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Publisher's Summary

“I have never been faced with a moral crisis, let alone a matter of life or death.”

Peter Simons doesn’t spend much time at home in his apartment. Thanks to his job at a multinational company, he is often flying around the world, enjoying a life of luxurious solitude in five-star hotels. So when he returns after being away for nine months and notices a strange smell coming from his neighbour’s apartment, he initially tries not to get involved, but when a body is discovered, Peter’s carefully cultivated detachment begins to crumble. And when new people move into the vacant apartment, he gets caught up in a petty dispute that will bring him to the brink of moral ruin.

Bystander is a pitiless, bold work of intense psychological realism narrated by a professionally successful but socially bankrupt anti-hero who expects global connection and local anonymity. It excoriates the contingency of contemporary morality, and, at a time of growing isolation, forces the listener to examine what it means to be a good neighbour.

©2022 Mike Steeves (P)2022 Book*hug Press

Critic Reviews

“Steeves writes like a modern Dostoyevsky—or a literary Larry David—offering a searing indictment of white male mediocrity. Bystander is a howl and a rebuke, asking into the (smoke-filled) air, ‘why are we like this???’” —Sean Michaels, award-winning author of Us Conductors and The Wagers

 “Mike Steeves is a brilliant, singular voice in Can Lit: funny and fresh and fast!” —Miriam Toews, Scotiabank Giller Prize nominated author of Fight Night 

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