Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser is a writer, musical entertainer, occasional filmmaker, host of the What Is This Music?! podcast, and editor of the mRb.

Reviews by Malcolm Fraser:

March 14, 2024
Padma Viswanathan's unclassifiable memoir of friendship and writing is both intimate and universal.
September 26, 2022
Christopher Neal's biography of radical journalist Carleton Beals is an epic tale of adventure, romance, and revolution.
July 4, 2022
Back in the mid-1990s, English-language publishers decided that the Anglo literary scene could use its own publication. 
November 16, 2021
Robyn Sarah's memoir is a personal journey as gripping as it is profound.
July 8, 2021
In this collection, seven essayists write on a diverse array of intersections between music and politics.
March 18, 2021
Neglected No More, André Picard’s mix of exposé and impassioned plea, is summed up in the book’s subtitle, The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada’s Elders in the Wake of a Pandemic.
November 5, 2020
Charles R. Acland’s American Blockbuster: Movies, Technology, and Wonder picks apart the history and meaning of this universal, yet peculiar, phenomenon.
July 23, 2020
Larry Tremblay’s Impurity is a literary mystery. Antoine, a middle-aged Montreal professor, grieves over the recent death of his wife, Alice, a bestselling novelist, as well as the suicide of his long-lost friend, Félix. An intellectual grump who’s always dismissed sentimentality, he struggles with the waves of emotion that wash over him as he tries to process this double loss.
May 21, 2020
Hungarian-born, Montreal-based writer Endre Farkas is an award-winning poet. In 2016, he published the semi-autobiographical novel Never, Again, about a family of Holocaust survivors in Hungary. Home Game is the follow-up, with the protagonist Tommy Wolfstein now a teenager in Montreal amid the throes of 1960s social upheaval. Tommy, a star soccer player, gets the opportunity to travel to his homeland for a game, forcing him to confront the spectre of his family’s past.
March 21, 2020
Sherwin Tjia’s latest, the graphic novel Plummet, is the surreal story of a woman who wakes up to find herself, along with assorted other people and objects, in a state of continuous freefall.
November 3, 2019
Gretchen McCulloch's book, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, is a study of what she calls “informal writing” and how it’s flourished in the online era.
July 6, 2019
Christian Guay-Poliquin’s second novel The Weight of Snow, winner of the Governor General’s Award as well as three Quebec literary prizes after it was published in French in 2016, has just appeared in English, translated by David Homel. Part dystopian survival tale, part existentialist character study, it’s a compelling read with a minimalist style that masks some heavy-duty themes.
March 23, 2019
Kent Nagano, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s music director since 2006, is more than just a conductor; he’s an outreach worker, constantly trying to win over new audiences to classical music, from hockey fans to street kids to Inuit communities in the Far North. He puts this mission in writing with Classical Music: Expect the Unexpected (co-written with Inge Kloepfer) – part manifesto, part impassioned plea, part sincere sales pitch for classical music as a whole
January 12, 2018
When I listen to local classic rock station CHOM, large chunks of the commercial breaks are devoted to the corporate owners’ satellite network and to hawking ad time on the station – not a good sign. Into this twilight era, like an only-slightly-premature obituary, comes local author Ian Howarth’s Rock ‘n’ Radio, a passionate paean to the golden age of the airwaves here in Montreal.
November 3, 2017
Set in London, the story finds police detective Colin McDermott investigating the mysterious death of a young woman who fell in front of a bus in a crowded public intersection. It seems like an accident, but a few details set off McDermott’s suspicions, and soon he’s investigating at St. Gregory’s College, where the young woman recently enrolled. Putting together an investigative team made up of the seemingly incompatible Ridley, a crusty male officer approaching retirement, and Quinn, a smart young female officer, McDermott is soon facing a complicated web of possible motives and suspects, including one that reaches into his own past.
April 24, 2017
With the continuing popularity of Scandinavian noir, it was only a matter of time before someone tried their hand at outright Arctic noir. With her second novel Polynya, Montreal author Mélanie Vincelette gamely steps up to the plate with a murder mystery – of sorts – set in Nunavut.
July 3, 2015
How many people once played in a band, tried their hand at writing songs, and eventually let the whole music thing fall by the wayside – but have a nagging feeling that someday they’d like to take it up again? No doubt the number is too high to count, but Montreal writer Eric Siblin decided to take up a personal music revival in earnest, and to write about the experience. Studio Grace is an intimate, at times exhaustive account of Siblin’s journey in writing and recording an album.