Transatlantic author Paul Harbridge, author of the hockey picture book When the Moon Comes, forthcoming from Tundra, is launching his satirical short novel, Beaver Pond, via Twitter on October 6th. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has made headlines around the world, but just as newsworthy has been the obsession of citizens and the media with his notoriety. Toronto author Paul Harbridge takes the frenzy at City Hall as the starting point for his story.
Evocative of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Beaver Pond is the darkly humorous tale of an abrasive porcupine named Rock who, accompanied by his brother Digger, takes over the leadership of a hapless beaver colony, thoroughly rattling the establishment before succumbing to his own prickly demons. Shortly after being named Grand Rodent by the High Council of Beavers, a rumour starts to circulate that Rock has been spotted down at Cranberry Corners, the nefarious hangout of losers and ne’er-do-wells. (Everyone knows the scandalous effect ripe cranberries have on rodents!) Rock disrupts the lives of the good citizens of the Big Flood, including cultural maven Margaret Eatwood and adolescent troublemaker Dustin Beaver, and even tries to cancel the flying squirrels’ annual Glide Parade. The tension between the anti- and pro-porcupine camps is only heightened by the dark jokes made every evening down at the river bank by that irascible scamp Jimmy Otter. The aim of the book is not to judge but to take a humorous look at how we all reacted to someone who disturbed our complacency.
The story will be presented in a ground-breaking format never before used on Twitter and take place over 12 days, beginning October 6, 2014. Beaver Pond will amalgamate the dialogue of 26 characters (each with their own Twitter account) into a single Twitter account (@Beaver_Pond) to tell the story. Beaver Pond’s Twitter debut coincides with its release in e-book format for Kobo and Kindle on October 5th.