The Watch Boys and Other Stories

By Margaret Goldik

A review of The Watch Boys And Other Stories by J.d. Palmer

Published on October 1, 2004

The Watch Boys And Other Stories
J.d. Palmer

The Writers' Collective
$19.95
paper
280pp
1-59411-009-3

Palmer, a professor at Concordia University, has compiled some travel memoirs, short stories and fragments of a novel. Most of it works very well, thanks to a readable and polished style, although there is some repetition.
The travel memoirs that involve Palmer’s days teaching in Somalia in the 1960s are the heart of the book and the most interesting. (The watch boys of the title are the handicapped boys who watch people’s cars when paid to do so.) The fictional stories set in Thailand are rife with sex and drugs, and not for the fainthearted. The author’s later real-life experiences as a teacher in Montreal conclude this collection, which covers a couple of decades and several continents. mRb

Margaret Goldik is a former editor of the Montreal Review of Books.

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