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The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal
Synopses & Reviews
The individuals that make up the Lacuna Cabal Montreal Young Women's Book Club--if you include auxiliary members and hangers-on--add up to twelve. The number is reduced to ten if you exclude the two narrators (which seems unkind though they would be the first to admit they have little effect on the action) and marked up to thirteen if you include the hexapod, a small six-legged AI device designed to scuttle away from the light and into the shadows. There are a bunch of them, however you tally it, and they're all just trying to read a book. --SEAN DIXON
The Lacuna Cabal Montreal Young Women's Book Club loves to bring to life tableaux from the books they read. But when they begin to enact the Epic of Gilgamesh in the early days of the Iraq War, the book begins to enact their lives instead, sending the Cabalists across the globe in search of a wise man who will hopefully have all the answers. Cross-dressing Aline becomes obsessed with the Baghdad Blogger, Missy with the ticking of her biological clock, Romy with Emmy, and Emmy with the creator of the fitzbot, an ambulatory artificial-intelligence experiment. At the center of it all is Runner Coghill and her little brother Neil, who are still mourning the death of their sister and who brought to the group the ten priceless cuneiform Gilgamesh tablets of seemingly ancient origin.
The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal is an offbeat rites-of-passage novel whose characters live out literature with ferocity and passion. It is a funny, quixotic debut that will hold you to its heart, following along with a group of friends who find a family of sorts within their book club, who learn to cope with love, and the lack of it, loss, and the lackof that, and with growing up in a world that is falling apart around them.
The girls of the Lacuna Cabal Montreal Young Womens Book Club are at a crossroads. One of their founding members is dead, theyve made a few unfortunate compromises to their membership, some of them arent getting any younger, and theyve been stuck on a single weepy tome for six long months. Resident maverick Runner Coghill decides to shake things up by introducing a cherished family heirloom to the group — ten pristine stone tablets, carved in cuneiform, telling the oldest story in the world: The Epic of Gilgamesh. Because their new book is written in an ancient language, the group must take the unprecedented step of allowing Runner to translate the whole story for them. But Runners narration is not of a common vein. Before they know it, the Cabalists have been thrust out to sea, on a journey in search of answers that extends halfway across the world to the war-torn land of this oldest storys birth.
The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal is an offbeat rites-of-passage novel whose characters live out literature with ferocity and passion. It is a funny, quixotic debut that follows the members of a shallow, squabbling, time-wasting, protracted-adolescent book club as they find themselves transformed through the alchemy of the storytellers art.
About the Author
Sean Dixon is a writer and actor. His work has been published in The Globe and Mail, This Magazine, Canadian Theatre Review, and Brick, A Literary Journal. Coach House Books published Dixons play collection, AWOL, and his young adult novel, The Feathered Cloak, was published by Key Porter. He lives and plays banjo in Toronto.
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