RAVEN CAFE

Set­ting looks like land­mark pool hall

The Peterborough Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - KENNEDY GOR­DON Ex­am­iner Staff Writer kgor­[email protected]­ter­bor­oughex­am­iner.com

Coun. Dean Pap­pas and lo­cal au­thors com­bine on new book Tales from the raven cafe.

They gather ev­ery morn­ing at the Raven Cafe in down­town Peter­bor­ough, where they swap sto­ries and of­fer ad­vice, all the while not men­tion­ing that they're all named af­ter char­ac­ters from the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

The Raven Cafe, by the way, looks a lot like Pap­pas Bil­liards, and hap­pens to be lo­cated at the same ad­dress.

"This was the idea," said Dean Pap­pas, owner of the land­mark pool hall. "We wanted it to re­flect what hap­pens in places like this, the cul­ture, the peo­ple."

He's talk­ing about Tales from the Raven Cafe, an un­usual new book writ­ten as a col­lab­o­ra­tion by eight lo­cal writ­ers, Pap­pas in­cluded.

"It's some­thing I'd had per­co­lat­ing for a while, and I tried to get it off the ground a few years ago, but this time it took hold," Pap­pas said.

He met with writ­ers Fred Ca­hoon, Val Crow­ley, Lloyd Gra­ham, J.R. Ma­clean, Jay Perkins, Claire Sul­li­van and J.S. Thomp­son last year to sug­gest a unique project. He wanted to have them each write a lo­cally ori­ented story about a char­ac­ter with a Poe name, set­ting out with only a para­graph-long char­ac­ter sketch writ­ten by Pap­pas.

"A lot of it was done by email," Gra­ham said. "We'd touch base with one an­other to make sure things lined up."

That was cru­cial, Pap­pas said, adding the group met only three times over the course of the project as they wrote chap­ters about their char­ac­ters.

"If I knew I was us­ing some­one else's char­ac­ter, I would let them know and we'd work out how it would work," he said.

Gra­ham said the project took a lot of edit­ing to bring its com­plex con­ti­nu­ities to­gether, but the end re­sult is a very Peter­bor­ough story about peo­ple ev­ery­one knows.

"The names are from Poe, but that's all it is," he said. "Just the names. These are sto­ries about Peter­bor­ough."

The book opens with Au­guste Dupin, named for Poe's le­gendary de­tec­tive char­ac­ter. But this Dupin is a young Viet­namese man liv­ing in Peter­bor­ough.

Pap­pas chose to write about Rod­er­ick Usher, whose names comes from one of his favourite Poe sto­ries, The Fall of the House of Usher.

"I love Poe, al­ways have," Pap­pas said. "But this was re­ally just about us­ing the names."

The book is now for sale at Ti­tles Book­store and Pap­pas Bil­liards, both on Ge­orge St., with plans to have it avail­able online in the works. A for­mal launch is also com­ing up, Gra­ham said, with de­tails to be an­nounced.

KENNEDY GOR­DON

Dean Pap­pas flips through a copy of Tales­fromther­aven­café, a new book writ­ten by eight lo­cal writ­ers - Pap­pas in­cluded - at Pap­pas Bil­liards on Ge­orge St. The land­mark pool hall and cof­fee shop is the thinly veiled set­ting of the book, which fea­tures...

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