Loading Events

Book Club: Aubrey McKee by Alex Pugsley

Book Club: Aubrey McKee by Alex Pugsley



December 26
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Parlour Wines
1803 42nd Ave E Ground
Seattle, WA 98112 United States
+ Google Map
The official book club of Madison Books!

Madison Books hosts an in-person Book Club meeting every month at 6:30 p.m., usually but not always on the last Thursday. Drop in to chat with your neighbors about some of the best books of this or any moment. All readers are welcome–you don’t need to sign up in advance, but registering here will help us plan for the right number of attendees. Meetings are held at Parlour Wines, around the corner from the bookstore and across the street from the Madison Park tennis courts.

While most book clubs focus on the hottest current releases, we’re doing something a little different. We’ll be exploring narratives of New England and the Maritime Provinces, both contemporary and historical, fictional and nonfictional. Some you’ll certainly have heard of, maybe even already read and loved, but others may be serendipitous discoveries. We have a list we’re pretty excited about, and we hope you will be, too!

Our December selection is Aubrey McKee by Alex Pugsley.

Though it wouldn’t rank high on any list of well-known literary destinations, Halifax provides a fertile field for Pugsley’s collection of 14 linked stories about his eponymous narrator’s life there from childhood through his early 20s in the mid-1980s. Evoking comparisons in both style and substance to the work of John Irving and Robertson Davies in its assemblage of perceptive, richly detailed character studies, Pugsley’s book succeeds in the task the author sets for his narrator—“to give expression to the lives I encountered, and to make sense of some of the mysteries that seemed to me the city’s truths.” Among the most affecting entries are “Karin,” the story of a young woman with “a knack for making a man feel most alive in her company,” and “Tempest,” the dramatic account of a December hurricane and its tragic consequences in the lives of two of Aubrey McKee’s closest friends. In “Fudge,” Aubrey focuses an unsparing lens on his own life, describing his youthful excursions into his hometown’s outlaw fringe, including drug dealing under the tutelage of the terrifying older teenager Howard Fudge, who served as his “ferryman into these underworld ports of call.” One of McKee’s preoccupations is his friend Cyrus Mair—“whiz kid, recluse, and weirdo”—the scion of a once prominent Halifax family whose spectacular descent into shame and ruin he recounts in the story “Death by Drowning.” It’s too early to tell whether Pugsley will be able to mine sufficient narrative gold from Aubrey McKee’s life for a projected five volumes of autobiographical fiction, but on the evidence of this first entry, there’s good reason to hope there will be more engaging stories like these in the offing. –Kirkus Reviews