A Blessed Snarl

Author: Samuel Martin
Genre: Fiction
Dimensions: 12 × 8 × 2 in
Weight: 1 kg
Published: April 25, 2012
ISBN: 1-55081-381-1
EAN: 978-1-55081-381-4

Patrick Wiseman moved his wife and son back to Newfoundland to start a new Pentecostal church, but when his wife Anne leaves him for a man she meets on Facebook and his son Hab moves in with his girlfriend Natalie—a burgeoning alcoholic with a fiery past—Patrick takes a suicidal leap of faith that brings him face to face with his estranged father Des, a Catholic mystic who might be covering up an old crime.

While Patrick wrestles to come to terms with his failed marriage, Hab struggles to hang on to his tenuous relationship with Natalie. But when a woman is almost burned alive in a nearby house fire and a neighborhood drunk is beaten within an inch of life, Hab begins to wonder if Natalie and her housemate Gerry know more than they let on.


“… so skillfully composed it is an effortless read, and a gripping one. The dialogue is spot-on and events unfold with realism and momentum.”

“A Blessed Snarl is a merging, even collision, of the high and low, saints and back alleys, bile and grace. It is crafted with compression and compactness. It shows a gritty urban world. But one where there is humour, generosity, and mercy.”

-Joan Sullivan, The Telegram

“As in This Ramshackle Tabernacle, winter, cold and raw, crackling with energy and power yet also bleak, takes hold and serves as a fitting background for the darkness, whether spiritual, emotional, or physical, through which the characters must wend their ways. This human struggle, what Martin seeks to portray most of all, is explored in a remarkably sensitive, observant manner, and is often gritty, disturbing, nerve-wracking, and heartbreaking but also breathtakingly satisfying.”

-Bella’s Bookshelves

“There are a lot of correspondences between the fiction of Canada’s East Coast and that of the American South, and this ambivalence – a desire to break free and a yearning to return home – is one of the most significant. Steeped in the voices, weather, art, economy, and spirituality of the place, Martin has written a novel very much in the Newfoundland grain.”

-Alex Good, Quill and Quire

“Sam Martin’s A Blessed Snarl is a highly-charged web that wends tightly through belief, love and need — and the human condition of the loss and redemption of all three. Filled with sharply-defined characters whose voices ring as true as a bell, Martin has drawn up a small precise world that can’t help but make you shudder from its depth of raw feeling.”

– Russell Wangersky, award-winning author of The Glass Harmonica and Burning Down the House

“[A Blessed Snarl] demolishes categories, while refining them. It is a Canadian novel; a postmodern novel; a Christian novel; a good novel.”

-Brian Dijkema, The Cardus Daily

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