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Malcom Orange Disappears

de Jan Carson

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1311,205,199 (4.17)14
The novel opens one week after Mr. Orange abandons his family in a pay-by-the-week motel on the outskirts of Portland and takes off for Mexico. Mrs. Orange is devastated and depressed, possibly still suffering the side effects of giving birth to Malcolm's newborn brother Ross in the parking lot of a shopping mall. Malcolm is delighted, anticipating his first permanent home. He coerces his unresponsive mother into taking a job at a local retirement village and as part of her pay the family are allowed to move into Chalet 13, becoming the youngest residents on a cul-de-sac of elderly individuals and couples, each with their own story of loss and survival to share. Two weeks after moving into Chalet 13, Malcolm finds himself covered in tiny, rapidly enlarging holes; he concludes that he is literally disappearing. As his mother is so traumatized that she has lost her grip on English and cannot bring herself to touch her own children. Malcolm is forced to employ the assistance of his elderly neighbors as he embarks upon a quest to find an antidote before he disappears completely.… (més)

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Northern Ireland author, Jan Carson, has the most imaginative writing style I've ever come across. That it's a debut novel makes it all the more awe-inspiring. Eleven year-old Malcolm, his parents, and baby brother travel around America living in their beat-up Volvo. Malcolm is worried about the holes that are beginning to form on his body although no one else notices. When the father abandons the family, Malcolm's mother finds a job and home at a Baptist retirement village in Oregon filled, of course, with fantastically colourful characters. Carson maintains the surprise factor throughout this ingenius story without once letting up. This is a wonderful, unforgettable story. ( )
1 vota VivienneR | Oct 14, 2018 |
A touching novel about a mother and son that is peppered with ideas, quirky turns of phrase and funny names.

Like her 11-year-old protagonist Malcolm, Jan Carson has an "overleaping imagination". A born storyteller, her narratives are uncontainable, fizzing up out of her pages like soda and vinegar in a bottle. The effect is of being hosed with words, peppered with ideas, quirky turns of phrase and funny names. You need to be receptive to this verbal onslaught or it can feel overwhelming. With plot and character development trampled in the onrush of incidental stories, the tale of Malcolm Orange and his mother, stuck in a chalet in a Portland, Oregon, retirement village after Malcolm's father has done a runner, is repeatedly hijacked by tales of other people. Carson, a native of Northern Ireland, combines a tradition of Irish picaresque with a colourful take on America. In a magical realist world where people bend cartoonishly to the whims of their creator, Malcolm responds to the stresses of his young life by starting to disappear. Under the Day-Glo surface colour of this relentlessly scurrying novel is a touching account of a mother and son and their accommodations of each other.
afegit per VivienneR | editaThe Guardian, Jane Housham (Feb 16, 2018)
 
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The novel opens one week after Mr. Orange abandons his family in a pay-by-the-week motel on the outskirts of Portland and takes off for Mexico. Mrs. Orange is devastated and depressed, possibly still suffering the side effects of giving birth to Malcolm's newborn brother Ross in the parking lot of a shopping mall. Malcolm is delighted, anticipating his first permanent home. He coerces his unresponsive mother into taking a job at a local retirement village and as part of her pay the family are allowed to move into Chalet 13, becoming the youngest residents on a cul-de-sac of elderly individuals and couples, each with their own story of loss and survival to share. Two weeks after moving into Chalet 13, Malcolm finds himself covered in tiny, rapidly enlarging holes; he concludes that he is literally disappearing. As his mother is so traumatized that she has lost her grip on English and cannot bring herself to touch her own children. Malcolm is forced to employ the assistance of his elderly neighbors as he embarks upon a quest to find an antidote before he disappears completely.

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