Brunch with the jackals

“In Brunch with the Jackals, his second story collection, ReLit Award nominee Don McLellan explores our dark side, combining black comedy, sharp observation and heart-wrenching irony in a collection of neo-noir fiction. Mistrust and betrayal drive plots set in the seedy underside of contemporary urban life. Never shying away from themes of violence, racism and insatiable greed, McLellan’s troubled characters lead us through a world where death lurks in the shadows and blood is often spilled…”

McLellan is a master of the ironic turn and the story-within-a-story that unfolds to reveal the unexpected.
— Jade Colbert, The Globe and Mail
His stories are profoundly dark, spare, unforgettable and finely honed.
— Sheryl Salloum, BC BookLook

EXCERPTS

You can ingest it, snort it, spike it or shove it up your ass.
Whatever the preference, Rapture swoops into the bloodstream
like a hurricane making landfall. The rush starts
with a tingling along the soles of the feet before it climbs
up the shin bones, sweeps over the kneecaps, explores
like lustful fingers the inside of the thighs. Then it creeps
up the torso and branches off to the arms, the fingertips,
to the raw lining of the throat. When it reaches the scalp,
there being no place else to go, R delivers a wallop to the
cerebral cortex that can trigger a convulsion. 

— From Rapture

 

He opens his eyes to a black sky dusted with stars. He
knows neither where he is nor who. It’s cold, and he can’t
feel his limbs.
And then it’s morning. He has been moved, but by
whom? He sees Suzanne’s mauve kerchief stretched
out across the sand. Theo’s hair ribbon is snagged on a
branch. A Toronto Blue Jays cap skims like a toy sailboat
along a shallow stream.
He is not alone. He’s unable to determine by which
of the senses he knows this to be true, but he does. He
begins to slip away.
When he regains consciousness a jackal is licking
blood from his face. Others wrestle meat from bone.
He hears the beasts yipping and howling, skirmishing
amongst themselves. The victor saunters by, a foot
clamped between its teeth. Seymour recognizes his red
sneaker.

— From Brunch with the Jackals