to Chicago mysteriously alters its path, he finds himself penniless and stranded on a remote hillside in rural Scotland.

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Captain

What:

The Captain of Kinnoull Hill (Palimpsest Press, 2016)

Who:

Jamie Tennant is a writer and radio program director based in Hamilton, ON. A long-time music enthusiast, James has covered music and pop culture both locally and nationally. He is the Program Director at 93.3 CFMU at McMaster University. When he is not helping set up the JUNOs, being on the Grand Jury for the Polaris Prize, or blogging for the Fujirock festival in Japan, Tennant continues to write for several magazines and blogs.

Why you need to read this now:

Dennis Duckworth is widely considered the least-likeable person on the Chicago music scene. Divorced, friendless, and apathetic, Dennis’s only goal is to land a music contract for a band he represents at a major label in New York.

When his routine flight from New York back to Chicago mysteriously alters its path, he finds himself penniless and stranded on a remote hillside in rural Scotland. After a series of misadventures leave him beaten to a pulp with only a suitcase full of clothes that aren’t his and a captain’s hat, he lands in Perth, where he meets Maggie, the local pub owner, and Bruce, the town bully.

To earn enough money to return home, Dennis finds himself hired by Gigi, a 9-month pregnant government official, to keep watch for vandals on Kinnoull Hill. The hill is home to Eddie the Red Cap—a curmudgeonly, thousand-year-old goblin who secretly loves books and regrets the violent past of his people. Eddie and Dennis form a mutually beneficial friendship; Dennis helps Eddie become more human, Eddie helps Dennis become less of an ass.After Dennis manages to anger the town bully Bruce, Dennis has to come to Maggie’s rescue when Bruce threatens to close her pub.

Set against the beautiful and historic backdrop of Kinnoull Hill in Scotland, The Captain of Kinnoull Hill features a variety of likeable characters, including Maggie the pub owner, Abby the record store clerk, and Kit Carson, a local musical progeny, who attempt, despite Dennis, to help him find his way home. Funny, thoughtful, and filled with musical references both past and present, The Captain of Kinnoull Hill is magic realism at its finest.

What other people are saying about The Captain of Kinnoull Hill:

“If you’ve worked in the music industry, you know someone like Dennis Duckworth⎯an ironic, Gen-X, music obsessive⎯who somehow remains a sympathetic character. In the spirit of Nick Hornby, Jamie Tennant tells a funny, fast moving tale of a resilient (and often idiotic) man work working through his life problems. This book is very fun and has a lot of heart.” ⎯Max Kerman, The Arkells

X plus Y:

The Captain of Kinnoull Hill mixes the humour of a Roddy Doyle novel and the musical influences of Nick Hornby, with goblins.

 

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Thank you to Playwrights Canada, especially to Mandy, for sharing this fantastic play with us. If you love discovering new authors, check out our previous First Fiction Friday picks.


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