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Greetings from the Vodka Sea
Greetings from the Vodka Sea

Greetings from the Vodka Sea

Greetings from the off-kilter world of Chris Gudgeon. In his first-ever book of fiction, the bestselling author of The Naked Truth: The Untold History of Sex in Canada offers postcard glimpses into the quirky private lives of unusually twisted characters. A prim English bride honeymooning near the so-called Vodka Sea learns the hard way why it's better not to drink the water in foreign parts.

A chess-playing doctor loses his wife to a charismatic psychologist during a sensuous group sex session masquerading as therapy. A social climbing adulterer contemplates the seduction of a middle-aged woman he once loved but who may now expose him. Personal histories rub up against present relationships. Paths cross, whether by accident or design. Polished veneers hide deeper truths.

Bitterly funny and filled with lusty, rueful, comical, calculating, and even affectionate sex, Gudgeon's eleven cosmopolitan stories explore the chasm between loving and being loved in return. Life's randomness is offset by dark comedy and by an eerily familiar synchronicity.


Ever since his first piece of fiction was published 25 years ago in the small literary magazine Thrust, Chris Gudgeon has been honing his literary craft. Although his influences range from Will Self and Tibour Smith to fifteenth-century Japanese pornography, Chris Gudgeon has written, in this instance, a collection of stories with subtle echoes of Kurt Vonnegut. In addition to The Naked Truth, Chris Gudgeon's works of non-fiction include An Unfinished Conversation: The Life and Music of Stan Rogers and The Luck of the Draw: True Life Tales of Lottery Winners and Losers, both national bestsellers, and Out of This World, a controversial biography of the poet Milton Acorn. A resident of Victoria, Chris Gudgeon writes regularly for radio, television, film, and print publications as diverse as Mad, the Globe and Mail, Canadian Wildlife, and Playboy.

"Although direct and unflashy on the surface, [they] have an edgy, sexually charged quality and an amoral point of view that can make the reader uncomfortable in an interesting way... an emotional dread that reminds me of the fiction of Paul Bowles... [Gudgeon] has some fascinating emotional territory to investigate." — Toronto Star

"Greetings from the Vodka Sea contains stories so unique that it's near impossible to draw them under one clean phrase... If you were to take your strangest obsession or most bizarre experience and put it on steroids, you would have a story for this book." — Quill & Quire

236 pages
Pub date: September 27, 2004