Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Canada | Book Review

Author: Richard Ford
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 2/5

"First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later." 
When fifteen-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed.His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border, in hopes of delivering him to a better life. There, afloat on the prairie of Saskatchewan, Dell is taken in by Arthur Remlinger, an enigmatic and charismatic American whose cool reserve masks a dark and violent nature.Undone by the calamity of his parents' robbery and arrest, Dell struggles under the vast prairie sky to remake himself and define the adults he thought he knew. But his search for grace and peace only moves him nearer to a harrowing and murderous collision with Remlinger, an elemental force of darkness.


This book has been sitting on my shelf for a bit more than a year because, when I received it, the summary didn’t catch my attention too much. But, this month I decided to pick it up and give it a read… But I regret it…

Canada is the fictional autobiography of Dell Parsons.
It begins with the phrase: “First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.” And, with that, you already know the main events of the book.

The novel is divided in three parts:

The first part is about the weeks before Dell’s parents robbed the Agricultural National Bank in Creekmore, North Dakota, an insight of his family and descriptions of the members, the days when Dell and Berner (Dell’s twin sister) had been left alone in the house while their parents went to rob the bank, their parents’ imprisonment, and a brother-sister sex scene, which I felt was out of place.

The second part starts with Berner running away, leaving Dell all alone in their house in Great Falls. Then, Mrs. Remlinger (a friend of Dell’s mother) arrives to the Parsons house to rescue Dell and to take him to Canada under his mother’s instructions. Once they crossed the border, Dell is handed over to Charley Quarters, who drove Dell to Partreau, Saskatchewan, Canada, where he’s taken by Arthur Remlinger (Mrs. Remlinger’s brother) and is put to work at the Leonards hotel. In this part, you’ll also find the murders mentioned in the first line of the novel. I really disliked how the murders were described and that damaged the sensation of it being an important event of the novel. The gunshots’ sound was described as a ‘pop’…. And that ‘pop’ was mentioned the five times the gun was shot.

The third part is the shortest and is a foreword about the events.

I didn’t like this novel and it took me a long time (and a lot of effort) to finish it. Descriptions of events and of people given by Dell were too repetitive and he himself was redundant while narrating his biography (‘As I mentioned before’, ‘I said this before’, and equivalents were used a lot).

I also felt like the whole biography was narrated emotionless. I felt like it was all in the same slow pace.

If you’re looking for a good crime novel, this one is not for you.

Lots of Love,

- Salha -

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