Monday, June 27, 2011

Galore by Michael Crummey

There was a man who did Esther wrong. a horny, social-climbing tenor with busy hands who swore his undying love to her. He practiced his scales with his face between her legs, those muffled notes rising through her bones to strike in her head like pleasure's hammer. His father was German, his mother Italian, and he had confused the arts of love and war in his upbringing. He left her for a Frenchwoman with the breasts of a ten-year-old and a five-octave range.

The Canadian One Hundred Years of Solitude, Galore follows two Newfoundland fishing families over 2oo years of their intertwined, combative history, the family of Patick Devine and his wife, "Devine's Widow," and their antagonists, King-Me Sellers and his wife Selina.

The chart of the family tree at the beginning of the book gets as heavily-referenced as the one in Marquez's masterpiece. There is Judah on the Devine side, who is hacked out of a beached whale by Devine's Widow, whom King-Me Sellers believes to be a witch. The novel ends with Judah's great-grandson Abel returning to the inside of a whale.

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