Through the ages

So, I’m about three quarters of the way through “Galore” by Michael Crummey and I don’t think I could tell you who the main characters are, nor who I’m supposed to feel for in the book. It’s hard because from what I gather (the book has no start date, yet at one point mentions that it’s 1900), the book takes place over a few hundred years. Characters are introduced, you get to know them a bit, then their children, then a chapter later the narrator casually mentions that they have died. I don’t feel sympathy for them when this happens, but I so feel sad for the fact that a character has died and I don’t seem to care all that much. It’s good that there’s a family tree at the beginning (though seriously – spoiler alert much?) or else I wouldn’t be able to keep track of what’s happening at all.

I do understand that this book isn’t about character development. It’s about the magical, mysterious and culturally rich improbable world of medieval Newfoundland heritage of Newfoundland. But here’s the thing – I can’t seem to figure out if this is a historical fiction, fantasy or simply a good story. Yes, I’m well aware that (no spoiler here, this is from the inner flap) when a mute, albino man emerges from the belly of a whale it’s not historical fiction. But maybe the historical fiction aspect of it is the fact that there are these types of stories that are perpetuated in Newfoundlandian (is that a word?) lore and by reading this book I’m understanding more about the culture of part of Canada? I don’t know. I think probably by the end I’m going to say that I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s such a drastic turn from the last book I read where I felt like the characters were all my closest friends.

Here’s the conversation I had via email with my friend Julia about the book today. She’s also in my book club and, maybe unfortunately for her, was the one to suggest the book.

From: Barrett, Julia
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 12:33 PM
To: Allegra Young
Subject: RE: Angry, angry letters

I am on page 277. How about you?

From: Allegra Young
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 12:49 PM
To: Barrett, Julia
Subject: RE: Angry, angry letters

Hahah weird I’m on 271! So close.

It’s nothing like anything I’ve ever read before. I can’t tell if I like it cause of the lack of character development, but I do like the intense location development and lifestyle… does that make any sense?

From: Barrett, Julia
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 12:55 PM
To: Allegra Young
Subject: RE: Angry, angry letters

Lots. It had a fair amount of character development at the beginning but now there are WAYY too many characters to follow, though I like them all.

I’m a little upset though, what happened to Judah and Mary Typhena? She just found out that Judah loved her the whole time and she’s like “now all I taste is metal”… WHA? Especially because his fishing rod is the width of his wrist, get over is Mary and get some!


I told you what my thoughts were. Though I agree with Julia about the love story. I’ll talk more about that in my final review, though.


One Comment Add yours

  1. I cannot believe you put my quote in about Judah's “fishing Rod”

    You should post my comments from yesterday

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