– Suzette Mayr
Read upon recommendation from several other Canadian authors. A plethora of characters and sub-plots all tangled together with overlaps. A funny and impressive work to behold, undeniably well written, with the brief aside of its nonstandard way of marking spoken dialogue. I'd go so far as to call it the Great Canadian Novel of this era, but only sometime within the next 30 years as it is a little too far ahead of the curb right now.
However... It's hard to clue in, but the only reason this novel works as well as it does is because it takes place in a suburban or outer-metropolitan setting, small in size and somewhat densely populated. Never stated outright, but if you notice that the students of the school are more or less freely able to wander about as they need to without the need to worry about busing, then things become clear. Should it have been set in a rural Canadian Catholic high school as opposed to an urban one, I would've had to call bullshit of the tallest possible magnitude on every single conceit the book operated upon. It is oppressively optimistic in the way it approaches the subject matter. ... not quite propagandistic, but something that borderlines on mania. I couldn't help but think there was one very important aspect missing from it—something that should've been there, yet not—but whatever it was would've fallen outside the purview as a literary comedy.
Until the time when it could be properly hailed as a classic comes, Monoceros serves one of two possible uses: