I just finished reading On The Up by Canadian writer Shilo Jones—a fast-paced, whirlwind of a book. It features three intersecting storylines of people, from different walks of life, with a common sense of desperation. All try—need—to take advantage of high rollers in Vancouver’s property market.
Clever bits echoed the dark humour of Douglas Coupland or Irvine Welsh—which I love. One-liners and unexpected chats with a pot-bellied pig made me laugh out loud. Love the setting and Canadianisms—I appreciate a poke at Stephen Harper any day.
Still, it took a while for me to get through this story. At times, the plot was so thick with chaos it led to confusion. The characters are extreme, making the messes they find themselves in amusing. On the flip side, the over-the-top characterization makes it difficult to care for them or their outcomes.
Jones is sure to find a cult following who’ll appreciate his bite and his unique view of the Vancouverite rat race.
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.