Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Choke Hold

Share |
Choke Hold

Turnstone, 2000
237 pages
$18.95

After a seven-year absence, the prodigal son Jeremy Little comes home to the small Alberta town of Seymour, where a teenage trauma has shaped his outlook on life.

At a Safe Graduation party, after getting drunk for the first time in his life, Jeremy suffers the humiliation of being beaten up and urinated on by Nick Lozinsky when Nick catches him kissing his girl, Tracy. After the beating Jeremy enrolls in Seymour's only martial arts school, located in a strip mall on the north end of town.

Jeremy finishes high school and leaves for Boston to study drama, but he drops out before his first year is completed and becomes obsessed with marial arts training. Eventually he owns and operates his own school, finds a girlfriend, and things seem to be looking up until one of his students kills a gay man. The resulting publicity destroys Jeremy's business and he returns to Seymour, where he is forced to confront his old demons.

His younger brother Denton is a bartender in a karaoke bar. After a near-fatal stroke, Jeremy's father is finally happy for the first time since his wife's death. Tracy has left Nick Lozinski, who responds by stealing money from work, buying a Jeep Cherokee Limited Edition, drinking through the afternoon, seriously injuring a three-year-old girl and crahisng into the front door of the Plum House.

As Bruce Lee once said, "To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person." Jeremy struggles with his fear as he learns to open himself up to his family and the possibilities of love.

Choke Hold is an original, quirky novel--in the traditional of Miriam Toews's Summer of my Amazing Luck--that follows the life of a young man who feels torn between the need to defend himself and the desire to stop fighting.