Spit Delaney's Island (1976), a short-story collection by Jack Hodgins, creates memorable characters in and against the varied landscape of Vancouver Island, at once a place of isolation and community. The stories focus on the effects of change or the process of transformation; they are characterized by a combination of high-spirited humour, grotesque detail, and understated pathos, all of which complement the essential integrity of the protagonists. Concrete, descriptive language, lively dialogue, and sometimes violent action create vivid portraits of people caught between illusion and reality, the fantastic and the mundane. Resolution, however, is possible and the depiction of Spit Delaney, the folksy, eccentric protagonist of the first and last stories, is paradigmatic: the bizarre is seen in a comprehensive and sympathetic light; the transcending ordinary is revealed in the everyday extraordinary.