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Sweetland by Michael Crummey
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Sweetland (edition 2014)

by Michael Crummey

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4083939,318 (3.96)139
Member:GerrysBookshelf
Title:Sweetland
Authors:Michael Crummey
Info:Liveright Publishing Corporation
Collections:E-books
Rating:****
Tags:ebook, Canada, Newfoundland, Canadian literature

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Sweetland by Michael Crummey

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this review is for the audiobook edition, narrated by john lee.

ummm.... no. this was my first time listening to john lee, who has a stellar reputation. but he was doing some weird things during this narration. as a canadian, with family in newfoundland, i feel like i would have been so much more INTO this narration had an actual newfoundlander narrated. like, (dream casting alert) gordon pinsent! i mean, if canadian national treasure gordon pinsent can make justin bieber sound good 😂, imagine what he could do with a story set in his home province, that allowed him to let his love for newfoundland and its people shine through! that would have been delightful!

as it was, though, john lee did not do justice for the brilliant sweetland, i am so sorry to say. at moments, lee managed this really odd vocal imitation (unintentional, i am sure) of william shanter as captain kirk... a voice which was supposed to represent a st. john's government agent visiting the small community of sweetland, who was attempting to negotiate with moses. yeah... no.

i still recommend this novel. it is seriously excellent! but i suggest you go with a paper edition over the audiobook. ( )
  Booktrovert | Apr 6, 2019 |
Weird. It doesn't seem weird for most of the book, but then the end comes and you realize that you have no idea if anything that happened in the past 100 pages actually happened. It's so Canadian, tying the characters so tightly to the landscape of a very rugged Newfoundland, but it's a bit of a twisted landscape. I think I can safely say I'd love to go see Newfoundland now. Just, maybe not in the winter.

Interesting book. ( )
  Wordbrarian | Mar 5, 2019 |
Moving, heartbreaking, humorous story told so well! I am glad I read this without reading the synopsis, I preferred not knowing how the story was going to unfold and the blurb written above gives too much away for my taste! Moses Sweetland is a memorable character and Michael Crummy is a brilliant writer. He has taken an issue straight out of the headiness and brought it to life through the eyes of a lovable cranky old man. Sweetland's story is the story of a Maritime way of life that is fading away; here it is beautifully preserved. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Finally a book by a Canadian author about Newfoundland that sounded like Newfoundland; funny, warm, quirky, heartbreakingly beautiful. You can hear the music of Moses Sweetland's voice as his tale unfolds, detailing his stubborn persistence and determination to end his days on the island named after his family. You can smell the sea air, picture the harsh, breathtaking landscape and the unique people who populate this small slice of Canadian heaven. Thank you Michael Crummy for a book that I couldn't put down. ( )
  LindaWeeks | May 14, 2018 |
Loved the first half of the book, but it descended into so much misery in the second half it was hard to keep liking it. Excellent writer though. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Perhaps the secret of the novel’s Buddhistic allure is to be found in Sweetland’s increasing realization that an individual’s life is “a made-up thing,” real only to the extent that it involves a communing with death. Sweetland’s protracted, wrenching defiance gives him back his lost potency.
 
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Epigraph
Even unto them will I give in mine house and
within my walls a place and a name...

- Isaiah
Dedication
for Stan Dragland
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He heard them before he saw them.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0871407906, Hardcover)

From the award-winning, bestselling author of Galore comes another unforgettable novel. By turns darkly comic and heartbreakingly sad, Sweetland is a deeply suspenseful story about one man's struggles against the forces of nature and the ruins of memory.
     For twelve generations, when the fish were plentiful and when they all-but disappeared, the inhabitants of this remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement, and each has been offered a generous compensation package to leave. But the money is offered with a proviso: everyone has to go; the government won't be responsible for one crazy coot who chooses to stay alone on an island.
     That coot is Moses Sweetland. Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, haunted by memories of the short and lonely time he spent away from his home as a younger man, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses refuses to leave. But in the face of determined, sometimes violent, opposition from his family and his friends, Sweetland is eventually swayed to sign on to the government's plan. Then a tragic accident prompts him to fake his own death and stay on the deserted island. As he manages a desperately diminishing food supply, and battles against the ravages of weather, Sweetland finds himself in the company of the vibrant ghosts of the former islanders, whose porch lights still seem to turn on at night.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -0400)

The scarcely populated town of Sweetland rests on the shore of a remote Canadian island. Its slow decline finally reaches a head when the mainland government offers each islander a generous resettlement package--the sole stipulation being that everyone must leave. Fierce and enigmatic Moses Sweetland, whose ancestors founded the village, is the only one to refuse. As he watches his neighbors abandon the island, he recalls the town's rugged history and its eccentric cast of characters… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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