Ditch

Publisher: Random House Canada
Ditch is a subversive, compelling portrait of a young man's plunge into adulthood, set in Toronto, Buffalo and the suburbs of Maryland. Niedzviecki's prose quickly dumps you into the head of Ditch, awkward, aimless, endearing — still living with his mom, driving a delivery van to get by — and into the rather more complicated mind, diary, e-mail and website of a young runaway who moves into the upstairs apartment. Debs is beautiful, tortured and much projected upon, largely because of the kind of pictures of herself she puts up on her website. Both she and Ditch are searching for absent pasts and possible futures, and Debs is on the run from something particularly nasty.

Ditch is a sudden stumble into an instantly recognizable, constantly shifting, unforgettable world where everything happens through the filters of memory and modems.

READ AN EXCERPT

He sits down on a bulging pillow stuffed into a wicker chair. The walls of the living room are each painted a different colour: orange, green, purple, yellow.

The ceiling has clouds, blue, grey.

Debs.

“You ever think about going crazy?” Suzie calls from the kitchen.

“What?...
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PRAISE FOR

"From the wilderness of urban chaos emerges Hal Niedzviecki...guru to a new generation of young writers determined to break the bonds of mediocrity that enslave much of the Canadian book publishing industry" —Quarry Magazine

“When Hal Niedzviecki’s name gets bandied about, especially in the alternative press, he’s dubbed things like ‘underground guru’ and ‘pop culture messiah.’” —The Annex Gleaner (Toronto)

“Niedzviecki has become the articulate spokes-slacker for Canadian underground culture — talk-show guest, correspondent for CBC Radio’s Brave New Waves, Marginalia columnist at the National Post.” —Monday Magazine (Victoria)

Advance Praise for Ditch:
“Rarely do we come across a book whose characters believe in so little yet are capable of generating so much meaning. This is prose attuned to the quick-step tempo of contemporary urban life, intensity without the density. Sad, yes — sentimental, no.” —Michael Turner

“A solemn and poignant quest for friendship and lost fathers set in the numb and crumbling inner-city. Think Camus’s L’Etranger meeting Alan Lightman’s The Diagnosis, and you'll get a sense of Ditch’s innovative blend of internet intimacy and social estrangement. Niedzviecki has written a rich and strange book.” —Michael Winter