All literature – novels and stories of all kinds – holds up a mirror to the social order of the times, and can sometimes become an important part of the historical record. For example, reading a good novel written in the 19th century allows the reader to experience the look and feel of Dickens’ world, beyond what history books can provide.
One of my modest goals in writing Last Call at the Ringrose Pub was to describe day-to-day life in the West End of Montreal in the twenty-first century. What a surprise it is to realize that, in the space of three short years, this “contemporary” snapshot has already become a little dated, the colours somewhat faded.
Here is an excerpt from my recent post on Goodreads…
“I wrote this story in 2014. At the time, the c-cigarette business was flourishing, vape shops were popping up everywhere, and people like Joe Decarie were vaping away happily in restaurants and bars. In just three years, things have changed radically. The Quebec government has declared all vaping equipment to be tobacco products (even though this is obviously absurd). And Internet sales of vaping products are banned outright. So Rachel’s entire business would now be illegal. If she wanted to continue selling her stuff online, she would have to move to Ontario. And no more sweet vapor in the pub; Joe would have to go outside to vape today.
I guess Ringrose has become a historical novel!”