Nikolski

Based on a podcast I started following recently, What Canada Reads, I bought this book with much trepidation from World’s Biggest Book Store (BTW, is it really the biggest book store?). Why the trepidation, I will go into it soon.

Brief synopsis of the book : the story follows three people (Noah (a descendant of native Canadian), Joyce (a descendent of Canadian pirates) and the book’s narrator). Each of these characters have had an odd upbringing and are connected to each other by a book that has been sown together from three books. In the end each character continues on a new adventure away from the drudgery of their current lives.

I love books that have parallel stories going on and have a thread of commonality between the stories especially when the authour holds off on the link right till the end. On that note, this book really delivers!

The pace of the book is remarkable. The book reads like a wave – sometimes it’s smooth sailing, sometimes turbulent and sometimes scary. By the time the authour had introduced us to the characters’ quirks and obsessions, he tells us how they are living their lives (one is idling away in a bookstore, one is selling fish by day and pirating (credit cards, etc.) by night and the last one is in some island digging up garbage for analysis). But you can feel the restlessness of each of these characters. They have a yearning to move on but they are completely lost and would have stayed that way but thanks to circumstances beyond their control (or because of it) they find a new lease on their lives.

The prose of the book is sublime and easy to read. I mean, I don’t really read a book very fast but I was able to read and absorb this book in 5 days. By absorb I mean, I would go back a few pages every now and then to try and get to the meaning (another reason why I don’t read books quickly).

On the whole a very satisfying book which will keep bouncing in your head for a few days.

BTW, my trepidation on buying this book from World’s Biggest Book Store stems from the fact that the book industry is represented by Indigo here in Canada. That’s it. There are no other big names and it really irritates me that they dictate the industry. The only challenge is from Amazon and that leaves me unsatisfied because I LOVE book stores so I go to only the small book stores for my purchases (New books). Therefore, when purchasing this item from Indigo I felt like I was committing a crime but the book was at a discount ($10!!) and it was signed by the authour. A deal that could not be overlooked.

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