"I've come down with Faulkner's Disease,"; says John Moore, one of the West Coast's foremost book reviewers. "Margaret Laurence Fever, Hugh Hood's Herpes-call it what you will.";

Although Moore is joking, he has nonetheless produced a trilogy of novels about West Coast life that carves out a fictional landscape of his own. As in its predecessors, The Blue Parrot and Three of a Kind, an unintentionally prophetic title that referred to card playing, Moore's third novel The Flea Market arises from rough North Vancouver haunts. Unlike the first two, however, it's narrated by a woman, Eve, and ex-model, pushing forty, who escapes her marriage to a successful Canadian sci-fi writer, sublets a heritage apartment in Kits, but can't bring herself to furnish it. When her high-end friend Laine takes her slumming at the flea markets to get some ideas, they get a lot more than they bargained for. Laine, who runs a talent agency, first appeared as the ex-wife of the "Bogardesque" narrator/bartender in Moore's second novel, The Blue Parrot. "Laine is a character we all love to hate-one of those Vancouver movers and shakers who go around chanting 'We're a world-class city' as if it was a mantra,"; Moore says. Eve gets involved with Laine's ex-husband, Buzz, and entangled with Laine's deaf 'n' dumb daughter, Lisa-who is now 14, beautiful and wants to be a writer. Several of Lisa's stories get worked into The Flea Market. Eve gets drawn further into the urban gypsy world of second-hand dealers. Try to imagine Balzac writing for The Beachcombers and you get some notion of Moore's mordant wit and his highly fallible characters.

Favourably reviewing the novel in Event Vol. 32, #2, fellow novelist Bill Schermbrucker concludes, "Using his Casablanca personas and themes as an entertaining device, Moore is addressing important moral issues: Eve's rejection of Laine's world is a revolutionary act. In both The Blue Parrot and The Flea Market, Moore is attacking image-making and other forms of materialistic deception and exploitation and asserting the solid human factors of caring and true craftsmanship...."

CITY: Squamish, B.C.

DATE OF BIRTH: April 4, 1950

PLACE OF BIRTH: Vancouver, B.C.

EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: bartender, bar manager, deckhand, taxi driver, truck driver


Rain City: Vancouver Essays† (Anvil, 2019) $20 978-1-77214-139-9
The Flea Market (novel) Ekstasis Editions, 2003. 1-894800-28-1
Three of a Kind (novel) Ekstasis Editions, 2001
The Blue Parrot (novel) Ekstasis Editions, 1999
New Moon and Money (poems) Harbour Publishing, 1983

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS: Full name, John William Moore. Freelance book reviewing for The Vancouver Sun for 15 yrs as well as long general interest features for the Sun's Mix section. Book columnist, wine reviewer, general features, (mostly male fashion & outdoors,) occasional news reportage for the North Shore News during the 1990s. Various magazine features. Educated erratically at Capilano College and U.B.C. Married (Mary), three children: Will, Joe and Patricia.

[BCBW 2019] "Fiction"