So there’s a new book club in town, and no, I’m not leading it. But I am excited about it! It’s called the Alberta Reads Book Club, and it’s a government initiative highlighting the wonderful breadth of books that our province publishes. The inaugural book pick is Pass Me By, Gone Fishin’ by Kyle Simmer and Ryan Danny Owen, a graphic novel featuring a queer man struggling with dementia. Is a graphic novel a strange choice for a province-wide book club? Yes. Should you read this book anyway? Yes! It’s a compelling story with a fantastic color scheme to match.
This book is a slow burn, and from what I understand, the beginning of a series, which explains why not much happens in Gone Fishin’. Regardless, I was completely invested in the protagonist Ed, his old hippie friend Rory, and the tough women looking out for Ed as he slowly slips further into the reaches of dementia. In some ways, he furthers the old rural white man stereotype, but he’ll no doubt break through those same stereotypes the more we get to know him in future novels. There’s lots to enjoy in these slim volumes, so I’ll be keeping my eye out for the coming installments!