“Whatever it is —it’s happening.”
Review by BK Munn
by Kat Verhoeven
(Conundrum Press, 2015)
This tiny book starts out doing a good job of capturing an aspect of childhood social experience and blossoms into something resembling an apocalyptic parable as seen through the eyes of the children of a Babel-like apartment complex. Through a series of vignettes, Verhoeven introduces a disparate gang of children who live in a group of towers, apparently based on her own experience of the St. Jamestown neighbourhood of Toronto. The kids and their environment are drawn in a very loose, almost childish style that lends itself to the extremely limited viewpoint we experience the story through. It’s unclear if these kids, who initially seem to be enjoying the fantasy play, anxiety and magical thinking characteristic of all children, are really manifesting special powers that make them aware of and able to interpret certain omens of an approaching doom. The story’s denouement is open to interpretation and invites a consideration of the book’s themes of communication, community, atomization and anomie in our shitty modern world.