Kessaris manages to convey a sense of shared history through the prose itself, bringing the Montreal immigrant experience to life with wry humour and painstaking attention to detail. —Montreal Review of Books
The Butcher of Park Ex is a humorous collection of personal stories inspired by the author's life growing up in Montreal's Park Extension neighbourhood, with Greek immigrant parents who never quite adapted to life in their new country. Never really fitting in with his ethnic community, and never feeling like part of mainstream Quebec or Canadian society, he sets out on an over forty-year search for answers, encountering amazingly interesting people and unique misadventures while trying to navigate a world where he is constantly the odd man out.
The son of Greek immigrants, Andreas Kessaris grew up in the Park Extension district of Montreal. He has a B.A. from Concordia University. His feature column, Read On! with Andreas Kessaris was a popular feature in The Local Herald. His work has appeared on Suite 101.com and Curtainsup.ca. He currently resides in the Town of Mont-Royal, Quebec.
The stories that Kessaris shares in the book are filled with humour, comedy, camaraderie, and plenty of pathos that will automatically create a deep feeling of empathy for the author in his endless pursuit of personal happiness.- The Montreal Times
For Montrealers, the liberal use of local landmarks and street names helps contribute to the impression that we’ve been here before; over the course of the collection, he attends parties on Clark Street, peruses record stores on Ste. Catherine’s, and recalls childhood trips to the Fairview centre in Pointe-Claire and Les Galeries d’Anjou. But the sense of paramnesia goes beyond place names that exist on a map. Kessaris manages to convey a sense of shared history through the prose itself, bringing the Montreal immigrant experience to life with wry humour and painstaking attention to detail.- Montreal Review of Books
The stories in The Butcher of Park Ex are sometimes irreverent, and at times even a little sad, but they’re always filled with humour and honesty. Andreas Kessaris tells it like it is and doesn’t shy away from self-deprecation. He could be the star of his own sitcom, a sort of Greek Anglo-Montrealer mix of Kramer and George in Seinfeld. If someone asked me which Greek God best represents Andreas, I would answer: “The one that couldn’t sit still, broke the mould, and doesn’t have his own statue."- Montreal Noir
Kessaris is generous with his story-telling. His collection features 24 “semi-truthful tales,” each with a nice twist revealing the narrator’s personality in bite-size doses.- The Ottawa Review of Books
Andreas Kessaris's collection of short stories will delight the reader. Each tale is a gem combining wit with deeper feelings drawn from life. After reading this book readers will wait impatiently for more from this talented writer.- Richard King, CBC
A bittersweet but charming coming of age look at the universal Montreal immigrant experience. Brimming with a yearning innocent nostalgia, it brings the rich street scene of Park Extension to life with painstaking attention to the telling detail.- Tommy Schnurmacher, broadcaster and author of Makeup Tips From Auschwitz: How Vanity Saved My Mother’s Life
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