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The butterfly plague by Timothy Findley
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The butterfly plague (edition 1996)

by Timothy Findley

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1582149,426 (3.43)7
"A distilled and refined novel." --Gail Anderson-Dargatz It is Hollywood 1938. A great star is planning a stunning comeback, while another is bent on self-destruction. And, as dark clouds hang ominously over Europe, hordes of Monarch butterflies swarm beautifully but menacingly over Hollywood. Against a colourful backdrop of butterflies and beaches, Timothy Findley skillfully phases reality into nightmare, exploring mothers' relationships to sons, women's relationships to men, beauty's relationship to evil. Blending biting humour with brilliant perceptions of the levels of despair, The Butterfly Plague presents the movie world in all its splendour and decay.… (more)
Member:dimoreien
Title:The butterfly plague
Authors:Timothy Findley
Info:Toronto: Penguin, 1996, c1986. xvi, 374 p. ; 21 cm.
Collections:Your library
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The Butterfly Plague by Timothy Findley

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» See also 7 mentions

English (1)  French (1)  All languages (2)
I read this novel because I have challenged myself to read the complete works of Timothy Findley during 2010. I'm glad that I decided to spread them out over the year because having now read his first two novels and having read other of his works over the years, I want to have time to savor them and know there are some left to read.
From the cover - "First published in 1969, [The Butterfly Plague] is Timothy Findley's second novel, revised and with an introduction by the author. It is Hollywood 1938. A great star is planning a stunning comeback, while another is bent on self-destruction. And, as dark clouds hang ominously over Europe, hordes of Monarch butterflies swarm beautifully but menacingly over Hollywood."

As mentioned, this is his second novel; the first was [The Last of the Crazy People]. Both novels explore mother/son relationships, father/son relationships, and dysfunctional families. This novel is divided into "chronicles" rather than chapters. According to Merriam Webster, a chronicle is a narrative; "usually continuous historical account of events arranged in order of time without analysis or interpretation."
Each chronicle does live up to that definition, but their placement in the storyline of the novel creates a interconnected layering of the history of the characters. Findley moves the reader through a world of hilarious humor, dark comedy, and stark tragedy. It is definitely a novel I will read again. ( )
  Katethegreyt | Jan 11, 2010 |
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Epigraph
Ear of mankind
overgrown with nettles
would you hear?
If the voice of the prophets blew
on flutes made of murdered children's bones —
and exhaled airs burnt with
martyrs' cries —
if they built a bridge of old men's dying
groans —

Ear of mankind
occupied with small sounds
would you hear?

―NELLY SACHS,
poem published inO the Chimneys
Dedication
For: Sheila Keddy Arnold
Janet Baldwin
Grace Bechtold
Beverley Roberts
First words
"Mickey Balloon! Mickey Balloon, come down!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"A distilled and refined novel." --Gail Anderson-Dargatz It is Hollywood 1938. A great star is planning a stunning comeback, while another is bent on self-destruction. And, as dark clouds hang ominously over Europe, hordes of Monarch butterflies swarm beautifully but menacingly over Hollywood. Against a colourful backdrop of butterflies and beaches, Timothy Findley skillfully phases reality into nightmare, exploring mothers' relationships to sons, women's relationships to men, beauty's relationship to evil. Blending biting humour with brilliant perceptions of the levels of despair, The Butterfly Plague presents the movie world in all its splendour and decay.

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