The much longer full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.
com 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 inconsequential, too Delightfully British in the worst way possible And thus do we come to the fourth Booker nominee to be reviewed here at CCLaP, Michael Redhill s Consolation and surprisingly enough, this one I actually did enjoy quite a bit, and have been spending some time recently thinking about why that is Partly, 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 bonus I m a fan of historical fiction and thoroughly enjoyed delving into the beginnings of what has now become the Toronto of today Redhill did an excellent job of using the appropriate diction for the times, which made it all that much likeable.
Definitely a good read and proof of the old adage Don t judge a book by its cover.
Is , Toronto Unable To Make A Living In The New World From His Trade, English Apothecary JG Hallam Takes Up The New Science Of Photography, And Embarks On A Grand Project To Document The Bleak Young City But Returning From An Exhibition Of These Images In England, Hallam S Ship Is Lost In A Violent Storm On Lake Ontario And The Strongbox Holding The Photographs Is LostA Century And A Half Later, And ì read ê Consolation by Michael Redhill ✓ The Shoreline Of The Harbour Has Shifted Dramatically Professor David Hollis Speculates That The Sunken Ship Containing This Important Historical Record Lies In The Landfill Where The City S New Union Arena Is To Be Built But His Findings Are Met Only With Howls Of Derision From His ColleaguesThree Months Later, Hollis Is Dead And His Grieving Widow, Marianne, Embarks On A Furtive, Unsettling Quest To Vindicate Her Husband From Her Hotel Room Overlooking The Excavation Site Where The Arena Is To Stand, She Watches And Waits For A Piece Of The Past To Reappear That Might Alleviate The Anguish Of These Civic And Private Vanishings 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 not too obvious but such that we re recognisably reading one story rather than two.
The characters were the best aspect of the writing and felt like real people not always consistent, not always nice, not always understanding what their actions would mean, but not completely ignorant of this either However for a story that is very much about a place the location didn t really come alive to me exc 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.
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.
✓ Consolation â I think this book was too complex for the state of mind I was in while reading it I loved the idea of a historical novel focused on early photographic techniques in Toronto, as well as the archeological nature of the story I liked the idea of the layers of history building on one another, and later being uncovered in reverse order.
I think I loved the concept than the actual book.
There were some flashes of brilliance, especially towards the end Redhill is a clever writer, but sometimes it felt like he was too clever for me I kept wondering if I was missing things.
did some key part of the plot really happen, or was it made up by one of the characters I still don t know.
Speaking of characters I really liked the 19th century characters, but really didn t care about the modern ones.
After reading Bellevue Square , I was determined to read all of Michael Redhill s books my Goodreads challenge for 2019 He has become My Favourite Author overnight Consolation is the second Redhill book that I have read but was disappointed It s well written, and thoughtfully presented with its zigzagging timelines I just found it too slow, lacking the zany twists of Bellevue Square But Michael Redhill is still My Favourite Author and the challenge is still on
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.
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 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 these locations but also because it illustrated that knowing something about how my home city grew from woodland to metropolis is important Redhill s book show that a place so full of significance to me, by virtue of its familiarity, was invested with value and mean