Performer Marcie Millard rises to the challenge of embodying each of Angie Abdou's 14 at-odds "pilgrims" on their comi-tragic quest to reach Camelot, the soon-to-be-overcrowded mountain shack at the end of British Columbia's Canterbury trail. Millard's performance embraces the individual regional quirks that loom large in the group dynamics that reflect the economic and cultural conflicts that arise in a mining town-turned-tourist-trap: the juvenile stoners' rich ski bum slang, miner Fredrik's lilting Swedish-tinged English, and Quebecois Claudette's proud, angry French.
As Abdou's stereotypes climb their mountain, the complexities, anxieties, and motivations that make them human come to light, and though Camelot may not be the Holy Grail they were hoping for, it may leave them some of the compassion and maturity they need.
It's the last ski weekend of the season and a mishmash of snow enthusiasts are on their way to a remote backwoods cabin. In an odd pilgrimage through the mountains, the townsfolk of Coalton - from the ski bum to the urbanite - embark on a bizarre adventure that walks the line between comedy and tragedy.
As the rednecks mount their sleds and the hippies snowshoe through the cedar forest, we see rivals converge for the weekend. While listeners follow the characters on their voyage up and over the mountain, stereotypes of ski town culture fall away. Loco, the ski bum, is about to start his first real job; Alison, the urbanite, is forced to learn how to wield an avalanche shovel; and Michael, the real estate developer, is high on mushroom tea.
In a blend of mordant humor and heartbreak, Angie Abdou chronicles a day in the life of these industrious few as they attempt to conquer the mountain. In an avalanche of action, Angie Abdou explores the way in which people treat their fellow citizens and the landscape they love.
Any additional comments?
Really enjoyed the story and the performance was pretty solid.
The one thing that really bugged me was that Marcie Millard didn't learn the Canadian word "toque" which comes up often in the book. She pronounces it like "toke" but it should be said "took" with long U sound.
When a word comes up that often in a book and you don't know how to pronounce it, it only makes sense to look it up before reading it wrong dozens of times. This probably only bothers Canadians and others who know the word "toque". Other than that I found the book to be very enjoyable.
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