Consolation (2020)

Consolation There is a vast part of this city with mouths buried in it Mouths capable of speaking to us But we stop them up with concrete and build over them and whatever it is they wanted to say gets whispered d
  • Title: Consolation
  • Author: Michael Redhill
  • ISBN: 9780385659505
  • Page: 431
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Consolation
    There is a vast part of this city with mouths buried in it Mouths capable of speaking to us But we stop them up with concrete and build over them and whatever it is they wanted to say gets whispered down empty alleys and turns into wind These are among the last words of Professor David Hollis before he throws himself off a ferry into the frigid waters of There is a vast part of this city with mouths buried in it Mouths capable of speaking to us But we stop them up with concrete and build over them and whatever it is they wanted to say gets whispered down empty alleys and turns into wind These are among the last words of Professor David Hollis before he throws himself off a ferry into the frigid waters of Lake Ontario A renowned professor of forensic geology, David leaves in his wake both a historical mystery and an academic scandal He postulated that on the site where a sports arena is about to be built lie the ruins of a Victorian boat containing an extraordinary treasure a strongbox full of hundreds of never seen photographs of early Toronto, a priceless record of a lost city His colleagues, however, are convinced that he faked his research materials.Determined to vindicate him, his widow, Marianne, sets up camp in a hotel overlooking the construction site, watching and waiting for the boat to be unearthed The only person to share her vigil is John Lewis, fianc to her daughter, Bridget An orphan who had come to love David as his own father, John finds himself caught in a struggle between mother and daughter all the while keeping a dark secret from both women.Interwoven into the contemporary story is another narrative set in 1850s the tale of Jem Hallam, a young apothecary struggling to make a living in the harsh new city so he can bring his wife and daughters from England Crushed by ruthless competitors, he develops an unlikely friendship with two other down on their luck Torontonians Samuel Ennis, a brilliant but dissolute Irishman, and Claudia Rowe, a destitute widow Together they establish a photography business and set out to create images of a fledgling city where wooden sidewalks are put together with penny nails, where Indians spear salmon at the river mouth and the occasional bear ambles down King Street, where department stores display international wares and fine mansions sit cheek by jowl with shantytowns.Consolation moves back and forth between David Hollis s legacy and Jem Hallam s struggle to survive, ultimately revealing a mysterious connection between the two narratives Exquisitely crafted and masterfully written, Michael Redhill s superlative book reveals how history is often transformed into a species of fantasy, and how time alters the contours of even the things we hold most certain As complex and layered as the city whose story it tells, Consolation evokes the mysteries of love and memory, and what suffering the absence of the beloved truly means.
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      Published :2019-03-05T09:02:58+00:00

    One Reply to “Consolation”

    1. Consolation is a brilliantly written Canadian novel about the rapidly changing world, and about the secrets we bury and the legacies we all leave behind filled with the nostalgia of history and the sadness of the impending future and the past forgotten, this book is definitely one of my favorites and I highly recommend it.

    2. He put it a recently excavated clay pipe into my hand and closed my fingers over it and he said, the past really happened You held it in your hand You know something most people don t Consolation, 435 Consolation changed the way I look at my Toronto, the city where I live This was not only because it asked me to imagine things like black bears walking down King St or a graveyard in fact, a necropolis at the now busy intersection of Yonge and Bloor, which added a vivid, historical layer to my per [...]

    3. This was a really enjoyable read a story of early Toronto 1850ish if I remember correctly intertwined a story of another Toronto family in 1997 Each half of the story has a pretty similar weighting and I didn t mind switching between the two because it didn t happen too often and both halves were entertaining and written in similar styles.The modern day story is woven around the death of David Hollis, a historical researcher, and the historical story meets up with his research in a way that s no [...]

    4. I live in Toronto I love history and architecture This book was an incredible read and eventually I found myself on a walking tour of the buildings and history with Michael Redhill.There is so much development happening in the area of the waterfront where land was reclaimed now I am sure many artifacts are found and some even hidden so the development goes on uninterrupted.This novel was an eye opener and very engaging Loved it.

    5. I took a long time getting through this book because I didn t want it to end Redhill could have made it twice as long and I wouldn t have complained Compelling characters and settings, especially the 1850s Toronto segments I really, really, loved this book Redhill is one of my favourite Canadian authors.

    6. I must say I enjoyed this book 5 stars worth, but that s because I ve lived in and near Toronto since 1977 It s a good story, quite how true I m not sure, of the search for some historical 1850s photos of Toronto possibly buried in the landfill which has become Toronto south of Front Street, and which was previously Lake Ontario There are two threads 1850s and late 1990s.

    7. I borrowed this book without putting much time into reviewing it beforehand When I actually picked it up to read and determined what it was about ie Toronto I figured it would be boring and likely not worth my while Once I started reading it, I initially confirmed my suspicions and almost put it down in reality, I never do this Am I glad I didn t I loved the intermingling of the two stories one from 1997 Toronto where I happen to live and one from 1856 historical Toronto It became a two for one [...]

    8. The much longer full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter As regular readers know, all this month I m doing a special concentration here on the nominees for the 2007 Booker Prize, basically the British version of the Pulitzer and a prize many think is actually impressive than the Pulitzer and it s no surprise that in general I ve been disappointed by the nominated books I ve now read, finding them on the whole to be too delicate, too inconsequenti [...]

    9. David Hollis spent his career unearthing artifacts of old Toronto, but at the time of his death from Lou Gehrig s disease, his academic legacy was shadowed by his unsupported claims that a complete set of glass negatives of photos of Toronto, circa 1860, was lost in a shipwreck that now lies under landfill However, the story doesn t really deal with David except in flashback, as his wife, one of his daughters, and his daughter s fianc deal with his death by keeping vigil over a construction site [...]

    10. This book was divided into two time frames Toronto of the 1850 s and of the 1990 s I enjoyed the story from the 1850 s than that of the 1990 s I could not really get than a limited understanding of what was happening in the 1990 s possibly because characters were presented as complete and did not really develop much The interplay between John and Marianne while watching the construction site seemed fraught with a lot of unexplained angst The story with J Hallam, Sam Ennis and Claudia Rowe was [...]

    11. This is the first book by Michael Redhill that I have read although, Martin Sloane is on the book shelf ready to go and it was really enjoyable At first I found it difficult to get into there is a parallel story line that you need to navigate, which made it difficult to get into the rhythm of the story However, once I found my feet I thought Redhill delivered a well narrated tale with a smart plot Being a history lover, I found myself drawn to the historical story line and I was pleasantly surpr [...]

    12. Nice read Consolation, the book that is being promoted in the event of keep Toronto reading one book I started reading it wanting to have a glimpse of the Toronto a hundred years back in time More than not being disappointed, I think there are some hidden gems in this book Two stories paralleled in this novel one told the struggle of a family coming to terms with the loss of an important family member one told the adventure of an Englishman who left his whole family and started his unexpected li [...]

    13. It took me about 200 pages to get into this book But then I enjoyed it very much I must say that I thought the historical story was far interesting than the present day one I found Marianne and Bridget really annoying and their actions and words extreme Considering that Redhill is a playwrigt, you would think that dialogue would be a strong point, but I found it to be trite I liked the character John Lewis very much and especially enjoyed the relationship he had with David.The history of Toront [...]

    14. I am almost finished reading Consolation by Redhill It is not the greatest book I ve read I m feeling, oh, get on with it to get to the end The history of Toronto is interesting but the story is written like two stories in several different sections story 1, story 2, story 1, story 2 etc I find it a little exasperating The part I found interesting was the history sections on Toronto I could visualize the streets and intersections he refers to because I know Toronto I could relate to the story to [...]

    15. From The Atlantic reviewConsolationby Michael Redhill Little, Brown Lou Gehrig s disease again In this case, a local historian, suffering from the malady, posits, to public ridicule, that a trove of photographs of early Toronto lies beneath a landfill Redhill, author of the affecting short story collection Fidelity, shifts between the present day account of the widow s efforts to vindicate her husband and the story of the photographer in mid nineteenth century Toronto Puzzlingly, the modern bits [...]

    16. This is a book with two story lines, one set in present day Toronto well, just a few years ago and one set in 1850s, the very early days of the city As you can imagine, they are intertwined, and I must admit I found myself far fascinated by the 1850 plot than the current day one The fact that it s set in in Toronto was a bonus, but by no means do you need to know the city or have a particular interest in it, to enjoy the book If you enjoy historical novels which detail the lives of ordinary cit [...]

    17. i can t really tell if it has anything to do with being in Toronto these days or it s simply a good novel i like all the details about the photography profession and the actual names of streets and shops it s specially exiting when I walk by one of them what I mostly like about this book is the author s smooth way of jumping through time i ll have to agree with those who favor the historical story over the resent onebut all in all, I think it s a good vacation read

    18. Just flew back from Toronto with a copy of Michael Redhill s Consolation and was so absorbed that I m now halfway through its 468 pages in only six hours the flight plus couldn t put it down reading time in the hammock later that evening I d always felt I wouldn t connect with Redhill s Toronto centric point of view but he casts tough, straight spoken women and men with much softer personalities characters and action that pulled ME into the historical storyline.

    19. A very engaging book I enjoyed it tremendously Loved the descriptions of the lives of strugging Torontonians in the 1850 s John and Bridget and the way their relationship evolved both in the present and past tense, somehow evoked my own memories in love during those same years and living in Toronto And I thought the way the two stories were linked together was very well done As a lover of Toronto history this book is hard not to cherish page by page.

    20. It is really 3.5 stars for this one, but since it didn t get from the Booker longlist to the shortlist I am being generous This is the kind of book I take pleasure in a real story, with emphasis on plot and characters in contrast to, for example, Enright s The Gathering and McEwan s On Chesil Beach which are less plot driven although they have fared better in the Booker I think the fact that I have just been to Toronto aided my enjoyment.Perhaps a little slow in parts.

    21. Redhill does a remarkable job conveying a sense of place and history, and it s this that has remained with me than the characters or plot Incidentally, the 19th century photo series at the heart of the story is real, and is available online through the Toronto public library Very interesting to look through it after finishing the book.

    22. I found this book mesmerizing in it s history of Toronto The author s use of different time periods brings the past to life I knew it was hard for the early settlers but I hadn t realized how it could change who they were when they arrived Such a well written novel

    23. Enjoyed the familiarity of the setting, and the proximity to my neighborhood growing up, but not the story itself.

    24. A wonderful and unexpected read Beautifully written, two great stories interwoven, in and about Toronto, believe it or not Just simply a real pleasure to read.

    25. I was torn on this one Really liked the characters and scenes that took place in 1800s Toronto, but didn t really connect with the characters and events in present day Toronto.

    26. What a fine writer Michael Redhill is I enjoyed his mysteries under the name Inger Ash Wolfe as well But Consolation is a strange book David Hollis believes that under Toronto s land fill lies a ship that sank during the 1850 s carrying with it a photographer who made a record of every street, building, road, shack and shop in Toronto s history Although his colleagues shrug off his ideas, his widow consoles herself by trying to prove he is right The area is now being prepared for the building of [...]

    27. Has an intermittently engaging double story one set in Toronto in 1857 and one in Toronto in 1997 , but reads like a novel written by a playwright a fair bit of emotional artifice and a lot of stagey dialogue The resolution offers a nice twist but undercuts the basic premise that the past is real Which is it Real or imagined What does the author really think Or is ambiguity inevitable Found myself rushing through the last half The welter of detail may not be necessary and some of the characters [...]

    28. Just finished reading the novel Consolation for the author Michel RedhillA novel of love and loss a complicated novel, with so much of details some which are interested to know and some are so unnecessary the interesting description of the novel and the beautiful cover made me wanna read it, however it isn t as what I thought the story is normal and repetitive, with an unsurprising plot some paragraphs were really beautiful and touching though and the vocabulary of the author is so complex as we [...]

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