Once You Break A Knuckle

Once You Break A Knuckle

eBook - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Set in the remote Kootenay Valley in western Canada, Once You Break a Knuckle tells stories of good people doing bad things: two bullied adolescents sabotage a rope swing, resulting in another boy's death; a heartbroken young man refuses to warn his best friend about an approaching car; sons challenge fathers and break taboos. Crackling with tension and propelled by jagged, cutting dialogue, the stories interconnect and reveal to us how our best intentions are doomed to fail or injure, how our loves can fall short or mislead us, how even friendship-especially friendship-can be something dangerously temporary.

Wilson's world is always dangerous, barbed with violence and the possibility of betrayal. And yet, in this small, finely-wrought universe, a dogged, wry dignity is usually enough to see us through.

An intoxicating alloy of adrenaline and the kind of vulnerability we would all admit to if we were honest, Once You Break a Knuckle is about the courage it takes just to make it through the day.

Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton Canada, 2011
ISBN: 9780143185765
Characteristics: 1 online resource


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

D.W. Wilson’s collection of interconnected short stories features mill workers, tradesmen and small town RCMP. There are stories featuring boyhood mistakes, summer road trips and brushes with the law. Most of the characters are male, struggling to communicate, and to maintain both their masculinity and their close relationships. The book is pure Canadiana, non-sentimental but steeped in British Columbia’s small town resource economy. All and all it is a slightly heartbreaking look at small town life. It will be interesting to see where this young BC writer goes next – this book really stuck with me. (submitted by SF)

Mar 22, 2014

These interlinked stories are about men and boys in small towns in the Kootenay valley of British Columbia. These working class characters are mostly inarticulate and not able to express their emotions and the book is high on testosterone . Wilson can certainly write well. Will he go on to write beyond his personal experience?

Dec 04, 2011

There are a lot of really good writers in Canada, and a lot of good short story writers- Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant, etc. But there are not a lot of really good Canadian male writers that write like D. W. Wilson. Stories about work, fathers and sons, cops, ex girlfriends and ex wives. Very guy type stories. Every character is at home hunting and fishing, fixing cars or building houses. Stuff that Hemingway would approve of.
Read this book of short stories. Take my advice. You can thank me later.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top