Border Songs

Publisher: Vintage Canada
Brandon Vanderkool’s severe dyslexia and six-foot-eight height give him an unusual perspective on his new job with the American Border Patrol, along the Washington/BC border — just a long, grassy ditch, really, barely dividing neighbours who used to be as congenial as those in any small community. Though his curious mind proves surprisingly adept at intercepting Canadian pot smugglers and potentially dangerous illegals, years of security hysteria and cross-border resentment — and a fascinating young Canadian who has turned her green thumb to a more lucrative crop — complicate Brandon’ s world in ways even he might not be able to see past.

Border Songs is that rare delight: a gently satirical portrait, an extraordinary love story and a celebration of the coincidental and the miraculous.

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter One

Everyone remembered the night Brandon Vanderkool flew across the Crawfords’ snowfield and tackled the Prince and Princess of Nowhere. The story was so unusual and repeated so vividly so many times that it braided itself into memories along both sides of the border to the point that you...
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1. “Everyone remembered the night Brandon Vanderkool flew across the Crawfords' snowfield and tackled the Prince and Princess of Nowhere.” What does the first sentence of the novel tell us about what's to come?

2. Have you read Jim Lynch's first novel, The Highest Tide? If so, what similarities...

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Border Songs is a masterwork, and Jim Lynch, for my money, is our best new storyteller since Larry McMurtry: deeply in touch with the natural world, the absurdities of our era, and the hearts and minds of his unforgettable and endlessly surprising characters.”
— Howard Frank Mosher, author of On Kingdom Mountain

"An imaginative tour de force. Lynch's comic borderland is not only palpable, it is richly metaphoric. Comparisons with Ken Kesey and Tom Robbins are not only inevitable, they are welcome."
The Globe and Mail

"A wonderful and important read. It turns out that a novelist's eye is exactly what we need to begin understanding the subtleties of what's happening between our two countries in the post-9/11 era."
Ottawa Citizen

"Entrancing. . . . Border Songs reads just like the news, except that it is far better written."

From the Hardcover edition.