|By (author):||Brooke, John|
|Subject:||FICTION / Canadian|
|FICTION / Literary|
|Size:||7.94in x 5.28in|
|From The Publisher*|
Montreal is a city that has always represented the ideal of languages and peoples meeting, mixing and producing a culture greater than the sum of diverse parts. Last Days of Montreal travels through an imaginary cityscape, powered by apples, beer, the dream of love, and a dark but determined joie de vivre which Montrealers adopt to survive the rising tide of bitter political schism, economic downturn, language laws, record snowfalls, crumbling streets and a baseball team on the verge of disappearing. The locus is a quiet enclave in the north-east end.
Donald is an idealistic anglo from Toronto who came to Montreal on the strength of his father's "Liberal" hopes. But Pascale, his pure-laine wife, is inspired by a messianic "Lucien" and she sees the future differently. Bruce is a divorced Montreal-born anglo from the West Island, a failing stockbroker and an uncertain father, who is struggling to build a new life on the East Side where he now lives with Genevieve, a French ex-pat and freelance translator. Bruce sees the blue and white Quebec flag everywhere he looks, but when he tries to explain the "near-death experience" his country suffered in the referendum to Genevieve, she is not as sympathetic as he might wish. She is concerned with something beyond politics.
If Bruce and Donald represent a cry from the middle-class, horrid Last Days is their hyper-echo. Loud and legless, Last Days is a dissolute tramp, a self-appointed profit of doom, wheeling around in his electric wheelchair, warning all citizens that Montreal is killing itself with this ridiculous French/English political war. Last Days' world is the downtown streets. But a fateful meeting on the Cartier Bridge sparks love. A true Montrealer, Last Days heads into the north end, in search of his heart's desire.
The time span is from the early 90's through to a blessed spring following the Ice Storm of January 1998. At its centre is that cold, nerve-wracking day in November 1995. Last Days of Montreal is emotional history.
John Brooke became fascinated by criminality and police work listening to the courtroom stories and observations of his father, a long-serving judge. Although he lives in Montreal, John makes frequent trips to France for both pleasure and research. He earns a living as a freelance writer and translator, and has also worked as a film and video editor as well as directed four films on modern dance. His poetry and short stories have been widely published and in 1998 his story "The Finer Points of Apples" won him the Journey Prize. Brooke's first Inspector Aliette Nouvelle mystery, The Voice of Aliette Nouvelle, was published in 1999, followed by All Pure Souls in 2001. He took a break from Aliette with the publication of his novel Last Days of Montreal in 2004, but returned with her in 2011 with Stifling Folds of Love, The Unknown Masterpiece in 2012, Walls of a Mind in 2013, which was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best Crime Novel Award, and Tropéanos's Gun in 2015.