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Leaving Tomorrow

por David Bergen

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1841,196,405 (3.63)9
In the small Alberta town of Tomorrow, young Arthur yearns for a larger life. His father prefers the love of horses and good books, while his mother is guided by practicality and her faith. Bev, his rough-edged brother, chooses action over thinking. Among them is the solitary Arthur-intelligent, curious, garrulous, romantic and at odds with his surroundings and his religion. His one ally is his adopted cousin, the fearless Isobel. Their mutual admiration for the land, for literature, for all things French and for each other sustains Arthur. When Bev goes to fight in Vietnam and returns emotionally broken, relationships within the family change and tensions between the two brothers rise. With a secret between them, Arthur leaves for Paris, where he pursues his passions for writing and women and at last claims the life he has always wanted. But dreams and reality don't always match, and it takes going away for Arthur to appreciate the push and pull of both home and love… (mais)
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Mostrando 4 de 4
If you haven't read anything by David Bergen, and you appreciate CanLit, I suggest you look him up. I was introduced to his writing in Leaving Tomorrow, and for this harsh critic the novel ticked all the boxes.

David demonstrates his ability as a writer through his flawless plot, intriguing and believable characters, his attention to environmental and cultural detail, and his use of language. This is a masterful work which examines the profound ties of relationships and social expectations.

Recommended. ( )
  fiverivers | Jan 6, 2020 |
Extremely polished, kinda populist novel, though a good deal more sophisticated than that. I somehow expected it to be inward and introspective (had heard of David Bergen from the Giller prize) and it was to some extent, but it was also very vibrant in its description of the respective worlds of Western Canadian provincial life and wanna-be Parisian bohemian life. A coming-of-age story extending from an austere of Canadian upbringing through a young man's projection of what constitutes refinement and intellectual aesthetic awareness. Found the lustful yearnings squirm-worthy and maybe bourgeois pandering, but I liked the easy flow of the language. It both accessible and technically refined, a combination I always like plus he's from my hometown! ( )
  brianfergusonwpg | Oct 1, 2016 |
David Bergen is a Canadian author who has won the Giller Prize and has been shortlisted for other Can Lit prizes, so I was eager to read his new book, Leaving Tomorrow. I have read a couple of his other novels and very much enjoyed them. Leaving Tomorrow did not disappoint.

This is a coming of age story. Young Arthur is born into an interesting family. His mother is of the Mennonite faith, though this aspect does not figure prominently in the story. Mom Doreen is a nurse and a practical , strong person. Dad is a non- Mennonite man, a rancher and a keen reader. Arthur grows up in small town called Tomorrow, which is south of Calgary Alberta. He is small of stature, intelligent , curious and more than a bit of a dreamer. Arthur's older brother, Bev, is an angry fellow who usually chooses to act rather than think.

Arthur is interested in the life of Gustave Flaubert , among other authors, so at the age of 19, he arranges to to go to France for a year. There he tutors a young boy in the English Language, while pursuing his romantic dreams of living in France.

David Bergen is a wonderful writer , and fills out each character fully and sensitively. Arthur's adopted cousin , Isobel, arrives in France and observes to Arthur: " You're pale and thin and diminished. This is not you. If you want to be true to yourself, Arthur, if you want to tell a true story, it is not the story of a young artist who comes to Paris, and finds a lover and visits the haunts of famous dead writers. That is trite. Your story is back home". page 213

A wonderful and hopeful story of the maturing of a young man.

4 stars. ( )
1 vote vancouverdeb | Apr 26, 2015 |
This book was recommended to me, so I decided to give it a try. I'm not sure that I liked it all that much, but it is well-written so therefore I've given it 3 stars. Bergen is a Giller prize winning author for his book The Time In-Between which I read 3 or 4 years ago. There are similarities to this book as Bergen talks about the Vietnam war and he also explores someone who is suffering from post-traumatic stress. He did this in The Time In-Between as well, but I think he did a better job of it then. This book is a coming-of-age novel about young Arthur Wohlegmuht, a young Alberta Mennonite boy. Arthur is a thoughtful young man, but he also has an inflated opinion of his own worth. Rather than looking for and falling in love with real women who live, laugh and cry, he puts all the women he meets on a pedestal and attempts to worship at their feet. As you can imagine this doesn't go well with the women, and Aruthur finds himself perpetually being set aside. And does Arthur seem to learn from all this as he travels around Alberta and Paris where he goes to live for a year? No, he doesn't. He doesn't seem to mature or change much at all. ( )
  Romonko | Nov 22, 2014 |
Mostrando 4 de 4
The eighth novel by Scotiabank Giller Prize winner David Bergen continues the Winnipeg writer’s exploration into the complicated lives of ordinary people. Bergen is a master at delving into the psychology of his characters, often revealing their essences by dramatizing their own lack of self-awareness....Bergen’s language is measured and literary, and the novel is peppered with allusions and quotations...Bergen’s gentle, sensitive, and intelligent style embeds Arthur in the mind of the reader while also making clear how much he, like the rest of us, still has to learn
 
Leaving Tomorrow is the coming of age story of Arthur Wohlgemuht. Raised in a small Alberta town fittingly called Tomorrow, Arthur spends much of his rural upbringing dreaming of a life beyond the prairies. ...Leaving Tomorrow is a contemplative novel full of the hope that comes with youth, but in the end it becomes clear that like life, thejourney is the real destination
 
My immersion in a book can usually be measured in one of two ways: by the number of pages dog-eared and paragraphs underlined, or by the paucity of notes, which I’ve been too engrossed to make. Such is the case with Giller Prize-winning author David Bergen’s latest novel, Leaving Tomorrow.

So, let’s just say this: Leaving Tomorrow is pure pleasure. It doesn’t parade its wit or its wisdom but is a sensitive, perceptive and disarmingly honest bildungsroman which deserves to take its place alongside such mid-western Canadian classics as Who Has Seen the Wind and A Complicated Kindness.....Leaving Tomorrow is not a high-concept novel, but as Arthur reflects on a cherished book, “the style was odd, almost simple, and yet it moved me and created in me a longing for the skill to tell a story in that manner: plainly, with force and consequence.” For this reader, David Bergen has done just that.
 
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But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.
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To be an individual, to make one's own way , to shape and form oneself in a unique manner, to live forever, to love and be loved, to know what I want, to rise and fall and then rise again, to speak the truth.
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In the small Alberta town of Tomorrow, young Arthur yearns for a larger life. His father prefers the love of horses and good books, while his mother is guided by practicality and her faith. Bev, his rough-edged brother, chooses action over thinking. Among them is the solitary Arthur-intelligent, curious, garrulous, romantic and at odds with his surroundings and his religion. His one ally is his adopted cousin, the fearless Isobel. Their mutual admiration for the land, for literature, for all things French and for each other sustains Arthur. When Bev goes to fight in Vietnam and returns emotionally broken, relationships within the family change and tensions between the two brothers rise. With a secret between them, Arthur leaves for Paris, where he pursues his passions for writing and women and at last claims the life he has always wanted. But dreams and reality don't always match, and it takes going away for Arthur to appreciate the push and pull of both home and love

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