Nikolski

NikolskiPrintemps L Aube De La Vingtaine, Noah, Joyce Et Un Narrateur Non Identifi Quittent Leur Lieu De Naissance Pour Entamer Une Longue Migration Fra Chement D Barqu S Montr Al, Ils Tentent De Prendre Leur Vie En Main, Malgr Les Erreurs De Parcours, Les Amours D Fectueuses Et Leurs Arbres G N Alogiques Tordus Ils Se Croient Seuls Pourtant, Leurs Trajectoires Ne Cessent De Se Croiser, Laissant Entrevoir Une Incontr Lable Sym Trie Au Sein De Leurs Existences Nicolas Dickner Aime Enchev Trer Les R Cits Et Les Images Avec Une Minutie Qui Fr Le Parfois Celle D Un Zoologue F L Dans Nikolski, Il Prend Un Malin Plaisir Rassembler Des Arch Ologues Vidangeurs, Des Flibustiers De Tous Poils, Des Serpents De Mer, Plusieurs Grands Thons Rouges, Des Victimes Du Mal De Terre, Un Scaphandrier Analphab Te, Un Commodore , D Innombrables Bureaux De Poste Et Un Myst Rieux Livre Sans Couverture Un R Cit Pluvieux, O L On Boit Beaucoup De Th Et De Rhum Bon MarchPrix Des Libraires Du Qu Bec Prix Des Libraires E Anniversaire Prix Litt Raire Des Coll Giens Prix Anne H Bert Prix Printemps Des Lecteurs Lavinal Finaliste Au Prix Litt Raire Du Gouverneur G N Ral Finaliste Au Grand Prix Litt Raire Archambault En Cours De Traduction En Huit Langues When I was doing my bachelor s degree, one of my summer jobs was working Confined Space Safety Watch known colloquially as Hole Watch for the Weyerhaeuser pulp and paper mill in Dryden The job was pretty simple The mill would shut down for ten days of the annual top to bottom maintenance period, a lot of workers, both contract and union, would have to crawl into some very cramped spaces to work, and often those spaces were dangerous My job was to put on a tonne of heavy gear, grab a first a When I was doing my bachelor s degree, one of my summer jobs was working Confined Space Safety Watch known colloquially as Hole Watch for the Weyerhaeuser pulp and paper mill in Dryden The job was pretty simple The mill would shut down for ten days of the annual top to bottom maintenance period, a lot of workers, both contract and union, would have to crawl into some very cramped spaces to work, and often those spaces were dangerous My job was to put on a tonne of heavy gear, grab a first aid emergency rescue pack and a walkie talkie, and sit outside a confined space for twelve hours a day making sure nobody died I worked in the bleach plant, the recovery boiler, the chemical plant, flak dryers, precipitators, black and green liquor tanks, and a few places I can t remember the names for I did it two years in a row earning, in each ten day period, about twice my current monthly income , and there were never any accidents or emergencies on my shifts I got a lot of reading done On one particularly scorching afternoon I was working in the precipitators a relatively easy post, because there was a place to sit, it was easy to keep track of the workers, and there were normally at least three other watchers there with you and I happened to be seated next to a woman whose name I can t recall The precipitators were an ugly, almost frightening place To us it was a long, narrow iron corridor with iron doors on either side, like the watertight doors of a battleship There d be welders and other tradesmen always men on the other side of the doors, balanced on thin, tightly grouped iron rails, a great, black, breathing emptiness far above and below Even in the heat of the afternoon it was a grim, dark place, like something David Lynch would have built for the Baron Harkonnen We didn t want to think about our surroundings, and it was too filthy a place to bring a book, so we d talk The woman I sat next to on that afternoon told me what she did to pass the time She would pick a person at random, me, say, or one of the welders, and imagine an entire history for them Would they have a family What did they do for fun Where did they live If she liked the way her story turned out, she would find a way, small and innocent, to put herself in it, to make it, just briefly, her own story as well She never wrote any of it down It all just happened in her head, and when she was done, she d let it drift away like smoke.Nikolski is about serendipity, three characters whose lives barely brush up against each other, never quite connecting Noah, the itinerant archaeologist, Joyce the dumpster diving pirate, and the unnamed bookseller with the ocean in his basement They are united by the Book with No Face, by trash, and by a shared bond of blood that they don t even know exists Set in Fournier, Lazer Lederhendler s translation is lovely to read as the three protagonists fumble in the dark, unknowing but, strangely, far from lost That, I think, is the conventional reading, and it s certainly the best one.I m going to offer an alternative.One of Dickner s protagonists, the only one without a name, and not coincidentlaly, the only one who is allowed to narrate his own story, works in the S.W Gam Bookshop in Montr al, the only place visited by all three characters Nikolski begins in 1989 with him cleaning out his dead mother s house, taking with him the Nikolski compass a cheap plastic compass that points to the island of Nikolski, where our narrator s father lived and eventually died It s the only thing he has left of his family The novel also opens with garbage, bags and bags of it, full of history, of treasure, of the stuff that Noah and Joyce will build their lives with I wonder if there may not somewhere be a Britannica of our desires, a comprehensive repertory of the slightest dream, the least aspiration, where nothing would be lost or created, but where ceaseless transformation of all things would operate in both directions, like an elevator connecting the various storeys of our existence Our bookshop is, in sum, a universe entirely made up of and governed by books and it seemed quite natural for me to dissolve myself in it completely, to devote my life to the thousands of lives duly stacked on hundreds of shelves This could be Nikolski, the book our narrator writes himself, the chapter in the Britannica that contains his slightest dream, the one where he has family, connections I can imagine him sitting behind the counter, looking at the customers, seeing which books they buy or steal , finding common ground, making up stories like the woman who sat next to me in the industrial hell of the precipitators This woman buys books about marine life and shoplifts books about computer programming That man comes in with a child and browses the dinosaur books Before that, there was a woman, loud and frantic, with a book that was decades old and falling apart How do these things connect I see our unnamed protagonist as the narrator of the entire novel, taking his mother s collection of travel guides as a jumping off point and reaching back, creating a mythology of wanderlust and a family tree to support it, putting up the scaffolding that will let him build the courage to leave a life that holds no connective tissue for him any.Of course this is just me grafting my own experiences on top of a narrative that works exceptionally well as it stands, but I think that any book that can open itself up this way, that can be read as a complex, adventurous, but still accessible novel and like a box of puzzles and secrets, like a map to pirate treasure or a midden heap, is a book that should win Canada Reads I have two books to go, but I think I ve found the contender I m rooting for And as an aside, if this is the sort of thing that s going on in French Canadian literature, English Canada needs to get working ontranslations as good as Lederhendler s I ve never enjoyed being so frustrated with a book as much as I enjoyed the twists and turns of this one I truly enjoyed reading Nikolski, but it took a lot of effort to keep the details straight.The first few chapters jump characters and settings quite dramatically, so much so that I thought I was reading three different stories But gradually it all comes together, and you see that it s really part of the author s style, not to mention the foundation that allows for a clever unfolding of the I ve never enjoyed being so frustrated with a book as much as I enjoyed the twists and turns of this one I truly enjoyed reading Nikolski, but it took a lot of effort to keep the details straight.The first few chapters jump characters and settings quite dramatically, so much so that I thought I was reading three different stories But gradually it all comes together, and you see that it s really part of the author s style, not to mention the foundation that allows for a clever unfolding of the plot.Not at all what I expected, Nikolski is a new twist on the theme of six degrees of separation Dickner subtly weaves the interconnectedness of the story s elements so exquisitely, you almost don t even notice So often through the read, I laughed, smiled, tapped my foot in anticipation, smirked, considered sketching a diagram of my hypothesis, and at the end, found my jaw dropping in amazement.A challenging read, but nevertheless, a really really good one An additional note I completely took for granted that this was a translated book The translation was so well done I never stumbled over awkward verbiage Much to the chagrin of my rock music lovin husband, I love talk radio Specifically, I love CBC Radio 1 I listen to it every day I listen to it at home, in the car, and I used to listen to it at work I have my favourite shows As It Happens, The Vinyl Cafe, The Current, and Q to name a few If anyone at CBC is reading this Please bring back The Point That was my absolutely favourite I also, obviously, love reading So when CBC started Canada Reads, I loved the idea National unity consol Much to the chagrin of my rock music lovin husband, I love talk radio Specifically, I love CBC Radio 1 I listen to it every day I listen to it at home, in the car, and I used to listen to it at work I have my favourite shows As It Happens, The Vinyl Cafe, The Current, and Q to name a few If anyone at CBC is reading this Please bring back The Point That was my absolutely favourite I also, obviously, love reading So when CBC started Canada Reads, I loved the idea National unity consolidated around one work of literature I eagerly await the announcement of the finalists every year.To be fair, I m not a stellar Canada Reads participant Before 2010, I had only ever read three of the eight previous winners 2002 In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje, 2006 A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, and 2007 Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O Neill and I m pretty sure I read two of those for school I always planned to read the books I even planned to read the books after the announcement but before the debate so that I could champion my own favourite But life and school got in the way and every year I never got around to doing it.When 2010 s lineup was announced, I was determined that this year would be better I tweeted about Canada Reads 2010 I placed holds on all the books at the library.Here s the problem with library books You can only read them when you get them and you have to give them back Because I was so gung ho about placing holds on all the books at once, I got all the books at once I had to return four unread By that point, the holds list was so long I just had to wait for my turn to come up again.Eventually, I read two of the five shortlisted books Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott and Fall on Your Knees by Ann Marie MacDonald By that point, I had been gifted an ebook reader and the remaining books weren t easy to find as an ebook and a winner had already been crowned Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner.When I first picked up Nikolski, I needed to adjust my style of reading The last book I read was muchof an entertaining read With Nikolski, I was immediately swept into the literariness I felt like I was back in university, scribbling all over my pages and thinking of the countless number of essays that could be written from the nuances hidden on the pages, except I m not in school and I don t have to write any essays Oh, and I didn t scribble all over my pages That would have ruined my ebook reader The language is divine It is actually delicious from page one Word choice is so carefully considered in this novel, which is interesting because the book has been translated from French to English I crawl out of the sleeping bag and stumble over to the window Clutching at the curtains, I watch the garbage truck pull up with a pneumatic squeal in front of our bungalow Since when do diesel engines imitate breaking waves Dubious poetry of the suburbs page 8I really liked Nikolski The characters are personal and engaging Like many literary books, the plot isn t the most important tool that the novel uses, but I was still eager to find out what would happen The book follows three characters who are deeply connected as they go about their lives, often oblivious to one another.Being a sucker for plot, I really wanted the book to give meI wanted the characters to become as aware as the reader was I wanted to know what happened next I am sure though, that if I actually got my wish, I wouldn t have found the literature nearly as good.I do struggle with whether I would suggest this book I initially want to say Yes Read it but I am quite sure that this isn t a book for everyone I suppose I would suggest that if you want to read a book that a large amount of Canadians are reading have read, then pick up this novel If you have an appreciation for literature and literary devices, then pick up this novel If you are looking for an entertaining and exceptionally engaging page turner, then this book is probably not for you This book was such a pleasant surprise for me I loved the writing style and hope to check outworks by this author. I loved this quirky little book, admittedly in part because of my lately thing about Canada and Montreal But still, it s a 3 storyline book that should drive me bonkers but I dragged out the reading of it so I wouldn t be finished yet Reading it, you suspect, hope, wonder, doubt if these unrelated plots and their characters will ever converge It s all very slightly magical, but only slightly The characters and their issues and adventures are all unusual, independent, adventuring types in ver I loved this quirky little book, admittedly in part because of my lately thing about Canada and Montreal But still, it s a 3 storyline book that should drive me bonkers but I dragged out the reading of it so I wouldn t be finished yet Reading it, you suspect, hope, wonder, doubt if these unrelated plots and their characters will ever converge It s all very slightly magical, but only slightly The characters and their issues and adventures are all unusual, independent, adventuring types in very different ways, all digging in the past and searching out the cartography of the world in different ways, for their own answers I don t know how to describe it and I m not even sure what I just read But it works Some books make you feel and others make you think.Nicolas Dickner s clever debut, Nikolski, definitely falls largely into the latter category As a matter of fact, it still has me turning over its intricacies in my head months after I ve finished it This tightly woven tale is packed with ideas that challenge customary thinking about the nature of personal identity Dickner asks if who we are is a result of nature or nurture, genealogy or geography, or, perhaps, a combination of all four.Early Some books make you feel and others make you think.Nicolas Dickner s clever debut, Nikolski, definitely falls largely into the latter category As a matter of fact, it still has me turning over its intricacies in my head months after I ve finished it This tightly woven tale is packed with ideas that challenge customary thinking about the nature of personal identity Dickner asks if who we are is a result of nature or nurture, genealogy or geography, or, perhaps, a combination of all four.Early in the story, we are introduced to the three main characters, all distantly related, although not necessarily aware of one another s existence They are the unnamed narrator a second hand bookshop clerk who is in possession of a compass that always points in the direction of Nickolski, a tiny Aleutian Island, Noah son of an itinerant Native American mother and absentee father who learned to read from roadmaps and Joyce restless young woman descended from a family of French Canadian pirates The three stories unfold in alternating chapters as each begins a pilgrimage to unearth their family connections, seek their place in the world, establish their destinies and find themselves.Like the Nickolski compass, the writer postulates that all people have a built in homing instinct A family of Dominican fishmongers, who rent a room to Noah and employ Joyce in their retail shop, despite being long time residents of Canada, hold a monthly jututo to enjoy their native foods and boisterously debate Dominican politics And humorously, we see how Joyce and her erstwhile mother inadvertently fall into a twentieth century version of the family business as computer pirates Ties to place, ethnicity and family not only dictate our actions, but define who we are.This was a deceptively easy and enjoyable read There was a certain sense of mystery, plus a fair bit of suspense, that pulled me along until the end It s particularly impressive to see how the author weaves all the threads together Much like the three headed book that passes through the hands of both Noah and Joyce, before ending up on the bookstore s shelves, Dickner manages to stitch three disparate stories into one cohesive, and endlessly captivating, whole Definitely one of a kind Nikolski teases three unconnected, yet absolutely connected lives together in a complex tapestry of eccentric themes which include piracy, bibliomania, fish, archaeology and cartography Weirdly, and withthan a whiff of magic realism, Dickner manages to pull off a story that is brilliantly implausible but perhaps is not The translation is superb capturing all that is comic and poignant and perceptive about this truly Canadian romp sans BC Five stars would have been awarded had the f Nikolski teases three unconnected, yet absolutely connected lives together in a complex tapestry of eccentric themes which include piracy, bibliomania, fish, archaeology and cartography Weirdly, and withthan a whiff of magic realism, Dickner manages to pull off a story that is brilliantly implausible but perhaps is not The translation is superb capturing all that is comic and poignant and perceptive about this truly Canadian romp sans BC Five stars would have been awarded had the female protagonists been rendered as fully as the males we are left with a void regarding the enigmatic Joyce and the lesser but equally interesting Arizna, plus an ending that is satisfactory, but only just I haven t actually attended a performance of Cirque du Soleil those tickets are crazy expensive but I have watched a few of their shows when they ve been on TV Totally redefining what a circus can be, the awe inspiring athletic performances are paired with surreal costumes and makeup, strange staging and awkward beautiful movements and singing When I see a scene from a Cirque du Soleil show, I am usually left thinking, That is weird Is it art because it s weird, or is it weird because I haven t actually attended a performance of Cirque du Soleil those tickets are crazy expensive but I have watched a few of their shows when they ve been on TV Totally redefining what a circus can be, the awe inspiring athletic performances are paired with surreal costumes and makeup, strange staging and awkward beautiful movements and singing When I see a scene from a Cirque du Soleil show, I am usually left thinking, That is weird Is it art because it s weird, or is it weird because it s art I was often in mind of the Cirque du Soleil while reading Nikolski, written by Nicolas Dickner, as Quebecois as the creator of the Cirque Is it a cultural quirk of those from the Belle Province to up the artistic value of their efforts by building rigid but invisible frameworks for their creations whether highly trained contortionists or precisely crafted phrases to leap and tumble from What seems to work for the Cirque du Soleil fell slightly flat for me in this book.There is a wealth of clever wordplay and I can only trust that the translator of this book was faithful to the feel of the originalShe piles the books on the table, puts on her glasses as though she were putting on a diving suit, and plunges into her reading When Noah shows up, fifteen minutes later, all that can be seen of the girl are the air bubbles frothing at the surface. And there were some obscure word choices I loved that the cop s eyes were described as selachian shark like , but question the usefulness of words I don t know and don t think I ll need going forward like metonymy a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept or fascicles a bundle or a cluster I do like to be challenged with vocabulary, but I am left wondering with some of the language in Nikolski if the translator was too literal, or if this the exact flavour the author intended.The plot was potentially intriguing Three young people, unknowingly related to each other, are drawn to Montreal where they cross paths and fortunes over a period of ten years But, as it turns out, their paths and fates remain separate, and the idea of there being significance in their meetings is brushed off And that is exactly the trouble with inexplicable events You inevitably end up interpreting them in terms of predestination, or magical realism, or government plots. And so, just as I accepted the warning to not interpret greater meaning, it dawned on me that the structure of Nikolski mirrors that of the mysterious Three Headed Book , a unicum, that keeps poking its head above the surfaceA unicum A book of which there is only a single known copy in the entire world It s made up of fragments of three books The first third is a study on treasure hunting The second comes from a historical treatise on the pirates of the Caribbean The final third is taken from a biography of Alexander Selkirk, who was shipwrecked on a Pacific island The bookbinder salvaged the wreckage of three books and sewed them together It s a piece of craftsmanship, not a mass printed objectAha, I thought So Noah is the treasure hunter, Joyce is the pirate, and the unnamed narrator is the one shipwrecked, having never set foot off the island of Montreal The author is signalling that there iscraftsmanship on display here than I may be aware of I have arrived at the thrilling climax of the novel, of the circus, what death defying coup de grace will leave me dazzled and amazed The missing map How intriguing I stand there open mouthed, contemplating the implications of this strange puzzle Here is a discovery that clouds the issue rather than clarifying it.Nothing is perfect.I smile, shrug my shoulders and, after taping the map of the Caribbean into place, return the Three Headed Book to the clearance box. Oh, right I m not to suppose there smeaning beyond the page So is it art, or just a little weird Nikloski is certainly well crafted and precise, there s an air of the experimental about it, but it seemed to lack heart, and in the end, I may smile but, like the narrator, I also shrug my shoulders and contemplate the clearance box This book is about three lonely, lost souls trying to find their place in the world Noah, Joyce and an unnamed bookstore owner are all misfits who are connected in ways they do not realize and whose lives have a lot of parallels to each other, even if they are not conscious of each other All three of them were raised by a single parent and they all have, for one reason or another, distanced themselves from their families and are making their way in the world alone They all are searching for m This book is about three lonely, lost souls trying to find their place in the world Noah, Joyce and an unnamed bookstore owner are all misfits who are connected in ways they do not realize and whose lives have a lot of parallels to each other, even if they are not conscious of each other All three of them were raised by a single parent and they all have, for one reason or another, distanced themselves from their families and are making their way in the world alone They all are searching for meaning in their lives and, in that vein, all have a fascination with their roots and ancestry All of them have a strong connection to maps and or travel guides They all have a fascination with trash or discarded objects in one way or another The bookstore owner sells used books, even ones that others have thrown away, Noah majors in archaeology with a fascination for the archeaology of trash, and Joyce becomes a trash diving treasure hunter as part of her quest to become an cyber pirate The three story lines, although they intersect only tangentially, flow beautifully and the language is very lyrical which is very interesting given that this book was translated from French and translations usually are a bit stilted Of the three, my favorite character was Noah He is so sweet and earnest and was a bitfocused and in control of his destiny than the other two Although I adore books, bookstores and used bookstores in particular, I found it a little hard to relate to the bookstore owner because he is never identified by name and the author perhaps deliberately keeps the readerdistant from him Joyce is a very interesting character but not quite as empathetic as Noah.Overall, this was an excellent first novel by Nicholas Dickner He has a real flair for character development and for seamlessly incorporating quirky traits and elements into the story the archaeology of trash being only one example I will look forward to reading future books by him Quirky Engaging Frustrating Perplexing Light hearted Good souls Twenty somethings who don t feel a need to fit a mold.Lots of tidbits of odd info For example,p 3 Every beach has a particular acoustic signature, which depends on the force and length of the waves, the makeup of the ground, the form of the landscape, the prevailing winds, and the humidity in the air.Never really pulls together, but life s often like that.

[PDF / Epub] ✩ Nikolski ☉ Nicolas Dickner – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 314 pages
  • Nikolski
  • Nicolas Dickner
  • French
  • 17 September 2019
  • 2923550064