From The Globe and Mail:
…a fast-moving, unsentimental look at amateur hockey, masculinity, mid-life crisis, drink, drugs and family secrets. Despite this rather daunting and joyless list of topics, which in less skillful hands would sound like outtakes from a bad Oprah, the book itself is brisk, engaging and, in the end, very moving, an altogether impressive first effort. - Read the Full Review
- Tom Sandborn
From Quill and Quire:
…funny and melancholy… Smart dialogue and well-drawn characters make Fitzpatrick’s study of the things we say, the things we don’t say, and the confusion and misunderstanding in between simultaneously funny and painfully accurate.- Read the Full Review
- Stephen Knight
From the St. John’s Telegram:
The writing is assured, the tone both sensitive and wry, and the characters, settings and events well-realized.
- Joan Sullivan
From the Toronto Review of Books:
A tough part of any hockey novel is capturing the game’s attraction without sounding like a beer commercial or a politician in trouble, and in this regard Fitzpatrick shines. - Read the Full Review
- Jason Blake
From January Magazine:
This is a book that will touch the part of you that gets up in the morning and carries on like any other day, but also the part that is just a little weary of family and relationship drama, the part that uncomfortably relates to Derek’s life. - Read the Full Review
- Suzanne Norman
From Salty Ink:
Fitzpatrick’s language, wit, and honest portrayal of human beings dealing with love, loss, life, gonorrhea, aging, family secrets, and plain keeping our chins up is fearless, brisk as a Russian slapshot, and endearingly human. And his portrayal of St. John’s is refreshingly honest and spot-on too. - Read the Full Review
- Chad Pelley
From Reeder Reads:
(A) lovely and genuine coming of age story about a man who’s still on a mission to find himself at the age of forty-one. - Read the Full Review
- Lindsey Reeder
Early praise for You Could Believe in Nothing:
Jamie Fitzpatrick teases the truth from the background noise and upends our collective myths about family, love, and sport. A remarkable novel – with more wit and wisdom than you can shake a stick at.
- Jessica Grant, author of “Come, Thou Tortoise”
“You Could Believe in Nothing” proudly wears its great big heart on its sleeve. It is funny and funny/sad, riding the life cycle of joy and disappointment and family. It is of a place, for sure, a place changing by the minute, at once embracing and shedding its past. And all the while, hockey, the great national shorthand, is the blood coursing through its veins. Reading it, you can smell the unique funk of a thousand hockey bags lying open on damp dressing room floors, a strange perfume indeed. Great stuff.
- Stephen Brunt, author of “Gretzky’s Tears” and “Searching for Bobby Orr”
Manhood exposed in a series of sharply focused close ups, “You Could Believe in Nothing” is a rush down fast ice by the rookie of the year.
- Edward Riche, author of “Easy to Like” and “The Nine Planets”
A well-turned book about loss. What it lacks in hope and beauty, it makes up for with plainspokenness… [It deals with] a group of people who do not often appear in literature – thirty-somethings who lack vision and believe in nothing, but know who they are.
An insightful glimpse into the wayward lives of privileged urbanites and their mostly unconscious quest for peace and placement in an increasingly detached modern Newfoundland. Rendered in seasoned, unpretentious prose and amply peppered with the yearning sexual tensions of the Internet generation…
A well-crafted manuscript. The dialogue, in particular, makes this book come alive (it had me from the first page)-but also the narrative sense, the canny slippage of time and event, the precision of image.
- Judge’s comments, Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador