Little Bones

by David Baillie | :: Jump to Buy Links ::

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Hamilton, Ontario, 1953.

A nine-year-old boy meets with a horrific death at the hands of a sociopath; his little body is then hidden away in a soon-to-be-sealed tenement coal chute where it lies for two decades. The remains, discovered by contractors rerouting a pipe in 1974, make for sensational news; the fact that ten small bones are missing causes further speculation. But interest in the cold case fades quickly—except in the imagination of a tragically lonely boy named Scott Campbell, a resident of that sad building who suffers (equally) from undiagnosed Selective Mutism and the terrible neglect of his mentally ill mother. In the building’s furnace room, Scotty meets his one and only friend: a child’s playful, coal-black shadow that follows him through a litany of foster homes and into adulthood.

Now, in 1987, thirteen years after the discovery of those remains, Scotty is an enigmatic street artist who makes strange sculptures out of found objects, which he leaves in the forgotten and overlooked corners of the city. Scotty’s social worker, Simon, despairs over Scotty’s plight: the mute will soon be completely on his own, for he aged out of government-sponsored aid almost two years ago and is now living on the remnants of a miracle extension arranged by Simon’s boss. Simon also has his own dilemma: as a Mohawk with invested interest in the Six Nations of the Grand River, he feels like he is betraying his own community by working for the government-funded Children’s Aid Society in Hamilton. Caught between pressure at home and the impending end of Scotty’s meagre support, Simon is losing faith in both the System and himself.

Little Bones is a heart-rending tale of loss, redemption, and the cruel consequences of investing in that most beautiful of lies—hope.

Trade Paperback ISBN: 9781771485081
Hardcover ISBN: 9781771485357
eBook ISBN: 

Other CZP books by David Baillie:

Praise for David Baillie

“If Little Bones were made into a movie, the ideal title song might be Leonard Cohen’s haunting ‘You Want It Darker,’ for both works spin acerbic, grim, but ultimately affirming narratives from the shadows that dwell in the human heart and populate the cosmos at large. David Baille’s ingeniously plotted and gorgeously written chronicle of urban nomads living on the edge deserves comparison with the best of Peter Straub, Stephen King, and China Miéville.”
—James Morrow, award-winning author of Galápagos Regained

“David Baillie writes about the marginalized, the forgotten, and the darkest of human conditions with compassion. He presents them with eloquence and magic. I aspire to be this good.”
—Lauren B. Davis, author of The Grimoire of Kensington Market

Little Bones is an exceptional book—dark, sometimes brutally so, but also beautifully written and sometimes transcendent. The ending gave me goosebumps. David Baillie is a literary treasure.”
—Elizabeth Hand, author of Curious Toys and Generation Loss

Little Bones is written with heart. This is a richly descriptive book full of mystery, hope and survival with social commentary throughout. It’s a riveting story written like punk rock poetry.”
—Johnny Blitz, drummer for The Dead Boys

“David Baillie’s What We Salvage—smart, tough, tender debut.”
—Jack Ketchum

“. . . a violent, dark, impressionistic, philosophical, poetic coming-of-age novel.”
—Treasa Levasseur for the CBC

What We Salvage is a smart, simmering, coming of age punk tale with style, attitude, imagination, and even some wonder if you’re not careful. Oi, oi, oi!”
—Paul Tremblay

“[T]his is a strong debut, littered with glimpses of brilliance.”
Publishers Weekly

“Baillie has written one of the most beautiful and moving stories about raw brutality—and the things brutality can never conquer—that you’ll likely find.”

“David Baillie’s debut novel reads like a cosmopolitan recapitulation of that famous journey into the heart of darkness undertaken by Joseph Conrad’s Marlow . . . even as the author limns a stark poetic vision that is uniquely his own”
—James Morrow

“If you are looking for a story that is more in line with bubble gum pop rock, then keep on browsing the shelf for something safer. What We Salvage is a harsh story that holds nothing back much as life holds nothing back for the characters within its cover.”

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