Sweet Assorted

By (author): Jim Christy

Half-finished notes, scrawled snippets of conversation, observations made on the run, photographs of people known and unknown, scraps of paper with puzzling sketches on them, receipts, match packs, postcards, and other assorted paraphernalia . . . have all ended up in a Peek Frean’s tin biscuit box.

For nearly forty years, Jim Christy has thrown – willynilly, and with neither rhyme nor reason – such seemingly random items into the box. There has been absolutely no system to it; maybe, the author says, “I thought ‘I’ll pay more attention to this later’ or, perhaps, ‘I’ve got to check that one out some day… give it the attention it deserves.’” Being a restless traveller, investigative journalist and raconteur, many of these items have rich and alluring stories attached to them. The Peek Frean’s biscuit box has provided the essential ingredients for a fascinating assortment of highly entertaining anecdotal tales called Sweet Assorted.

Praise for Sweet Assorted:

“Sweet Assorted, the latest book from former Gibsons resident Jim Christy, is like being at a cocktail party with strangers. You might hear something colourful – a shared anecdote, a travel tale or someone expounding on a thought du jour written in haste on a napkin.” (Coast Reporter)

“… There was a shine to this eccentric work that I appreciated. Christy is being himself. His tin alternately brings back memories and reveals what he has forgotten. He lays out his successes and his failures and leaves us to form our opinions. I closed the book hoping to meet Jim Christy one day. His curiosity, convictions and thirst for adventure have lasted decades, and they don’t seem to be fading with time. I admire that.” (Coastal Spectator)

“The richest moments in this book come when the objects become metonyms for events and people from Christy’s past, points of reference that he augments with assessments, reflections, and even occasional sales-pitches for his current work … the sheer range of experiences and the quirky (and at times famous) figures from Christy’s past intrigue and entertain. Simultaneously, Christy’s significant temporal distance from the many figures and events raises the crucial question of autobiography: how factual are these recollections? Christy regularly admits his inability to remember particular details or events surrounding the objects, but at other times is seemingly able to offer decade-old conversations in detail. Thus, the book presents an archive of questionable oft-dissociated anecdotes that blend objects, events, and memories.” (Canadian Literature)


Jim Christy

Always in search of original characters and experiences, Jim Christy is a literary vagabond with few peers. He was once described by George Woodcock as “one of the last unpurged North American anarchistic romantics.” His publisher has called him a hip Indiana Jones; one reviewer credited him with a “Gary Cooper-like presence.” His buddies have included hobos, jazz musicians, boxers, and non-academic writers such as Charles Bukowski, Peter Trower and Joe Ferone. “I never dismiss another’s story out of hand,” he writes, “no matter what it’s about or how outrageous it may seem.” Christy’s often wry reminiscences of his travels, trysts and trials are fuelled by a hard-won pride. A gardener, a sculptor and a spoken word performer with a jazz/blues ensemble, Christy has been seen in film and television productions, usually in non-speaking roles as a thug or a gangster.


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192 Pages
8in * 5.5in * .38in


November 15, 2012



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