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The Immaculate Conception by Gaetan Soucy
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The Immaculate Conception (original 1994; edition 2007)

by Gaetan Soucy, Lazer Lederhendler (Translator)

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512229,653 (3.77)8
Member:LynnB
Title:The Immaculate Conception
Authors:Gaetan Soucy
Other authors:Lazer Lederhendler (Translator)
Info:House of Anansi Press (2007), Edition: Tra, Paperback, 328 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fiction, Canadian, 2012

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The Immaculate Conception by Gaétan Soucy (1994)

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This is a gritty story about Remouald Tremblay, a beautiful and intelligent child who suffered trauma that turned him into a meek, underachieving bank clerk, uncomfortable with most people. We meet him as a young adult, caring for his invalid stepfather (Seraphon) and the niece (Sarah) of his manager.

It is also the story of Clementine Clement, a teacher estranged from her family and still pining the loss of her fiance and stillborn child. And the children she teaches, the school principle, the grotesque drifter, Wilson, the creepy fire chief, Roger, and the alcoholic widow....all of whom are marked in some way by their upbringing and the pain life has inflicted upon them.

This book explores topics of dealing with tragedy, religion, and living in a neighbourhood that doesn't provide the security and comfort of a community.

The story wanders back and forth, and at times, I had trouble keeping things straight. There are a lot of threads woven into the tapestry of this neighbourhood...some seem less important than others maybe a bit disjointed, but all contribute to the richness of the atmosphere Mr. Soucy manages to create. ( )
  LynnB | Dec 15, 2012 |
The novel, set in Montreal in the 1920s, starts with an arson fire in a pub, and revolves around Remouald and his father, Seraphon, and other people who find themselves connected to the burnt out shell.
When it’s done, it appears to be a scathingly critical view of the Catholic religion and how trying to live religiously to its principles leads to sexual repression and fairly awful outcomes.
There were things about this novel that were brilliant. I loved the fresh, cliché free and hilarious style, with striking metaphors, and the characters that were incredibly well drawn, quirky and bordering on grotesque.
Then, there were things that were not completely to my satisfaction. There were loose ends in the narration and exaggerated, unnecessary gruesomeness.
It failed to enthrall me, but I saw sparkles of genius on the way.
( )
1 vote Niecierpek | Aug 22, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0887847366, Paperback)

In the isolated parish of Nativité, 75 residents have recently died in a blaze. The survivors’ fractured world is suffocatingly circumscribed by neighbors and the Church. Focusing on troubled bank clerk Remouald Tremblay and desperately unrequited Clémentine Clément, Gaétan Soucy’s acclaimed fourth novel explores the same ominously enchanted terrain as his award-winning Vaudeville! Soucy brilliantly illuminates the dark corners where ordinary people fear to look and reminds that for every moment of justice, there are numerous crimes that will remain forever secret.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:49 -0400)

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