AKA: The Rough Side of Life
And very rough it is.Dead end lives. Cataract follows the lives and relationships of two boys/men Duncan and Owen. The novel opens with Duncan being released from prison for some unspecified crime. The first person he calls is his old friend Owen, now a police officer who was instrumental in jailing Duncan. When they were around 10-year-olds they were taken — essentially kidnapped — by their wrestling hero, Bruiser Mahoney while their fathers got in a fight with some local bullies. Their hero gets them lost in the bogs and forest around Niagara and dies — leaving them to find their way home, dodging pedophiles and overcoming hunger. The ending eerily echoes the beginning episode. Their nemesis is a most repugnant man Drinkwater who adds to the hell of their lives. “He was a scientist, you could say, and his field of study was suffering.” Yet they keep returning to him for various reasons. Duncan is able to create and maintain a relationship with a woman but of course she is unwilling to wait the years he is in jail.
Cataract City is a nickname for Niagara Falls. — It’s based on the Latin word for waterfall. Cataract is well written, frequently a page turner but not for every one.