Imagine David Sedaris trying to make sense of fitted sheets at a Stuart McLean family reunion.
Grin Reaping catalogues the foibles of the fictional Boyle family. In a series of fourteen interconnected short stories and musings, Rudy Boyle, a Northern Ontario college English teacher stuck both in middle age and in the middle of his five siblings, transforms the strangeness of his everyday life into exaggerated home-movie prose. From the significance of tuna fish and Botox, the threat of coyotes and aliens, to the big-ticket items of mortality, gender, climate-change, and Armageddon, Rudy tackles a range of topics with a wry, self-deprecating wit. As he variously shares such snippets, he exaggerates small and mundane situations into comic celebrations of the life of the mind, never letting the truth get in the way of a great story. His reminiscences deal not only with the absurdities of human nature, but also encompass the grief of losing family. Rudy is bedeviled by neurosis, and cowed before the insignificant things in his world. He talks largely about small matters and trivially about great affairs. It is the nature of his dilemma and the dilemma of his nature.