cover image The Lonely Barber

The Lonely Barber

Anthony Labriola. Anaphora Literary, $20 trade paper (140p) ISBN 978-1-68114-302-6

In this wonderful tale, a man battles the frenzy of love, the city, and local politics as he struggles to become a barber. Jude, aka Lonely, lives in the outskirts of Toronto, Canada. He is on the cusp of realizing his dream of becoming a barber when he has a run-in with a shoemaker who happens to be the town tyrant and the grandfather of Lonely’s ex-girlfriend Elena. But the entanglements don’t end there, as Simone—Lonely’s current girlfriend, whom he shortly replaces with yet another woman—is kidnapped by the short-order cook at the cafe where Elena worked, and begins a hot exchange of words and ideas with her captor. Despite the farcical, convoluted relationships and plot, the narrative is intriguing, with eccentric characters who are fully developed through rich dialogue. Readers will appreciate the exquisite imagery and Labriola’s pithy observations on life (“Losing changes a man, same as winning”). He infuses a plethora of literary works into his wordplay, making this novel a delightful adventure for lovers of language. (June)