epub online The Parabolist AUTHOR Nicholas Ruddock – solutions–development.co.uk

The ParabolistLove the fact that this book is set in Toronto A little slow sometimes but very humourous and lyrical Another 2011 Toronto Book Award nominee about a group of medical students who become friends with a Mexican poet I liked it but I felt uite removed from the emotions of the characters mostly I think because it was 3rd person with no uotes or dashes for dialogue That often makes things feel uite muted to me Interesting ending though This uotes or dashes for dialogue That often makes things feel uite muted to me Interesting ending though This a very interesting book structurally The plot moves forward episodically rather than in a straight narrative line And each character has his or her own little episode Think of planets each with its own rotation also turning around the sun The fact that these episodes are not necessarily presented in chronological order asks Uite A Bit Of The Reader But a bit of the reader but the heck I found it a good work outPlease note If anyone is reading this I ust can t get my head around a number representing words so I m not using the rating scale above any Fun book that is about theold days following around a crowd of med #students who love poetry and seem to have time for each other Toronto 1975 A medical student Jasper Glass is out #who love poetry and seem to have time for each other Toronto 1975 A medical student Jasper Glass is out one night with his Mexican friend and poetry teacher Roberto when they disrupt a rape on Shaw Street Tales from the Rainbow Bridge just as it was turning into murder It is Roberto who kills the rapist but it s Jasper who leaves behind a smear of Crisco on the victim and remembers nothing of the incident when he wakes up the next dayBut that s not really what The Parabolist is about though this rapemurder provides an over arching plot and general structure in a book that is wonderfully unstructured Don t let that scare you off by unstructured I don t mean it s all over the place This is a book whose narrative moves effortlessly lightly on its feet back and forth and back again across the days uncluttered by chapters or dialogue punctuation I ve read only a few books set in Toronto like Margaret Atwood s Cat s Eye and Rabindranath Maharaj s The Amazing Absorbing Boy and each one has conveyed such a strong impression of place and time and Toronto that the city I ve always said lacks personality suddenly comes alive for me and proves me wrongPart of the strong sense of setting is the constant use of street names and landmarks Toronto hasn t changed that much over the decades A few well chosen words stripped bare revealing the grit and grime a hint of seediness clear autumn air a city preparing to be bigger and better than before Snippets like At the Silver Dollar the street was empty Spadina Avenue a few garbage cans a cat the neon sign that flickered half broken p54 and He walked out into King s College Road He could barely see at all the trees not yet fully leafed the high sun merciless his eyes blurred by tears and everything that mattered to him was still back inside that cold brick building where light was a rare unaccustomed visitor p86 Iust picked those randomly but they re not exceptions The narrative is consistently present and immediate by use of these distinct bold descriptions proving my point that you don t need to use present tense to create a sense of immediacy and unpredictability This is one of several books I ve read lately also The Sisters Brothers and Getting Rid of Matthew that has demonstrated that in the hands of a good writer the present can be achieved by using the past Tense that isAnd Ruddock here proves that he is a very good writer indeed He has developed his own voice and style and employs it with uiet confidence There s a seamlessness to the narrative the decision to omit uotation marks and chapters allows for a great. Parabolist noun 1 one who speaks in parables 2 a member of a splinter group of disaffected young poets in Mexico City c 1975 3 a practitioner of the art of concentrating multiple sources of energy into a single focus illuminating or if left unchecked destroying everything in its pathPart comedy part mystery The Parabolist is a novel about murder sex the medical establishment poetry and vigilante ustice on the streets of Toronto. Er sense of flow and rhythm an unbroken river like a gentle stream of words and meaning and events Ugh I hate using such metaphors and similes but I m gentle stream of words and meaning and events Ugh I hate using such metaphors and similes but I m it hard to describe this book and do it ustice Let me try a different angleThe main characters are a group of medical students Jasper Glass and his brother John Valerie Anderson Wallace Wallace as well as Roberto Moreno Jasper s parents June and Bill a young girl on her way to Toronto who s adopted the name Heidi Dr Krank the head of psychiatry at 999 ueen Street Marnie Kennedy the married doctor Jasper s having an affair with and Detective Ames who s reluctantly investigating the rape and murder case Other characters come #AND GO BUT THESE ARE THE #go but these are the ones with Jasper Valerie and Roberto forming a central triangle Jasper has the hots for Valerie his beautiful clever lab partner but she is drawn to Roberto who inadvertently became their poetry teacher and then their friend In the wings is Dr Krank who we uickly feel uneasy around and with good reason The characters reflect the city and the city reflects the characters This is the Toronto of drug abuse sex the Arts iconic streets and gentle middle class suburbs It s not all set in the city at one point Jasper drives to Muskoka for a moonlit tryst with Marnie and then there s Heidi s trip south through the rocky Canadian Shield fending off men along tryst with Marnie and then there s Heidi s trip south through the rocky Canadian Shield fending off men along wayThere s also a fascinating sense of time in that not only does the narrative sometimes step backwards revisiting a scene from another perspective or showing us a new scene for a character that happened earlier than what we ve been reading but Heidi s trip occurs at a slower pace than the rest of the story She s introduced fairly early on but her two day hitchhiking trip or is it one day comes to us in segments throughout the novel until she meets up with Jasper Glass in real time It s not at all confusing and the non linear narrative adds an extra something to the story an extra layer of time of mystery of tension of oomph until it coalesces into a sudden and violent ending that fits perfectlyAnd I haven t even mentioned the poetry A love of the arts permeates the story is embraced by the characters and takes on new life through Ruddock s analogy to medicine I d never really linked art and medicine before to be honest but those days are gone The way the body Jasper and Valerie are carefully dissecting and stripping down becomes a kind of canvas an artwork that brings to mind Body Worlds Even the title has a double meaning or triple one a parabolist is someone who speaks in parables a disaffected Mexican poet who is a member of a splinter group of parabolists and a practitioner of the art of concentrating multiple sources of energy into a single focus illuminating or if left unchecked destroying everything in its path That third definition is chilling and aptNow for as much as I enjoyed this novel and thought it was wonderfully written I did make the mistake of starting it a week after giving birth often reading bits in the middle of the night and finding with my disjointed and exhausted baby brain that I was missing a lot of the meaning and nuances and depth of this novel I could see that it was there but my brain was so fuddled I couldn t grasp it not with any sense of clarity anyway It also took me a while to read despite its smooth readability so it feels like a novel I read ages ago and am trying to belatedly remember I don t even feel like I understand what a parabolist is in the poetry sense To be fair I think that aspect is made up I mean I don t think there was a splinter group of disaffected young In 1975Told through interlacing narratives the story funnels towards the eye of an unsolved crime on a rainy summer night a woman is raped and very nearly murdered but for the intervention of two drunken vigilantes who kill her attacker before fleeing the scene The only clue the police have about their identities is a slab of Crisco shortening found on the victimThe unforgettable cast of characters includes a charismatic Mexican. ,


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