(I know. I don't usually write like this, but you try spending some time in the wonderful world of Stuart and see if it doesn't change your way of looking at and writing down the world.)
Pockets might be called a micro-novel. To begin with, the book itself is small. Hand-friendly, you might say. Perfect, in fact, for a pocket or a purse.
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So if it's a novel, it tells a story, right? Pockets is a memento mori that's loaded with moments of magic realism, a genre made popular by Latin American writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Canadian ones like Thomas Wharton. It opens with the narrator's brother observed to be floating outside a window and ends with the narrator walking off set, as it were, and into the clouds. In between we're treated to a kaleidoscope of snapshots; Archie and Cowsills comic books, Danny Kaye movies, The Flintstones, Herman's Hermits, the JFK assassination and more all warrant a mention.
The overall sense I'm left with from the story is one of great tenderness. A mother's hand gentle on a forehead. The narrator and his friend, Marky, playing when they were kids. All the trials and joys that make up a life. And through it all there are observant little gems like, "Back on earth, some people didn't have houses. Meanwhile, some houses didn't have people."
I'm glad there's a house in Cobourg that has a Stuart in it.