A Sack of Teeth
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On the first day of Grade One, September 1965, two startling events occur in the unusual life of six-year-old Jack Klein of Vancouver: his mother Lorraine learns her husband Ray is having an affair, and Antoine Gaudin, the 65-year-old Frenchman who rents their basement suite, commits suicide, leaving 36 canaries, a suitcase full of European currency, a small sack of gold teeth and a terrifying photograph from the Second World War. In bristling dialogue and lean prose, Buday's signature dark comedy paints a spot-on portrait of a decade, a marriage and one small boy who leaves innocence behind for an uncertain and unforgiving future. Life at the end of this day, for the Klein family, and for readers, will never be the same.