How Insensitive

Publisher: Anchor Canada
Adrift in Toronto’s gossipy, grant-driven cultural scene, a coterie of overeducated, underemployed young people stab at vaguely artistic projects and scramble after the opportunities that seem tantalizingly within reach — if you know the right people. Searching for work, sex and big-city life is Ted Owen, who quickly finds himself swept into the complicated lives of the young and the jaded, people who thrive in a strange world of hip fashion and surreal night-clubs.



“But Toronto, man, I don’t know,” said the Vancouverite. They were parallel with a highway now; outside the glass long trucks inched ahead of the train. “I don’t know how anyone could live there. I couldn’t live there. I need to be able to get to the beach, or at least...
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“Smith has an insider’s knowledge of what the targets are and the outsider’s sense of where the absurdities lie. How Insensitive is astute and welcome.” — The Globe and Mail

“Russell Smith’s How Insensitive attempts what most Canadian writers shy away from — satire. In his dizzying look at Toronto’s under-30, avant-garde scene — a scene saturated with drugs, post-punk fashions, ephemeral nightclubs, poststructuralist chatter — Smith displays a satirist’s instinct for significant gesture and speech, as well as an impressive knowledge of current cultural minutiae.” — The Toronto Star

“Terribly funny and very well written. This is a great first novel. There should be more.” — Quill & Quire