Praise for Confidence
"Smith, a long-time Globe and Mail columnist, is a gifted anthropologist of the urbane. Those gifts are on full display throughout Confidence."?The Globe and Mail
"Mesmeric, sensuous ... [Smith] deftly allows us to discern grubbing desires, and, in doing so, our own prejudices. Epiphanies tend to fly past the characters themselves, but they hit us head-on."?Lisa Moore, The Walrus
"Darkly hilarious ? Russell Smith continues his assault on what he sees as the tame sensibility of Canadian literary fiction ? Confidence finds Smith at the top of his game."?Morley Walker, The Winnipeg Free Press
?Thankfully, Russell Smith has no interest in the prevailing wheat germ ethos of CanLit. Here, finally, is fiction we can swallow for taste, not nutrition ? Here, finally, is a Canadian fiction writer who admits that humans, even Canadians, have sex hard-wired into the DNA???The Toronto Star
?We know gentrification, prescription drugs, absorption in handheld screens and the psychic drain of continually comparing ourselves with others, and it does us good to see these phenomena so deftly satirized ? but what gives Confidence its emotional power is the isolation of the characters amid all their connectivity. A sad and funny and vivid portrait [of contemporary life] that we hope isn?t as true as we know it is.??The Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Russell Smith?s brilliant new short story collection, Confidence, makes Toronto people on the prowl look like withered malign elves out to do harm. It?s an extraordinary book, but imagine its eight stories turn into 37 million, withdrawing silently like a wave and then driving towards us with spare room couches, legal bills, slaps, bruises, For Sale signs and shattered windshields in a tsunami of hurt and sorrow."?Heather Mallick, The Toronto Star
"In the world of these stories, love is a game, secrets pile up, needs go unmet, compromises and negotiations are constantly being made ? [Yet the final pieces] soften the book?s unflinching tone and deliver, finally, emotional resonance by hinting at vulnerable humanity and the truest, simplest desires behind the exhaustive chase of pleasure."?Carla Gillis, Quill & Quire
?When I pick up a book by Russell Smith I?ve come to expect to read about sex, and ambition, and a city that can be exciting and superficial, and glitters with the promise that it doesn?t always deliver. There is all that in his new collection of short stories.?
?Shelagh Rogers, CBC Radio One's The Next Chapter
?Darkly funny, Confidence skewers modern relationships with just enough hope and romance left at the bottom of Pandora's box to remind us why we suffer through the tribulations of love?This is not the stodgy CanLit you were assigned in school ? Russell Smith's writing is sharp and sultry?? ?W Dish
?It?s a delicious darkness that pervades Russell Smith?s latest short store collection, Confidence? Unflinchingly honest reading.?
?[Confidence] is a satirical portrait of Toronto?s hip (or not-so-cool) urbanites, and his targets will probably be recognizable to most readers living in Canada?s wonderlands, our diverse cities. You don?t have to own a condo in Hogtown to appreciate the author?s ability to observe and then poke fun at the pampered and privileged, these trend-loving, squash-playing, blog-writing, vegan-living prima donnas.? ?The Chronicle Herald
Praise for Russell Smith
"Smith writes some of the most luminous prose in Canadian fiction ? He mines and refines the best of what has come before on the way to making it his own. Also, Smith is entirely credible when writing female characters ? One catches quiet echoes of Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf." ?The Montreal Gazette
?[Russell Smith is] something of a literary heir to Margaret Atwood."?The Toronto Star