The Canterbury Trail

By (author): Angie Abdou
ISBN 9781897142509
Softcover | Publication Date: February 8, 2011
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
288 Pages

About the Book

Winner of a 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal

It’s the last ski weekend of the season and a mishmash of snow-enthusiasts is on its way to a remote backwoods cabin. In an odd pilgrimage through the mountains, the townsfolk of Coalton—from the ski bum to the urbanite—embark on a bizarre adventure that walks the line between comedy and tragedy. As the rednecks mount their sleds and the hippies snowshoe through the cedar forest, we see rivals converge for the weekend. While readers follow the characters on their voyage up and over the mountain, stereotypes of ski-town culture fall away. Loco, the ski bum, is about to start his first real job; Alison, the urbanite, is forced to learn how to wield an avalanche shovel; and Michael, the real estate developer, is high on mushroom tea.

In a blend of mordant humour and heartbreak, Angie Abdou chronicles a day in the life of these industrious few as they attempt to conquer the mountain. In an avalanche of action, Angie Abdou explores the way in which people treat their fellow citizens and the landscape they love.

About the Author(s)

Angie Abdou is a fiction writer and teacher with a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Calgary. She has published a short story collection called Anything Boys Can Do (2006) and a novel called The Bone Cage (2007). The Bone Cage is taught in university-level Sport Literature courses across the continent and was included on Canadian Literature's "All-Time Top Ten List of Best Canadian Sport Literature." Angie was raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and now lives in Fernie, British Columbia, with her husband and two children. Please visit


“Original and entertaining.” —Quill & Quire

Abdou’s writing is concise and observant. Her attention to detail and awareness of the backcountry lifestyle is refreshing. But it’s what’s happening on a deeper level—the struggles of bridging a ski bum lifestyle with the necessities of a career, pragmatism and belonging—that are revealed like a ski carving through layers of bottomless snow. —Backcountry Skiing Canada

[The] Canterbury Trail . . . is much more than a story about a ski town. Like all great novels, it is a ‘story of life’ that just happens to be set in snowy mountains, with all the characters traipsing around on skis. . . . It’s a delightful, thought-provoking book and I recommend it highly.” —Jon Turk, Powder Canada

“This amounts to a gnarly, original fictional journey. Abdou’s second novel is not the first literary work to emulate Chaucer’s classic, but it could be the most uninhibited and most fun.” —ABC Bookworld

“[Abdou] makes us care whether or not [her characters] find their magical chalice and make it back from their pilgrimage.” —The Winnipeg Review

The Canterbury Trail often seems like an anthropological study of those who’ve devoted their lives to the mountains, and Abdou doesn’t shy away from more unsavoury aspects of ski culture.” —National Post

“Chaucer’s friars, squires, merchants and summoners are substituted with ski bums, hippies, fish-out-of-water urbanites and rednecks from the fictional town of Coalton, B.C., who make a bizarre pilgrimage to a remote backwoods cabin [in The Canterbury Trail].” —The Calgary Herald

“An unlikely group is pushed together, Big Chillish-style, for a close encounter of the awkward kind.” —January Magazine

“Each period in Canadian Literature has its bright lights, pre-confederation Canada has Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Trail; Ondaatje, Atwood, Laurence, and Munro all came to prominence in the 60s; and if I were to make a list of the great 21st century Canadian novelists to date, Angie Abdou would definitely be on the list.” —The Canadian Book Review blog