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Coke Machine Glow

Gordon Downie

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“[Downie] writes in an accessible, entertaining way, but with a refined enough approach that his works can’t be dismissed as crude or simplistic. When he wants, he can be quite funny, and he can drop Canadian references — Pierre Trudeau, Tim Horton's, hockey, Canada geese — without sounding like he’s trying to be Canadian. His particular strength as a poet is his unusual, unexpected imagery… the words are exact, sensuous and satisfying.” —National Post

Gordon Downie, lead singer and lyricist for the popular Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, released his first solo record, Coke Machine Glow in Spring 2001. Alongside the album, his first book of poetry and prose under the same title was published, including the lyrics to the sixteen songs on the record. Now, on the 20th anniversary year of Coke Machine Glow, fans have more to delight in: an audiobook of Coke Machine Glow and a brand new album by Downie, released posthumously.

Coke Machine Glow is a rich, haunting collection that reveals both the public and private selves of one of Canada's most enigmatic musicians. In poetry that is urban, gritty and political, as well as romantic, nostalgic and whimsical, Downie allows us a glimpse inside his world. With his acute and observing eye, he gives us snapshots of his life, both on the road and at home; he writes of loneliness and isolation; of longing and desire; of the present and the past; of dreams and nightmares; love lost and love of family. Ultimately, this book is about the distances that bridge and separate us.

Layered and deceptively simple, imbued with Downie's wit, insight, anger, compassion and rock'n'roll edge, Coke Machine Glow is a remarkable debut from a remarkable creator.

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