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list price: $21
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Aug 2009
ISBN:9780771012587

A Very Bold Leap

by Yves Beauchemin, translated by Wayne Grady

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0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
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list price: $21
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Aug 2009
ISBN:9780771012587
Description

The third novel in the highly acclaimed quartet, The Charles the Bold Series, about a young man growing up in Montreal from the 1960s to 2000.

The last lines of volume two, The Years of Fire, have young Charles Thibodeau defiantly shouting “Montreal! You’re going to be hearing from me! I’m going to make your ears ring!” — just like Balzac’s hero Rastignac in Paris.

Now, after leaving high school at sixteen, Charles takes the leap and sets out to write The Great Montreal Novel. His stepfather, Fernand, is furious — “If I ever run into that goddamned Balzac I’m going to wring his neck for him . . .” — but Charles rents an apartment and a typewriter and sets to work.

What follows is Yves Beauchemin’s brilliant account of the joys and perils of a young novelist’s life. As the pages pile up, the money runs out. In due course, Charles has encounters with a sneering literary publisher and an oily vanity publisher, with predictable results.

Desperate, Charles takes on any job that comes his way — in his stepfather’s hardware store, as a dog-catcher (his skill at barking provokes unlicensed dogs to bark back), and as a front man for a touring evangelist. Finally, he succeeds in getting a writing job. It’s at a third-rate magazine, but his foot is on the ladder.

As always, Charles is supported by his friends during these adventures, and leads his life against the Quebec politics of the 1980s, involving Trudeau and others. And, as always, the sheer skill of Yves Beauchemin’s traditional storytelling sweeps us along, reminding us of the great novelists of the past.

About the Authors

Yves Beauchemin

YVES BEAUCHEMIN is a mordant social satirist and one of the most pre-eminent Québecois writers of his generation. His novels include Charles the Bold, The Waitress of the Café Cherrier, and The Alley Cat, which was the bestselling French-Canadian novel of all time. He is also a children’s book writer and a member of the Académie des lettres du Québec. In 2011, he was awarded the Ludger-Duvernay Prize, which recognizes the outstanding contribution and societal influence of Quebec writers.

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Wayne Grady

WAYNE GRADY is the author of two novels, Emancipation Day and Up from Freedom, and fourteen books of science and natural history. He is also the editor of six anthologies of short stories, including two co-edited by Matt Cohen, and one of Canada’s top literary translators. He has won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation, among many other honours. He lives in Kingston, Ontario, with his wife, novelist Merilyn Simonds.

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Contributor Notes

Yves Beauchemin is Quebec’s most popular novelist, and the author of the classic The Alley Cat. The first two books in this quartet, which continues to attract new readers, are Charles the Bold (2006) and The Years of Fire (2007).

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Review

Praise for Yves Beauchemin's Charles the Bold series:
“One of the ‘great books’. . . . No wonder Beauchemin is considered Quebec’s Balzac.” — Montreal Gazette

“Here’s a warm welcome to volume two of the life and times of Charles the Bold, Yves Beauchemin’s Dickensian serial salute to his beloved Montreal.” — Toronto Star

“A consummate storyteller, Beauchemin has been compared to Dickens, Rabelais and Balzac.” — Globe and Mail

“With his vivid cast of characters, a hero you can love even when he’s screwing up, and a dynamic sense of history, Beauchemin may just be Canada’s Dickens.” — Winnipeg Free Press

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