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The Good Mayor by Andrew Nicoll
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The Good Mayor

by Andrew Nicoll

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1931361,059 (3.49)26
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I'm not sure I 'like' how things worked out. ?This is def. not a Harlequin or Hollywood romance. ?áTo understand why all the characters made all those choices, a reader needs a book club discussion,?áa savoring of the help the author does provide in the narration,?áand an investigation of symbolism and themes. ?áIt's not *L*iterary and inaccessibly pretentious, don't get me wrong, but it's not just an easy fun read, either. ?áI'm sure there's plenty I missed, but there's also plenty I appreciated.

For example, I'm sure there's a reason that the author made the lawyer comically morbidly obese. ?áSure, in general lawyers are typed to be avaricious, and to make this lawyer appear to crave food instead of money is an interesting choice. ?áBut then, the lawyer insists upon implying that he doesn't eat nearly enough to support his bulk. ?áAnd his most prominent theme is the difference between what is right, and what is good, and how they're more often than not at odds with each other.

But the biggest question a person who wishes for a Hollywood story might ask has at least one simple answer: Why did Agathe waste three years with Hektor? ?áSo that she and Tibo would realize they've gone through hell for each other, and treasure their love, instead of deciding, after a tiff or two, that what they had was only infatuation, and therefore not being happy after all, and feeling like they'd been cheated of love yet again, and feel like they had to figure out how to deal with disappointment. ?áThere's probably actually more than one answer to that question, but again, I'm not sharing this discussion with others, so I'm sure I'm missing how other themes interact with this one....

Lovely story, moving & joyful & thoughtful & dramatic, and, at times, even just plain funny. ?áTreat yourself to a couple of days in the town of Dot near the mouth of the River Ampersand in the Baltic watching over the lives of the people of this town, just as the narrator, Saint Walpurnia, does. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A touching story. This is what happens when you dither and do not have the strength of your connections. seize the day - somewhere in the Baltic. ( )
  jon1lambert | May 5, 2015 |
A quirky novel set in the Baltic town of Dot. Mostly told in the third person, with occasional interjections from the author and also the statue of a local saint, who had given her body for the town. The Mayor adores his attractive secretary and she is married to Skopak, a drunk who does not appreciate her at all. The Mayor and the secretary start having lunch together every day and get along very well. Complications to this simple love story come with Hektor, the artist and cousin of Stopak. There is fantasy from the Italian family who run the coffee shop / restaurant and who can conjure up love. The novel trips along in this almost idyllic 'Trumpton-like' town, fairly gaily, until gloom sets in. The geography and infrastructure of the town are clearly described and a map wouldn't have hurt. The characters are not deep and thoughtful and the message is not to waste love. Lovely observations that conjure up pictures. ( )
  Tifi | Jun 18, 2013 |
Not a bad story, but I found the narrator an odd choice. I didn't see the point of it and got immediately kicked out of the story whenever St. Walpurnia used pronoun I. ( )
  julienne_preacher | Jul 19, 2010 |
Wonderfully weird. Great descriptions ( )
  Pip1 | Oct 31, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Nicoll caresses words. The story is full of sensual detail, of brass bands, fat night moths, dewy cakes – and snows “sweeping the town with frozen feathers that fell into the Ampersand with a hot hiss.” It takes place in an alternative mid-20th-century time frame of clattering typewriters, high heels and trams.
 
Near the end of The Good Mayor, the narrator confesses that "this story is much more about the telling than the things that happen in it". It's an apt observation because a quick reviewer's résumé of the plot makes the novel sound a lot less than it is.
added by lkernagh | editThe Independent, David McVey (Jun 25, 2008)
 
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In the year Blank, when A-K was governor of the province of R, Good Tibo Krovic had been mayor of the town of Dot for almost twenty years.
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The Good Mayor is a magical debut novel. It is a love story and a story about love. Set in the little town of Dot in a forgotten part of the Baltic, it tells the story of Tibo Krovic, the good and honest Mayor of Dot, and his love for his secretary, the beautiful, lonely, but married, Mrs Agathe Stopak. In the quiet, respectable town of Dot there is nothing that Tibo can do about his love for Mrs Stopak but, one day, when she accidentally drops her lunch into a fountain, everything changes and their lives will never be the same again. The Good Mayor is a story of love, loss, magic, friendship, wonderful food, a brass band, an Italian witch, a large lawyer, an occasional dog and a car chase at walking pace. Beautifully written, this is one of the finest debut novels in years.
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Set in the little town of Dot in a forgotten part of the Baltic, this novel tells the story of Tibo Krovic, the good and honest Mayor of Dot, and his love for his secretary, the beautiful, lonely, but married, Mrs Agathe Stopak.

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