REVIEWS of my BOOKS

May Not Appear Exactly As Shown

"Gordon Leenders’ first novel, May Not Appear Exactly As Shown, [is] the most arresting and unnerving portrait of urban public space I’ve read in years...Toronto is so accurate, so breathtakingly unadorned, it induces appalled shudders of recognition...Leenders’s portrait of our overproduced, brand-besieged lives is spot-on, and not easily forgotten."

- The Globe and Mail
 

"Author Gordon Leenders has debuted with a thoughtful, stylishly jagged and engrossing novel. May Not Appear Exactly As Show (is) captivating and terrifying and very difficult to put down."

- The Hamilton Spectator
 

"May Not Appear Exactly As Shown is so full of puzzles and mysteries and contradictions that it engages our undivided attention from the beginning to the end and beyond.  There is nothing safe about this novel. There are no half-measures. Because Leenders is imaginative, compassionate, realistic and ruthless, he is able to show the comic aspects of suicide as well as the tragic. Leenders’ expert handling of black humour creates depth and texture. He stuns us with many, many surprises. Exploring suicide as a way of looking at life is a wonderful and clever use of paradox. Leenders is a talented and gifted writer." 

- Prairie Fire, Review of Books

To Be Continued...Volume One

"Gordon Leenders’ new novel To Be Continued...is a stylistic treasure and sinful pleasure.  Leenders is a very patient writer and great with dialogue. His characters are anything he wants them to be: insipid, shallow, brave, terrifying, whatever. He’s got the whole toolbox. To Be Continued...is a fabulous read."            - The Hamilton Spectator

 

"I happily read To Be Continued in a single sitting and was genuinely caught up in its turns and tumbles. Leenders is a talented writer, inventive and warm. Not all the characters in this book are benevolent or happy, but there is something like a feeling of belonging that is engendered from the side-by-side telling of their stories. They may be strangers to one another, but they are held together by a shared familiarity with the shape and pulse of their city."   - Books in Canada
 

"Gordon Leenders shows again his superior knack for storytelling in his new book, To Be Continued. It is hard to put down once you starting reading and useless to decide to stop reading at the end of a story. You can't. As a social commentator and descriptive writer, Leenders is Dickens' equal. Gordon Leenders is an original writer with original ideas. He is one of (Canada's) talents and is soaring to the top of the heap."            - Prairie Fire, Review of Books

 

"Eloquently written and engrossing, To Be Continued...leaves you wanting for more, page after page.  This book is funny, happy, sad and intriguing ― a lot like life. It is the perfect summer read."   - Surface & Symbol, Toronto

 

"In To Be Continued... novelist, Gordon Leenders, creates a world of snappy, seductive and cunning [characters]...Leenders describes Canadiana with passion and fervour." 

- Matrix Magazine, Montreal

 

To Be Continued...Volume Two

  

"Gordon Leenders is a master of deft, pitch-perfect dialogue. Much of the story-telling in To Be Continued...Volume Two is advanced through dialogue, and it all conveys the illusion of genuine overheard conversation, an illusion that can only be achieved by the most careful and subtle heightening of language. Leenders's dialogue has just enough tension and stylization to seem true to life on the page, and his intricate plot shifts from character to character and scene to scene with cinematic momentum. Leenders is clearly a writer to watch for those who look to prose fiction for humour, pathos and swift, effective storytelling."          - The Globe and Mail


"Light on description and heavy on interesting banter, To Be Continued...Volume Two is a fast-paced, engrossing read. There is something in the book for everyone― comedy, tragedy, action, irony, and intellectual stimulation. Leenders will grab your attention from the first page and trigger a colourful array of emotions. Feasting on the slices of life that Leenders presents you with is like sinking your teeth into a delicious dessert, or hearing some really juicy gossip. In other words, it's a guilty pleasure waiting to be devoured."             - surface & symbol, Toronto


 "Volume Two is stylistically similar and even more riveting than the first...Leenders’s characters, their settings and insights are clearly etched and engaging; his straightforward, powerful prose keeps things at a roiling boil. But the big star here is the novel’s new form (it has yet to be awarded a name). You feel as if you are at the next table at coffee shop or lounging on a bench, inadvertently eavesdropping on something juicy and shocking."         - The Hamilton Spectator.

To Be Continued...Volume Three

  

To Be Continued...Volume Three by Gordon Leenders was named as an Editor's Choice in The Vancouver Sun. "[Leenders] is a writer with a gift for dialogue."