NICE THINGS PEOPLE SAY ABOUT RAY’S BOOKS:
One of Canada’s finest novelists.
One of the country’s finest literary voices.
Clever, word-drunk, and falling-down funny . . . Robertson is a moral writer and a bitingly intelligent one, a man who writes with penetrating insight of what needs to be written about: beauty, truth and goodness
-Globe and Mail
Heartfelt, funny, rigorous, practical without ever being preachy. Robertson has the born essayist’s way with an aphorism, and his catholic range is contagious: when he pulls in Lord Byron and Jimmie Rodgers as back-to-back sources, he not only evinces no strain, he makes you think of a romantic poet and a yodelling country singer as natural soul brothers.
–The Montreal Gazette
Robertson’s writing style walks the line between the scholarly approach of Robert Christgau of Village Voice and Rolling Stone fame and that of Lester Bangs, who rivalled Hunter S. Thompson in terms of opinionated and decadent balls-to-the-wall journalism. Robertson likes to drop frequent F-bombs to remind us that this is no ordinary academic subject, but he never seems to lose track of the idea his readers are looking for facts and intelligent arguments.
-Winnipeg Free Press
The language is so mordant, relaxed, flint-chip shapely and edged, I think Sam Spade must have said these haiku first, between gun-butts to the skull, and Robertson channelled them. They’re the alleys, sidewalks, offices, subways of modern Toronto, and they have the Zen poet’s reverence for the world as presence of the All (“Sleet storm / Tin roof / Who needs Mozart?”). Their search for a way out only momentarily succeeds, and never ends, but it hovers around ecstasy. “Gasoline rainbows / Exist / Look!”
—A. F. Moritz, author of As Far As You Can Go and Toronto’s Poet Laureate