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Time travels

 Killing Time

Killing Time

by Hank Schachte
( New Star Books,
2006;
$18.00)
IN A CREATIVE writing class I once took, a fellow student confidently assured me one should never write about cancer or car accidents, because, âeoeyou know, it's been done.âe

Despite dismissing her advice âe" arenâe(TM)t any writing âeoerulesâe made to be broken? âe" I admit to skepticism upon picking up Hank Schachte's debut novel, Killing Time. Not only did the jacket copy promise a car accident, but what seemed one worse, the resulting amnesia.

Long a disorder as endemic to soap operas as it is rare in the real-life population, I worried over the melodrama such a set-up promised. Not to mention that even the bookâe(TM)s press release makes the link to the film Memento, which has, you know, been done.

I was wrong.

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Childhood for sale

 Candy From Strangers

Candy From Strangers

by Stephen Dale
( New Star Books,
2005;
$21.00)
LAST December my three-month-old daughter and I visited my parents in New York City. As we pulled up to their house, a UPS van was just pulling out; the package delivered turned out to be a baby "gift" from a formula company: a few free samples of a new formula, a cheap rattle, and a rather sorry-looking stuffed animal.

I knew that the timing of the package's arrival had to be coincidenceâe"even formula companies don't follow their customers' movements that closely.

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