Red Dog, Red Dog

Red Dog Red Dog A National Bestseller and a Globe and Mail Best Book of the YearOne of the most powerful gripping works of fiction to come out of Canada Red Dog Red Dog is Patrick Lane s virtuoso debut novel An ep

  • Title: Red Dog, Red Dog
  • Author: Patrick Lane
  • ISBN: 9780771046353
  • Page: 474
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A National Bestseller and a Globe and Mail Best Book of the YearOne of the most powerful, gripping works of fiction to come out of Canada, Red Dog, Red Dog is Patrick Lane s virtuoso debut novel.An epic novel of unrequited dreams and forestalled lives, Red Dog, Red Dog is set in the mid 1950s, in a small town in the interior of B.C in the unnamed Okanagan Valley The noveA National Bestseller and a Globe and Mail Best Book of the YearOne of the most powerful, gripping works of fiction to come out of Canada, Red Dog, Red Dog is Patrick Lane s virtuoso debut novel.An epic novel of unrequited dreams and forestalled lives, Red Dog, Red Dog is set in the mid 1950s, in a small town in the interior of B.C in the unnamed Okanagan Valley The novel focuses on the Stark family, centring on brothers Eddy and Tom, who are bound together by family loyalty and inarticulate love There is Tom and Eddy s father, Elmer Stark, a violent man with a troubled past, and Lillian, who married as a girl to escape life on the farm with her widowed mother, and now retreats into her own isolation Unrepentant, bitter, older brother Eddy speeds freely along, his desperate path fuelled by drugs and weapons, while Tom, a loner, attempts to conceal their secrets and protect what remains of the family Eventually, an unspeakable crime causes him to come face to face with something traumatic that has lain hidden in him since he was a boy Narrated in part by one of the dead infant daughters Elmer has buried, the story unfolds gradually, as it weaves in family stories that reach back to the depression days and the harsh life of settlers in the 1880s West.This is also a novel about a small community of people, about complicated loyalties, about betrayals and shifts of power Filled with moments of harrowing violence and breathtaking description, of shattering truths and deep humanity, Red Dog, Red Dog is about the legacies of the past and the possibilities of forgiveness and redemption With this astonishing novel, one of Canada s best poets propels himself into the forefront of our finest novelists.

    One thought on “Red Dog, Red Dog”

    1. Patrick Lane's beautiful imagery juxtaposed with the "Stark" realities of its characters was in itself a feat. As I read, I felt what is at the heart of this first (!)novel, is a long, melancholy song. Very moving.

    2. A Book ReviewRed Dog Red Dogby Patrick LaneIt amazes me. Settlers crossing North America in the 1800's. The hardships they had to endure. Covered wagons, hostile Indians, winter. Food. Eating their dogs. Hard to believe, in this day and age just how large North America really was. To cross the continent, the trip took months. People were totally ignorant of the dangers and just weren't prepared for such a journey.The story opens in the middle of the Saskatchewan prairies, with just such settlers [...]

    3. This book really wasn't my cup of tea. I DEFINITELY wouldn't have picked it out by myself, but it just happened to be a requirement for the English course I am taking at University. Our professor wanted us to read it because it is set in the Okanagan during the 1950s, which is where I am from (the Okanagan - not the 1950's) and have lived all my life. I expected a beautiful, sunny novel, but what I got was ANYTHING but. Full of rape, incest, violence, animal cruelty, murder, suicide, and vulgar [...]

    4. The novel begins with a bang, a stunning opening chapter followed by five almost as vivid, but then narrative thrust is lost amidst a welter of irrelevant characters and explorations of the lives of the protagonist's parents and grandparents. Eventually the plot is slowly resumed, and by the end is moving at a reasonable pace, but it's too late: the reader has been kept waiting too long.The digressions are often powerful in themselves, and do shed light on the main characters, but they overwhelm [...]

    5. I've read some bad Canadian literature but this is just pure shit. At first I was somewhat intrigued by the first person narrative of a dead six month old baby girl. This without asking the question, how did she learn to speak so well? It's just an allegorical device, poetic licence in literature. Garbage. If this was written as a regular readable story, as interestingly as possible, it would still be dull and boring. A "who cares" tale dressed up in lyrical mis-use. I gave it a 1 because you ha [...]

    6. Don't go near this work unless you are prepared to be beaten senseless time and time again. An amazingly powerful story which was even harder to read the second time through because I knew what was coming. There is no way to describe this other than to say it is an emotional black hole from which you cannot emerge unscathed.

    7. Set in 1958 in a small remote community in the southern Okanagan region of Canada, the story centres on the two Stark brothers, their family and a group of friends, enemies and neighbours. While the actual events take place in the space of a week, the narrative moves in flashbacks to previous generations and the early settler years. The people living eking out a living in this harsh environment, bear the inherited burden of poverty and misery. In their struggle to make ends meet they easily turn [...]

    8. How I Came to Read This Book: Random House sent it to me eons ago.The Plot: I guess the protagonist is a young man named Tom Stark, who lives in a small town in the West in the 1950s. His brother Eddy is royally messed up after being sent to juvi and becoming addicted to heroin. His mother, perhaps mad since a young age, is a recluse with no love for anyone but her eldest, wanted son. His father is long since dead, a man with a temperament of a pit bull. The 'present day' plot of the story surro [...]

    9. "It was stone country where a bone cage could last a thousand years under the moon, its ribs a perch for Vesper sparrows, its skull a home for Harvest mice." (p. 14)In a strange - but fitting - genre cross of Western Noir and Southern Gothic, Patrick Lane has crafted a generational story of horror, tragedy, and family resilience in the face of the unbearable. The Stark family, living in the house on Ranch Road in a rural farming town in 1950s British Columbia, hides terrible secrets. These secre [...]

    10. I read this book 3 years ago in first year English, but I was recently trying to describe to someone why I often didn't like Can lit and remembered it again. This novel is the perfect example of everything that drives me crazy in Can lit - barren to a fault, dreary, almost impressively slow-moving, overbearing. Lane is a fine writer, his prose in itself is poetic (something I usually enjoy), and the first few paragraphs are gorgeous. But the characters, plot and setting are impossibly dull. Also [...]

    11. I enjoyed this book. Lane tells the difficult story of the Stark family who are living in extreme poverty in the Canadian desert in the 1950s. He shows how experiences of abuse, neglect, poverty, addiction, and emotional instability shaped the lives and experiences of Tom and Eddy Stark, how their parents decisions, behaviour, and actions and the social context determined the fate of the brothers and how the early lives of their parents determined those decisions, behaviours, and actions. He exp [...]

    12. An impressive book for its lyrical language. But that same language is too much of a good thing at times. Poetic description often slows the pace. I found myself wondering at one point if Tom would ever get out of the truck he was in. Speaking of Tom, I related most to this character and felt Lane had really gotten under his skin. The story was most alive for me when Tom was on the page. This novel is a saga of a family -- two brothers, their brute of a father and their mother who favors one son [...]

    13. This is my all time favourite book! He actually used to teach at my uni but I missed his poetry workshops by one year. This book is so prosaicly beautiful but the poetic nature of his diction is juxtaposed with the harsh landscape and character of early 1900s prairie life. The narrative is haunting and the characters are believably tortured mentally and physically. It is a heart-wrenching story told with hauntingly beautiful poetic prose that you can't help but cry. I strongly suggest this novel [...]

    14. "Magical element"Red Dog Red Dog is very different from the books I used to read. The images jumped back and forth encircling a family of desolate characters. They are ineloquent to the extreme, hearing them speak is a rare treat. A picture of barrenness, isolation, and forlornness. At the same time, “Red Dog Red Dog” is not an easy read, you have to be willing to stay with the narrator (sometimes a one-year-old ghost!), the characters, the story, to absorb the grief, helplessness and unspok [...]

    15. Once again a National Best Seller that is totally outside my idea of a goodread. Set in the 50s in Alberta, where I grew up, Saskatchewan, Montana et al, narrated by a deceased infant daughter, this book thank GOD does not begin to resemble the life I knew growing up in that era and that place. While his writing may be "richly textured" it is also morbid depressing and moves at a pace that makes paint drying seem instantaneous. I QUIT at page 175 and the only thing I learned was that Qu'Apelle m [...]

    16. Written by Canadian poet Patrick Lane, this beautifully written book follows the story of the Stark family in the 1950's Okanagan Valley. How do we become who we are? What events in our lives have shaped us into the person we are today? A story of loss, addiction, sorrow and death. I chose this book because of the setting (the okanagan valley), a place I love to visit. Lane gives vivid descriptions and uses many metaphors. A book you almost have to read twice. I enjoyed Tom Stark's narration bes [...]

    17. Το μοναδικό μυθιστόρημα του Καναδού ποιητή είναι μια εξαιρετική ιστορία που εισχωρεί βαθιά στο θέμα της βίας. Ο συγγραφέας δεν μιλάει γενικά για τη βία αφού οι κεντρικοί ήρωές του είναι τόσο τραγικοί που γίνονται μοναδικοί. Ξεκινά την ιστορία αυτή πιάνοντας τον αναγνώστη \ [...]

    18. I want to give this 2.5 stars, and the only thing that tips the balance to 3 is that I was interested in reading about the past of a town I'm familiar with. The language was lovely and the setting interesting (at least to me). Otherwise, this was another depressing Canlit novel.Lane is obviously a talented writer and I'd like to try reading his nonfiction, but I can't really say I enjoyed this book.

    19. Written very descriptively, with a tremendous ability to transpose the reader into the story due to the authors incredible ability to write well. However…… can be a difficult read. It deals with numerous life struggles that one would rather sweep under the carpet. But the book grasps you by the hand and sucks you back in. Written well, but the story line can leave a bad taste in your mouth.

    20. I was turned off immediately by the grim subject matter but as i read further,I was hooked by the language. If this man was not a poet It would have died a quick literary death. The book is cross between The Grapes of Wrath and King Lear. It is a "Stark"Testament to the universal destruction caused by child abuse.

    21. Evocative writing style but too bleak for my liking.The lack of quotation marks was odd. It made reading this book out loud and quite the challenge.

    22. Couldn't finish this. Life is already full of cruelty and despair I don't necessarily want to read about it. This one was just a little too depressing for this guy.

    23. I liked the story as a whole. The poetic language, though beautiful, could have been cut back a bit and the book would have been no worse off. All in all, a nice summer read.

    24. Booooring! This writer should stick to poetry because he is not much of a novelist. Some beautiful writing in parts, but like I saidhe's a poet.

    25. You just have to put a book down when you're constantly forcing yourself to pick it up. The low rating of this book already tells me I wasn't the only one that thought it was bad

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