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Going Home Again

por Dennis Bock

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504512,379 (3.31)9
"After two acclaimed historical novels, one of Canada's most celebrated young writers now goes contemporary with the vibrant story of a man taking stock of the shape his life has taken, and why, and what--as a husband, a father, a brother, and an uncle--his responsibilities truly are. Charlie Bellerose leads a semi-nomadic existence, traveling widely to manage the language academies he has established in different countries. After separating, somewhat amicably, from his wife, he moves from Madrid back to his native Canada to set up a new school, and for the first time in his life he forges a meaningful relationship with his brother, who's going through a vicious divorce. Charlie manages to make a fresh start in Toronto but longs for his twelve-year-old daughter, whom he sees only via Skype and the occasional overseas visit. After a chance encounter with a college girlfriend, he works through a series of memories--including a particularly painful one they share--as he reflects on how he ended up where he is. But two tragic events (one long past, the other very much in the present) finally force him to reevaluate his priorities and his relationships with everyone around him."--… (mais)
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Mostrando 4 de 4
Well, this book sure has a wide level of ratings. I liked it, a story about brothers both dealing with their wives leaving and their children grieving. Plenty of interesting musings here, characters I'd like to give a slap to but i can see where they're
coming from. Except for Charlie's wife. And his brother. And Charlie. OK, I guess they are all kind of nuts. ( )
  loosha | Apr 15, 2014 |
This book is a fitting nomination for the pretigious Giller Prize in Canada. I really enjoyed it. It's not a long book, but a lot happens in it. Charlie Bellerose is the main character and this book is his story. It flips from when he was a young college student to present day where he is married with a thirteen year old daughter. Charlie has lead an interesting life. He was born in Canada (Toronto to be exact), and went to university in Montreal. He then travelled the world and ended up settling down in Madrid. Madrid is where he met his wife Isabelle and where they had their daughter Ava. When we meet up with Charlie at the beginning of the book he is going back to Canada to set up a new English language school, and reeling from a breakup with his wife. He and his brother Nate, who lives in Canada, get together in Toronto. Nate was always a gadabout and getting in and out of scrapes, but Charlie thinks he must have grown up bynow since he has two young sons and he also is suffering from a broken marriage. This book is beautifully written. It's a love story in its own way but two tragic events (one from the past and one in the present) link Charlie's past and present together and force him to take a long hard look at himself, and also force him to decide where he's going to go with his life. Brock's prose is so beautifully written and so simply and clearly phrased that I found that I began to care deeply about what Charlie would do as well. ( )
  Romonko | Nov 5, 2013 |
'Do we fail love or does love fail us?' is a line from Dennis Bock novel Going Home Again. And it is the complexities that surround that question that he builds his poignant novel around.

Page 46
A lot disappears from your memory in two decades. Things slip and fade and finally vanish. Places you've seen, people you knew, those wild revelations you thought would change your life. Where do they go? But there are things about my student days that I still remember perfectly - a view from a window, how an old friend moved when he was in a hurry, the autumn sunshine catching the bright white pages of a book turned open on a desk. Seeing Holly again brought that world back into sharp focus for me. It was like no time at all had passed since that weekend in Montreal when I first met her.

The book deals with a period of life that the protagonist Charlie Bellerose is in flux with. He is recently separated from his wife and his 12-year-old daughter. He comes back to his native Canada and is trying to build a relationship with his brother. And worse of it all, he has bumps into a ex-girlfriend whom he shares some painful memories.

Link to my blog ( )
  steven.buechler | Oct 3, 2013 |
completed 2.19.15, 4 stars ( )
  bookmagic | Feb 22, 2015 |
Mostrando 4 de 4
This is crudity on a grand scale. And it risks alienating readers who have limited pleasure in absorbing the portrayal of such a complete jerk. We are told, to be sure, that he can be “polite and charming,” but there is no evidence of this. The problem may be that Nate belongs in a comedy — once he’s relieved of certain criminal tendencies — but Bock is aiming, in this case, at tragedy, and a tragedy requires some sympathy for the character caught up in the tragedy. We have no such sympathy....Unfortunately, much of the novel simply doesn’t ring true. The effect is of a writer strenuously pushing scenery about — much attention is p
 
And the structure of the book undermines its power and narrative momentum. Because the prologue establishes that Charlie will survive his year and return to Madrid with his “circumstances looking up,” the stakes never feel particularly high.

The landscape of memory and regret is fertile ground for Bock, even if he mined it more successfully in his first two novels. The “home” of “Going Home Again” refers to Charlie’s native Canada, of course, and also to Spain, where we know he’ll return. In the middle of his life, home represents both youthful regret and comfor
 
The fallout in his latest, about two estranged brothers whose marriages simultaneously fall apart, is of a more intimate nature, but feels no less powerful for being so.... Elsewhere, though, Bock’s writing is what’s generally referred to as “transparent.” It has a propulsive quality that makes it less like a window and more like a windshield: a great deal goes rushing vividly by. Going Home Again consistently hits the sweet spot between understatement and intense readability, making its lo-fi refusal to show off feel like a kind of flair.
 
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"After two acclaimed historical novels, one of Canada's most celebrated young writers now goes contemporary with the vibrant story of a man taking stock of the shape his life has taken, and why, and what--as a husband, a father, a brother, and an uncle--his responsibilities truly are. Charlie Bellerose leads a semi-nomadic existence, traveling widely to manage the language academies he has established in different countries. After separating, somewhat amicably, from his wife, he moves from Madrid back to his native Canada to set up a new school, and for the first time in his life he forges a meaningful relationship with his brother, who's going through a vicious divorce. Charlie manages to make a fresh start in Toronto but longs for his twelve-year-old daughter, whom he sees only via Skype and the occasional overseas visit. After a chance encounter with a college girlfriend, he works through a series of memories--including a particularly painful one they share--as he reflects on how he ended up where he is. But two tragic events (one long past, the other very much in the present) finally force him to reevaluate his priorities and his relationships with everyone around him."--

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