Bird, Most Likely by Philip Quinn — review by Mark McCawley

Bird, Most Likely

by Philip Quinn


review by Mark McCawley

Bird, Most Likely by Philip QuinnBird, Most Likely
by Philip Quinn
DevilHousePress, an imprint of AngelHousePress
ISBN: Bird,MostLikely
7×8.5, 48pp, $10.00 (CAD)
published, November 1st 2014, Limited Edition

DevilHousePress is an imprint of AngelHousePress — an Ottawa-based micro-press founded and published by poet and writer, Amanda Earl — that publishes transgressive literary works in the form of short story collections, novellas, novel excerpts, flash fiction, one-act plays and creative nonfiction in limited edition chapbooks. The DevilHousePress imprint’s second publication is a chapbook by Philip Quinn, Bird, Most Likely, consisting of fourteen individual works of short fiction and flash fiction.

The stories in Quinn’s Bird, Most Likely range from the subtle surrealism in “Working Fictions” in which “the custodian and projectionist at the Bijou movie house”(Quinn, p.2) thinks he is losing his sight and receives uncommon and relieving truths from his diagnosing physician, to a serial killer in “The Transformer” who collects bodies he buries in his mother’s garden: “A woman can look so peaceful staring out the window after herself, the cheapness and hooker-look gone from her eyes.” (Quinn, p.25) “I’m fitting in. I’m fitting my pieces together.” (Quinn, p.27)

Sharing a wide variation in style, from colloquial to formal, Quinn’s stories are largely character driven by characters in the midst of varying degrees of breakdown — be they personal, physical, professional, or cultural. Ordinary quotidian characters — hookers, projectionists, priests, flight attendants, redheads, and murderers — share these stories with Nietzsche, Archie Bunker, John Lennon, Steve McQueen, and Franz Kafka’s great grand nephew in fictions in which post-realism and surrealism intertwine in unexpected and extraordinary ways.

“I can’t escape this movie, rescuing, continuously rescuing myself, until the projector shuts down, and light streams the other way.”

(Quinn, p. 46)

Poignantly urban, surreal and post-realist — Philip Quinn’s Bird, Most Likely is a dark gem of Canadian transgressive writing which pulls back the surface of CanLit’s tame, bourgeois attitudes revealing exquisitely penned characters one seldom finds in polite society. UG
PhilipQuinnPhilip Quinn lives in Toronto and online at

Published Books:

Dis Location, Stories After the Flood (Gutter Press 2000)

The Double, a novel. (Gutter Press 2003)

The SubWay (BookThug 2008)

The Skeleton Dance, a novel (Anvil Press 2009)

Posted on by urbangraffito Posted in Chapbooks, Fresh Raw Cuts, Review

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