Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: Pope and Her Lady, by Leon Rooke

What the fook is dis?

Now hold yer horses a sec—

Dis! Rooke. Leon Rooke, writin' a novella exclusive-like in the grimmy street slang of a Glaswegian lesbo. Has he gony nuts in the pate?

First of all, Rooke donay say ‘fook’, nor does he say ‘dis’. Sometimes it’s ‘fuckt’ – but hey, sometimes we all fuckt.

We baith know I ain’t blethering. It’s not natchril, natural.

Oh, would ye go have a fag. Auld Rooke knows what he’s doin’. Sampson, he wuz writin’ books when you wuz still just an ache in your daddy’s nits. Trust me. He gets doon the vocab and cadence of that Glaswegian street slang and he sticks thereto it. This book ain’t fuckt – it’s fuckin’ genius!

Ye daffy poop!

Sit doon before I bash ye with a pipe.

What pipe?

Now listen. This novella has its own language, eh. And it’s a mystery like. Think A Clockwork Orange meets sumthing by Raymond Chandler. The polis has pullt in auld Pope on accusations that she boinnged her lesbo lover Madeline Powrs in the head with a pipe. Foul play and all. They grill her greit gude; they keep sendin’ her back to her cell; there’s a snitch there. It’s classic stuff.


But there’s more to it than that. Naybody is what they seem. Rooke is more clever than me and you poot the gether.

Okay. But go shite in a bag and punch it! What else does he give us?

What doesn’t he give us? This is Rooke doin’ what Rooke does best. That is to say – analyzing the nature of love. Real love. Deep and complicated love. It’s a whatchamacallit – reoccurring theme. A preoccupation of his, but.

So then … so then …

So then what, you canay get ower that it’s a lesbo couple in Glasgow this time? Fuck you. Rooke knows what he’s doin’. This novella sings. What other Canadian writer today has such a playful approoch to language? What would you do, Sampson? Fuckin’ artsyfy the lingo of PEIsland, probably …

“I was just givvin’er. And the road was right slippy.”

Oh, fuck you! Give it oop. Let’s not Waldorf and Statler this ting to death. Can we not just agree that Pope and Her Lady is better than gude. It’s greit, and has a lot goin’ awn innit.


Fine indeed. I can live with that. Say – did we ever figure out the mystery of the pipe?

What pipe?

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