Read This, Then That: Climate Change Edition

December 17, 2015

In both Tarstopping and The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree the reader is asked to consider the consequences of the way we live and interact with the earth. Tarstopping is a more conventional, plot-driven story while The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree is a work of experimental fiction that blends prose poems, news blogs, and documents into the text.

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Read This: Tarstopping by Christine Rehder Horne (NeWest Press)

Then That: The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree by Josh Massey (BookThug)

 

In both Tarstopping and The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree the reader is asked to consider the consequences of the way we live and interact with the earth. Tarstopping is a more conventional, plot-driven story while The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree is a work of experimental fiction that blends prose poems, news blogs, and documents into the text.

In Tarstopping Tim and his family are caught in the middle of a demonstration in downtown Calgary by radical environmentalists that call themselves Tarstoppers. His wife wants nothing to do with it and believes these radicals are not helping anything; his son is confused but interested to learn more about the situation and larger implications; and his brother, who travels and blogs across the country to be part of the movement, is an active supporter who continually pushes Tim to take a stand (but only if he agrees with him). For Tim’s part, he’s spent his life happily sitting on the fence; however, when the peaceful supporters are met with violence by Tim’s neighbours, something Tim would never have thought them capable of, he’s forced to re-think things – and maybe even take action.

In The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree, Jeffery lives in the near-future on an elk farm in Western Canada. He just wants to live a peaceful life, away from the destruction of the earth for big business and the radicals who oppose it. Jeffery is content to not make waves and live amongst like-minded artists and outsiders; he offers tours of his farm to tourists and harvests elk antlers to make a living but otherwise sticks mostly to himself. But when a series of pipeline bombs rock their community, Jeffery decides he can’t continue his checked-out existence. Determined to find out just who’s behind this violence, Jeffery discovers there may be more mysterious forces at work.

In both Tarstopping and The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree the issues of climate change, the impact of big business on the earth, and radical (and, at times, violent) opposition are explored at an individual level. In the characters of Tim and Jeffery, the reader is confronted with people who aren’t sure of the best way forward or what they can do to help so they’ve been sitting on the fence for years, watching things happen. They are shaken out of their lethargy when confronted with violence and its personal and individual effects.

 

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