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Essex County, Volume 2: Ghost Stories by…

Essex County, Volume 2: Ghost Stories

by Jeff Lemire

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1097110,750 (4.08)35

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Who knew that a graphic novel with so much hockey could also be so sad and poignant (and not because of game losses)? Lemire's pictures lead the story's themes, including isolation, loneliness, paths...

Lou LeBoeuf is an old man slipping into old memories and ghosts. We see that he and his brother Vince were inseparable as boys on the farm and as young men, when they took their love of hockey onto the ice in Toronto. But soon they are separated. Lou relives his choices, isolation, longings.

I loved most of this, especially the treatment of loneliness and the confusion that can come with old age.

4.5 stars (Beware: not everyone will appreciate so much hockey). Now that I've read through once, I want to go back and reread it for all the hints and details that I missed the first time. ( )
  Connie-D | Sep 11, 2016 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Sep 2, 2015 |
An amazing Canadian graphic novel series. ( )
  LJMax | Aug 21, 2015 |
Not actually a direct sequel to the first book. "Ghost Stories" takes place further in the past than "Tales From the Farm" but does include some of the same characters and there is a brief episode from the first book, only this time we understand it from this book's character's p.o.v. I liked Tales better simply because the story appealed to me more. Ghost Stories has heavy hockey content and I'm not a fan, so found that aspect tedious and perhaps a more suitable title would have been "Hockey Stories", however I still enjoyed the tale and the small town ambience. The story of a dying old man's remembrances of his life (with his brother) and the regrets he has on all the things that came to pass that he blames himself for and the breaking up of his family. The relationship between the characters in this book and the first are not spelled out for us, but enough information is given for the reader to make the connection. Not a happy story by any means but rather typical of this sort of gloomy Southern Ontario fiction. I have no idea what the third book is about but it's title has me intrigued, "The Country Nurse". ( )
  ElizaJane | Apr 24, 2014 |
Much like the first part of Lemire’s Essex County trilogy, this is a measured and sure-handed realistic novella, told without big gestures. It deals with two hockey playing brothers in the fifties, their love for the same woman and how this tears them apart. The story is told by the older brother, or thought rather, as he is falling into dementia in a retirement home. The story telling is straight and simple, and even if the story doesn’t feel that original this time around either, it’s sparse and effective.

Lemire does a great job of sliding between times here, especially in his artwork. And like in the first book, his crude, grotesque drawings, unusual for the genre, create a great ambience. The only beef I have with them is that they never quite capture the feeling of speed and movement in the hockey rink. But for the density of a lonely, heavy body, they are just right. ( )
  GingerbreadMan | May 9, 2012 |
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"Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive."
- Stephen Leacock
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Presenting the critically-acclaimed second volume in a trilogy of graphic novels set in a fictionalized version of Jeff Lemire’s hometown of Essex County, Ontario. Ghost Stories follows the lives and relationship of brothers Lou and Vince Lebeuf over the course of nearly seven decades. In this volume, eldest brother Lou, now a deaf and lonely man, lives out his final days on his farm full of guilt and regret for the decisions he made that tore his family apart. From their childhood on the farm, to Toronto in the 1950’s (where they both played professional hockey), Lou revisits his life, a silent observer haunted by his own memories.
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"Eldest brother Lou, now a deaf and lonely man, lives out his final days on his farm, full of guilt and regret for the decisions he made that tore his family apart."--Cover, p.4.

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