And there he was - Charlie Muskrat, out of moose meat for the winter and committed to getting some, who finds himself in Prince Albert with a 30/30 Winchester under the seat of his truck, Thunder, half a tank of gas, half a thermos of coffee, lots of Cheezies and a desire to drive south. What follows is that trip. Accompanied off and on by the phantom hitchhikers from history - the mythical ones like the Trickster, Wesakicak, Greek gods, writers, philosophers and politicians, Charlie motors along to the backdrop of Johnny Cash gospel songs and his own foggy memories of his purpose. Through Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Trenton, Sudbury, Ottawa and Toronto and all along the way are those sendup moments of laughter that Johnson does so well - the US border guards who must turn Charlie away on gun issues, the Indian Affairs people with their bags of money, the bar conversations on literature in Toronto. But as we laugh, we do so cautiously, for Johnson reminds us that we are in touch with Charlie's FAS mind, his Cree culture, and the vision he has as a First Nations man living in Canada. Oh, and there are the magic diamonds in the leather pouch that have to find their way home as well.
Charlie Muskrat is socially insightful, politically incorrect, funny, and dangerous in his own naivety, and his road trip unfolds as an unforgettable journey in Canadian culture.
Harold Johnson is the author of four novels and one work of non-fiction. After a stint in the Canadian Navy, which began at the age of seventeen, Johnson became a packsack miner and logger across northern and western Canada. In 1991 he quit the mines to pursue a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Law degree from Harvard University. He now works as a Crown Prosecutor in La Ronge, Saskatchewan and lives “off the grid” with his wife Joan at the north end of Montreal Lake where they continue the traditions of trapping and commercial fishing common to Harold’s Cree background.