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The City and the Book

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Nov 11, 2008, 6:38pm Top

I've just finished reading a travel guide to Montreal and it brought back a lot of memories of a visit there three years ago. Such a beautiful city!
As far as novels go, I've read only one set in Montreal, The Luck of Ginger Coffey by the Irish author Brian Moore, and loved it. Anyone else have a favorite set in this city?

Nov 13, 2008, 3:17pm Top

The Englsih language writer, Mordecai Richler was from Montreal. Three significant novels ( there are more):
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
Barney's Version
Solomon Gursky was here

I've only peaked at these works, sorry to say.

The novel that I did read through was Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan. I think this was written in the 1930's, so it is a little old, but it does poingantly portray the old situation between French and English.

Edited: Nov 13, 2008, 3:26pm Top

I forgot; my wife reads murder mysteries by Kathy Reichs which are laid in Montreal:

Déjà Dead (Eng spelling Deja Dead) by Kathy Reichs
Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs
Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs

I think these are quite popular. This is only three of her works.

Nov 13, 2008, 3:33pm Top

The Touchstone for Kathy Reichs is wrong. Here is the link to her author page:

Nov 13, 2008, 4:05pm Top

Doing a tagmash, the most significant Montreal novel written originally in French is: Alexandre Chenevert by Gabrielle Roy.

Nov 13, 2008, 4:27pm Top

Greatest Montreal novel I have read (can't vouch for English translations) would be The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant by Michel Tremblay. I also love The Favourite Gameby Leonard Cohen. Great Westmount-based Bildungsroman.

Nov 13, 2008, 4:39pm Top

The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy is excellent.

Nov 13, 2008, 8:02pm Top

Wow- thanks for all the suggestions! I had never heard of any of these authors, so I'll be adding them to my "must-have" list.

Mar 17, 2009, 9:35pm Top

The latest Governor General's Award (highest literary Canadian prize) was given to Nino Ricci for The Origin of Species which is set in Montreal. It gives a great feel for the city as it was in the late 1980 - brought back some powerful memories!

Oct 3, 2009, 7:52pm Top

If you can get through the French spelling mistakes (which aren't that bad) I recommend The Last Witness by John Matthews - an thriller where the action ends up mostly on the streets of Montreal. Gritty with some far-fetched scenarios but an absorbing read.

Oct 4, 2009, 11:36am Top

Cecilturtle- your amount of "travel" reads is amazing!

Edited: Sep 26, 2010, 5:50pm Top

Doug Harris's You Comma Idiot is based on Montreal. Although it geographically doesn't go into detail, I felt that it gave a good glimpse of the city as a laid-back, alternative town.

Aug 4, 2013, 3:07pm Top

I've just finished Inside by Alix Ohlin in which the characters travel the streets of Montreal. From the "mountain" to the Biodome, it gives a greal feel for the city.

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