"First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later."
When 15-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.
A true masterwork of haunting and spectacular vision from one of our greatest writers, Canada is a profound novel of boundaries traversed, innocence lost and reconciled, and the mysterious and consoling bonds of family. Told in spare, elegant prose, both resonant and luminous, it is destined to become a classic.
©2012 Richard Ford (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
Good story with characters you care about whether or not you like them. It had some twists that I didn't expect which kept my interest. The main character holds his emotions in close check so it felt at times as if he was narrating someone else's story. It was his survival mechanism and was well used in this story.
The first lines of this book show us the “before and after” of an event which changed and vastly influenced the life of Dell Parsons, and his twin sister, Berner. "First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later." When the twins are fifteen, their parents, (immature and dysfunctional adults at the best of times) got the brilliant idea to rob a bank in a small town in order to get them out of debts to some dangerous people. The twins, who know nothing about this until after it happens, are abandoned as the parents are taken off to jail and ultimately convicted. Their mother did ask a friend to help them. Berner didn’t wait around for help but took herself off to San Francisco, but Dell was taken by this friend to Canada to live with her brother. He turned out to be a violent man who committed murder to rid himself of people coming to arrest him, and from there Dell’s life changes for the better. This is a haunting and well written story about events which happen, over which very young teenagers have no control, and how they each dealt with those events through the rest of their lives. It’s an excellent book.
Yes. But not until I digest it; I'll be thinking about this book for months. Then I'll listen again.
The Last Child and A Place More Kind than Home. All are about boys and the terrible things that happen to them that most people they meet will never know about.
Del (the main character) alone after his parents are taken away to jail.
Del, of course. We have a lot in common.
This is a gripping, powerful story that's also philosophically and psychologically profound. And extremely well written and performed. I hate that it ended.
Really great listen!
The story line.....
Haven't listened to other works by author
No....just enjoyed the story...reminded me of the events of the era....
I'd call this a longitudinal study of the lives of two children from a dysfunctional family onto which Richard Ford adds carefully observed psychological nuance. So, though there is much to learn about the characters, it's not too much; we are genuinely concerned for their well being throughout their lives. The setting is rendered loosely enough to allow in cold atmospheric light so we can see these flawed, living and breathing characters in action over time. Ford conveys a sense of place is so authentic you will find yourself brushing your hand over the bed to clean the sheets and protect Dell in his little bed . I don't like stories so crushingly sad, but I had to know that Dell made it. I love how this book shows us that choice is key to our survival. I love how Dell understands this truth early in his life. So, I'll wipe away my tears and recommend Canada to anyone who can bear a dark read. It's worth the trip.
Yes. It's different from what I usually listen to, and interesting.
I'd keep it the same.
I listen to audiobooks frequently and found this listening experience to be among the top: great story, wonderfully human characters -- warts and all, great descriptions of time and place. I thought Holter Graham's narration was outstanding: flow, dramatic touches, even his voice were right-on in his capture of the main character and reveal of the story.
Characters were well developed and story was interesting -- a true page-turnerDD
Dell. Ford developed character of young man put into most trying circumstances. Dell had integrity
The development of the murders of the two men from Detroit.
This is a relentlessly gloomy novel where everything goes wrong. Set in 1960 in Great Falls, Montana (apparently a miserable place) and somewhere in Saskatchewan (even worse), it is the story of a twin brother and sister, military brats who never find a home, and their ill-matched, desperate parents who wreck it all. There are several references to Thomas Hardy. If you are partial to that author’s cheerful brand, maybe you’ll like this. I mostly didn’t.
The narrator tells you on page one that this is a story of bank robbery and murder, but of course it’s not crime fiction. There is no attempt grab your attention with a twisting plot, colorful characters or other middlebrow gimmicks. If a bank is going to get robbed, the act, the details, the outcome and the consequences are are telegraphed, and sometimes stated outright, well in advance, many times. If there’s a potentially deadly confrontation brewing, will someone perhaps get murdered? It’s right there on page one.
Apart from the first-person narrator, who is retelling his teenage experiences from a distance of many years, the characters are a sorry lot. There’s Dad, who excelled at incinerating the citizens of Osaka as a WWII bombardier but couldn’t adjust to peacetime. There’s Mom, who was meant for better things than life with this loser. There’s the irritable sister who just walks away.There’s a creepy metis hunting guide. There’s a sociopath. There are no laughs whatsoever.
There are, however, pages and pages of powerful writing. The tone is mostly restrained, highly controlled and undecorated, but now and then it blooms into something that just takes your breath away: “a life lived in a wind-deviled, empty-vistaed town, alienated, remote... . The towering weather, the endless calendar, the featureless days...” [Hope I didn’t mangle the transcription of those phrases]. That’s a lot of talent to deploy in the service of so much desolation.
I had heard how wonderful this book was and it was good, just not what I had expected. It was a bit melancholy. The main character is interesting and tells his story well. A bit too sad for me but very well done.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.