Posts Tagged ‘Songs for the Cold of Heart’

The 2018 Shadow Giller Winner

November 18, 2018

We are thrilled to reveal that the Shadow Giller winner for 2018 is:

Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric DuPont

Congratulations to author Eric DuPont, translator Peter McCambridge and Publisher QC Fiction!

I think we were all won over by this amazing book with all its stories within stories and echos of itself. It’s a big book, but every sentence and every word entertains. The official Giller jury citation is as follows: “Once upon a time in Quebec there was a girl named Madeleine. A tiny red headed waif with only a suitcase in her possession steps off a train in a frozen village, and a strapping Quebec man falls head over heels in love with her strangeness. A baby is born from this union that is so big, it manages to kill both its parents in childbirth. As magnificent a work of irony and magic as the boldest works of Gabriel Garcí¬a Márquez, but with a wholly original sensibility that captures the marvellous obsessions of the Quebecois zeitgeist of the twentieth century. It is without any doubt, a tour de force. And the translation is as exquisite as a snowflake.

An excerpt from Marcie’s review: “Lost earrings and lost arrows. Trick knives and silver spoons. Snowstorms and air raids. Flapjacks and upside-down pineapple cake. Gold crosses and amber barrettes. Fireworks and torpedoes, gunshots and fisticuffs. Sugars and fevers. Eggs on roses and roses behind ears. Tenors and letters. Mary Tyler Moore and Leonard Cohen. The Thorn Birds and The Origins of Totalitarianism. Outdoor operas and bottled schnapps. Chihuahuas and zebras. Skyscrapers and caskets. Stuffed animals and smuggled paintings. Nativity scenes and restaurant chains. Emissaries and mirrors.

It’s not just a complete meal, it’s an entire menu.

An excerpt from Naomi’s review: “Songs for the Cold of Heart is made up of stories within stories. Stories that go back to the turn of the 20th century, stories that take place all over the world, stories that dazzle and shock – love, ambition, adventure, betrayal, tragedy, family, home – stories with echos and parallels running through them – teal coloured eyes, bass clef birthmarks, recurring names, paintings of the Virgin’s death, mustachioed Popes – and stories that entertain, each one the antidote to the last.

 

How did we choose our winner?

As per usual, each juror was given 100 points to disperse and these were sent to Mrs KfC, who acted as our independent adjudicator. The results were as follows:

Kim: Dupont-30, Edugyan-17, deWitt-18, Lim-25, Heti-10

Marcie: DuPont-25, Edugyan-22, deWitt-19, Lim-17, Heti-17

Naomi: DuPont-35, Edugyan-19, deWitt-18, Lim-14, Heti-14

Alison: DuPont-24, Edugyan-21, deWitt-21, Lim-17, Heti-17

 

A unanimous vote for Songs for the Cold of Heart – and it wasn’t even close. This is the first time since I have joined the jury that the results have been so clear-cut, with no need to discuss or negotiate.

Now we wait to see whether the real Giller Prize jury agree with us. They will name their official winner on Monday, 19 November. For specific timings, please visit the official website.

What do you think of our choice? Have you read Songs for the Cold of Heart, or do you plan to?

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Three From the Shortlist #1

November 1, 2018

I think I can safely say that we are all well underway with our reading, and the shortlisted reviews are starting to pop up. Here are three, one from each of the bloggers among us…

 

Kim reviews Washington Black

The Good:A dizzying page-turner that takes in scientific polar exploration, the windswept beaches of Nova Scotia, the aristocratic manor houses of 19th century London, the canals of Amsterdam and the deserts of Morocco, this is a true adventure story that brims with menace and tension and love.

The Flawed:But it’s not a perfect novel. There are paradigm shifts, which seem to come out of nowhere and are disorienting for the reader. Some of these shifts feel too far-fetched to be believable and this serves to ruin the perceived authenticity of Wash’s tale. And then, when Titch disappears from the narrative at about the half-way point, suddenly the heart of the story — the mysterious and intriguing relationship between him and Wash — is gone: it’s like taking a cake out of the oven too early so that it collapses.”

The Conclusion: Visit Kim’s blog, Reading Matters, for the full review!

 

Marcie reviews French Exit

The Ludicrous:Ludicrous and lugubrious, sorrow-soaked and snort-worthy: Patrick deWitt’s novel packs a wallop. You might bite your lip to hold in your laughter, but then consider chewing through it, just to taste the blood, the life beneath the surface of it all.

The Bewildering:It’s also one of those books from which you read lines to your companion and, then, discover, when you look up at them, that the thing that you are feeling is not the thing they are feeling. And, when it comes to describing what you are feeling, that’s when you realise that you’re not even sure what that is. But something you wanted to share.

The Conclusion: Visit Marcie’s blog, Buried in Print, for the full review!

 

Naomi reviews Songs for the Cold of Heart

The Storied:Songs for the Cold of Heart is made up of stories within stories. Stories that go back to the turn of the 20th century, stories that take place all over the world, stories that dazzle and shock – love, ambition, adventure, betrayal, tragedy, family, home – stories with echos and parallels running through them – teal coloured eyes, bass clef birthmarks, recurring names, paintings of the Virgin’s death, mustachioed Popes – and stories that entertain, each one the antidote to the last.”

The Surprising:This book is not a stranger to surprising, tragic and disturbing events.

The Conclusion: Visit my blog, Consumed by Ink, for the full review!

 

 

Have you read any of these? Do you plan to?


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