The Insolent Boy
The Insolent Boy, the debut novel from Canadian author and filmmaker John Stiles, certainly is aptly titled. It follows the turbulent life of narrator Selwyn Davis from toddlerhood to early middle age. A talented, intelligent but deeply antisocial boy, he is nurtured by adoptive parents in rural Nova Scotia. After a doomed romance, he leaves home and falls in with a rock band that takes him around the world including a stint in a Japanese prison. Though the book's second half feels a bit rushed, Selwyn is a memorable (if not exactly lovable) protagonist, and Stiles tells his grimly comic story with wit and heart.