Crad Kilodney, 1948-2014



Somewhere in my room I still have one of Crad’s chapbooks. I can’t recall the title, but I definitely recall Crad. I saw him regularly, though we rarely spoke. (Did he perhaps attend the wonderful Harbourfront Reader’s Series that Greg Gatenby used to run, and perhaps still runs?).

At the time I was a student at Vic College and walked to and fro daily, between the married students residences on 30/35 Charles Street and Vic, with its wonderful, orangey ice-cream-cone-roofed College. Eventually I ran into Crad and wound up swapping one of my belongings for one of his books. I let him choose which of his writings he gave me. Would that I could remember what I swapped for it… maybe a bike, maybe a book, maybe a loonie or toonie–if they existed at the time. The exchange occurred curbside (of course!), sometime during the late 1980s or early 1990s.

I do not recall the title of the book, but I do remember that it was accompanied by a gruff, slightly annoying comment; like “how would I know what you want?” He handed me one at random, which suited me fine. It was an intriguing interaction.

Wherever he now is, or isn’t, I hope he’s happy. Or at least… not unhappy.

RIP Crad.

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Can’t say I “knew” him, but did buy books and an audiocassette from him in the late 80s; he standing on a street corner, sometimes in the financial district sometimes not; me going about my business as a 21-year-old messenger boy.

Still have all the books, wish I knew what became of the cassette – I remember it being hilarious.

He was not a great writer in any conventional sense, but still clever, funny, and the perpetrator of wonderful pranks: submitting famous stories to literary competitions under assumed names; or holding his own “competitions” by soliciting unknown writers through classified ads and publishing the results (plus, I believe but can’t be sure, some of his own deliberately dreadful tales) under titles like “Worst Canadian Stories”. His sense of humour was encapsulated in the name of his self-publishing imprint: Charnel House.

I hadn’t given him much thought over the last 20 years or so, but am saddened to hear he’s gone. RIP

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In the notes to Paying For It, Chester Brown highly recommends two books by Crad Kilodney. This is how I belatedly came to read both Excrement and Putrid Scum and I have to say that I loved both books! Taken together, the two were an engaging reading experience that I’m genuinely glad I had the chance to undertake (thanks to Chester Brown’s recommendation and to ABE, the online book-buying site that allowed me to find the books). What’s to be written? Crad Kilodney now has a fan in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (far far away, I know) and, if I may put it this way, I wish his spirit well. At a time, due to the evil of the bully in Ottawa, I am hard-pressed to think about reading “anything Canadian”, I will soon re-read this two volumes (and a few others by him that I have yet to experience) in memory of him. DaP

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Aw damn. I remember Crad well, selling his crappy books on Yonge Street. I bought a few from him over the years and return to them from time to time. They always make me laugh.

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