Life is Good

Rated 4.33/5 based on 3 reviews
Trapped children. Trapped seniors. Trapped dolls. Lost parents, lost pasts, lost futures. A nightmare, a fairy tale, a final visit. Life is Good is the first short story collection by Montreal author John B. Dutton. More

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About John B. Dutton

After graduating from film school in London, England, John emigrated to Montreal in 1987, where he still lives with his two young children and their even younger goldfish. He spent over a decade as a music TV director before moving into the advertising industry as an award-winning copywriter for clients such as Cirque du Soleil. John has written novels, short stories, blogs, screenplays and a stage play, and is currently writing a trilogy of Young Adult novels. John speaks four languages and has been married three times in three different countries in three different decades. He therefore likes the odd pint of Guinness. And he’s pretty keen on the even pints too…


Review by: John de la Cruz on Sep. 18, 2012 :
I read Life Is Good, The Doll Box and the Location Scout. I've made a good start on Connections and it appears to me to be his best, most fluid piece. I find Dutton's work engaging - absorbingly so. I find his command of the language superb. And I find his antics as a writer ("chops") delightful and crafty, witty and cheeky and irreverent. I would describe the experience somewhat like eating strawberries with pepper. The author is not going to just let us eat the strawberries by themselves or with whipped cream. We're going to have to take a little abuse from him. It is delicious abuse, if not a little masochistic. From what I've read, so far, Connections is a more "mature" accomplishment than the other stuff. It's in a different league. It is more "round" than the other stuff. It fits more like a glove than the other stuff. It just feels more fluent and complete, somehow. I found Location Scout very moving. I found The Doll Box adept and intelligent. Dutton traverses the intricate details of the story with the agility of a cat, but while on my kids' trampoline - with my kids bouncing on it. He enjoys taking liberties with his reader. He tickles us then stops, then tickles again, then pours cold water on us, then ushers us into the sauna, followed by a nice glass of wine and cherries and a massage, followed by a very hard slap on the buttocks. It is very good writing, because he's got our attention and he's going to delight us, but not for nothing. I see some Maugham, Wilde and Poe in Dutton's work. But nothing comes across as derivative or pretentious. Delightful reading.
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)
Review by: patricia doiron on Sep. 4, 2012 :
Bianca: or the Spanish Snow White, where the simple sentences, almost metronomical in their cadence, create a lilting, magical retelling of this well-known, well-worn fairytale. And so it is made new again.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
Review by: patricia doiron on Sep. 4, 2012 :
The horror, the horror!
Just read Life is Good (the story) and I am suitably affected! My dad is lying in hospital breathing and eating through machines, so that might be part of the reason I could barely breathe as I read, but the other, I think, is that Monsieur John Dutton does a hell of a job exposing and giving voice to the greatest fear we have as we get older and science gets scarier. Two thumbs up for Life is Good! And where can I find my dad a Zombie-twin?
Patricia Doiron
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
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