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Publisher's Summary

"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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not what I expected

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.

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  • Joel
  • NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States
  • 07-25-12

Not All that Starts Well, Ends Well

I loved the opening hour or two of Canada. The premise was interesting, the characters seemed to have depth. And then you realize that the opening few moments are some of the more interesting of the book. There is no denying that Richard Ford has a mastery of the English language and shows it off in this book. However the journey and the characters begin to feel morose.

I think more then anything you should be aware that this is not an uplifting book. So if you are looking for a lighter summer read this probably isn't the book for you.

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Disturbing but Literary

This book does what good literature is supposed to do: provoke thought. Anyone looking for a good time read to pass the time while driving should steer away from this one. Richard Ford's phrasing is often poetic here, and one gets the idea that he spent much time considering how to construct his narrative for maximum meaning. Destined to show up on English teachers' reading lists, the book provides substantial fodder for analysis and thought. Despite the disturbing and ultimately somewhat depressing events of Del's life, Holter Graham manages to create a sympathetic voice for the hero even though it recounts a life that few of us will envy.

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disappointed

What disappointed you about Canada?

Supposedly written from memory of 10yo recalling events as an adult. Instead an excruciating detailed account from adult as if he could recall the complex dynamics of the family unit. This reads more like a self help book from an adult trying to work his way through an emotional recovery from childhood. I kept waiting for this listen to pick up but it plodded along like a mule through mud. The narrator was not to blame.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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This one was painful to finish...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The performance of this audio book is fine, but the writing drones on endlessly. I purchased the book based on reviews that I had read, but it was not at all what I had hoped for.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful