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Montpelier parade de Karl Geary
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Montpelier parade (2017 original; edició 2017)

de Karl Geary

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544373,623 (3.43)1
The house is on Montpelier Parade: just across town, but it might as well be a different world. Working on the garden with his father one Saturday, Sonny is full of curiosity. Then the back door eases open and she comes down the path towards him. Vera. Chance meetings become shy arrangements, and soon Sonny is in love for the first time. Casting off his lonely life of dreams and quiet violence for this new, intoxicating encounter, he longs to know Vera, even to save her. But what is it that Vera isn't telling him? Unfolding in the sea-bright, rain-soaked Dublin of early spring, Montpelier Parade is a beautiful, cinematic novel about desire, longing, grief, hope and the things that remain unspoken. It is about how deeply we can connect with one another, and the choices we must also make alone.… (més)
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door Helene:

Ik las het boek Montpelier parade van Karl Geary.
Ik vond het niet boeiend en bruut geschreven. Hoewel het onderwerp warm en liefdevol was, was het toch kil en kortaf geschreven. Dat was jammer, want op de boekenlijst leek het mij wel aangrijpend.
Het verhaal had wel een mooi afgerond einde, hoewel open eindes ook charmeren.
Maar het is zeker geen aanrader. Niet lezen.
Ik geef het twee sterren. ( )
  literair_adolescent | Apr 30, 2020 |
* I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway*

The premise is more promising than the story. This novel is told in second person, which is supposed to put you in Sonny's place, seeing the story directly from his perspective, but I found it to be unsettling.

The entire book is unsettling, on one level or another. It's depressing, and sad. Sonny lives a bleak existence, tiptoeing around his gambling father, a thief, (small time, but still) in his own right. He's just existing, going through the motions of life. Many of the other characters, Sharon, his parents, "the brothers" seem so irrelevant.

And then, he suddenly "falls in love" with Vera. Lust is more like it. Sonny develops a strange protectiveness over her, and in some ways you can see she is trying to protect him from herself, but it doesn't work.

There's also a lot of sex in this book. Given that I've never been a teenage boy, it was certainly interesting to read those scenes from Sonny's perspective.

The story deals with mental illness in a way that some people might find upsetting, so that's something to be aware of if you read this.

Honestly I was less interested in Sonny's story and more in Vera's especially toward the end of the book. The ending left me going, "what the fuck?" but not in a good way. ( )
  Melissalovesreading | Sep 30, 2018 |
I was intrigued by this short novel when I read the description that it's about a teenage boy having an affair with an older woman, and it's written in second person from the boy's perspective. Is he genuinely in love with her? Is she taking advantage of him? Is he using her? An interesting premise, to be sure.

However, this novel fell flat for me. There are not many characters in this story, but each one was depressing and pathetic. No one evoked any sympathy from me. The main character and the reader's voice, Sonny, vacillates between two emotions: phlegmatic and confused or aimlessly angry. His lover, the moribund Vera, is suicidal and taciturn. Their conversations, or rather I should say, exchange of words, are terse and sparse. There is no relationship development, only an acquiescence into sex. Their "relationship" doesn't even begin until halfway through the book, and then it just seems like a resigned inevitability. Even Sonny's younger love interest, Sharon, is just desperate for attention. The entire book is just lonely.

I was grasping for meaning in this novel, and the only theme I could find was one of existential hopelessness. It's dark and melancholy, but I still recommend it for readers who enjoy this type of morose psychological novel.


I thank Edelweiss, Karl Geary, Harvill Secker, and Catapult for this advance copy in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  ErickaS | May 2, 2018 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I LOVED it, in fact. MONTPELIER PARADE is one of those unputdownable reads, and from a brand new author, young Karl Geary, a Dublin-born NYC actor and entrepreneur. Saw the book advertised online, from Catapult, a small press.

New author, new publisher (at least to me), new book. There is a NEW-ness to the novel, although it is an old story. A coming of age story, with that May-December angle turned around, with some unhappy twists and tragic consequences. Set in 1980s Dublin, a young, sensitive, working class protagonist, Sonny, is struggling in the hostile environment of a posh prep school and working in a butcher shop evenings. He becomes involved with a beautiful, higher class, and sophisticated British woman, Vera, old enough to be his mother. She represents a chance to escape his unhappy and overcrowded home life. (There are several, coarser, older siblings, called simply 'the brothers.') He is also in big trouble at school. A loner, Sonny also has a friend his own age, a girl who has dropped out of school, who he often meets at a dark, rocky rendezvous called the Cat's Den. His relationship with Vera, however, deepens, and the story is laced with erotic episodes unlike anything Sonny has ever known before.

I thought of a couple other writers I've read and admired. The late Frank McCourt's autobiographical stories of poverty-stricken beginnings came to mind, of course, but I thought too of Eimar McBride's latest novel, the erotically charged THE LESSER BOHEMIANS. But mark my word, Karl Geary is a name to watch in the world of books. He's got it, that thing called talent. This is a beautifully written book, and a wonderful surprise for book lovers everywhere. My highest recommendation. Well done, Mr. Geary.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Oct 8, 2017 |
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The house is on Montpelier Parade: just across town, but it might as well be a different world. Working on the garden with his father one Saturday, Sonny is full of curiosity. Then the back door eases open and she comes down the path towards him. Vera. Chance meetings become shy arrangements, and soon Sonny is in love for the first time. Casting off his lonely life of dreams and quiet violence for this new, intoxicating encounter, he longs to know Vera, even to save her. But what is it that Vera isn't telling him? Unfolding in the sea-bright, rain-soaked Dublin of early spring, Montpelier Parade is a beautiful, cinematic novel about desire, longing, grief, hope and the things that remain unspoken. It is about how deeply we can connect with one another, and the choices we must also make alone.

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