Capreol-Set Novel Released

April 13, 2021 marked a turning point for the town of Capreol. That is the day ECW Press, an award-winning Canadian publishing company, released Savage Gerry. The novel is a page-turning tour de force written by former Capreol-resident John Jantunen.

Jantunen’s first novel, Cypher, was short-listed for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. His third novel, No Quarter, was nominated for a Shamus Award (awarded by the Private Eye Writers of America for the best detective fiction of the year) and a ReLit Award (the ReLits honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses).

Savage Gerry is a modern-day western, set following a series of disasters, it shows just how far a man will go to protect what he loves. It is, in many ways, a passion product for its author who moved to Northern Ontario, Capreol specifically, to research the book. And, as a father trying to reconnect with a child himself, Jantunen dedicates the novel to his oldest son, Drake.

Though his time in Capreol was short, John and his family only lived in town for a year, the community made a definite impression. There is a clear fondness for small-town life flowing through every page of Savage Gerry, an admiration for the simple neighbourliness seldom found elsewhere.

As honest as it is passionate, Savage Gerry does contain some controversy. There is violence and prejudice in the book—most of it either created by or directed at the title character, Capreol-raised Gerald Nichols. Society crumbles as the novel begins and that is not a clean or PG catastrophe: drug abuse, gang violence, and government indifference has left Northern Ontario a fragile shell of its former self. And Gerry’s return breaks it wide open.

Join the author on Thursday, April 22 as he discusses his newest work, Savage Gerry, via Zoom. The meeting is open to the public and runs from 7pm-8pm. Expect a couple of readings and a lively Q&A moderated by acclaimed novelist, and former Sudbury radio personality, Scott Overton.

Watch this site or Facebook, specifically the pages of our sponsors The Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre and the Sudbury Writers’ Guild, for a Zoom link. There is no charge to attend and one lucky participant will win a free, autographed copy of Savage Gerry—personalized to the winners request.

Don’t just take my word for it, below are some sample comments lifted off of the Internet:

Savage Gerry is a gripping work of speculative fiction set in a spirited landscape that’s often neglected or ignored in Canadian literature. Northern Ontario is much more than just a vibrant setting in this story; land itself takes on the complicated and conflicting traits of the characters who move through it. Jantunen skillfully compels readers to both empathize with and loathe the people who inhabit this dystopian realm. It’s a thrilling novel about outcasts and survivors navigating a harsh world, much in the same vein as works by Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King.” — Waubgeshig Rice, bestselling author of Moon of the Crusted Snow

“This is an Old Testament novel of fire and brimstone, of a fierce, just God. This is a novel of an eye for an eye. This is a novel of strong and stoic men, who take care of their families and ask for no quarter. A novel of men’s actions, not their words. This is a novel of the love of men for their sons. This is a novel of strength, not of weakness.” — Les Edgerton, author of Hard TimesAdrenaline Junkie and others.

“A rip-roaring post-apocalyptic story told with passion and skill. But, for those willing to read a little deeper, there is another, much more disturbing layer to the book, with Jantunen eviscerating the illusions every one of us holds dear.” — Cloud Lake Literary

“John Jantunen’s Savage Gerry is a savage and thrilling apocalyptic tour de force with echoes of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and George Miller’s Mad Max series. Its gripping anti-hero has a true beating heart that will keep you rooting for him all along the way. Read this book!” — Lee Matthew Goldberg, bestselling author of The Mentor and The Ancestor

“A contemplative blend [of] genre and character.” — Tuerlemot blog

Posted on: April 15, 2021, by :