Friday, February 10, 2006

Rare Birds - Edward Riche (January/06)

This is me attempting to catch up on my journal. Going to take me a while.

Rare Birds was a novel I had to read for my Atlantic Canadian Literature course in university. I had heard of this book before and had always associated it with an older piece of literature. I was wrong, it came out in the 90's. I am not sure if it was the teacher that gave me the wrong impression or the title. So, once I got over my incorrect impression of the novel, I looked forward to seeing what it was actually like.

It takes place in Newfoundland, a province in Canada, with most of the action taking place at the restaurant that the main character, Dave Purcell, owns. For those of you that do now know Newfoundland very well, it is a small place that is mainly associated with fishing as one of the fishing banks is located off its coast. So, there are restaurants, but Dave picked this out of the way place and put a fancy restaurant there. It did not exactly take off.

When he thinks that his world is about to come crashing down, though, his friend Alphonse Murphy not only helps him safe his failing restaurant but gives the reader a character to have a good laugh about. He has the most hilarious schemes concocted. If Dave's odd personality does not draw you in, you could read the book for Alphonse only and still be entertained.

Dave is going through more than the loss of his restaurant, his wife took a high power job in the US and he hardly sees her or talks to her, he believes that divorce is in his future. His loneliness and insecurities are the humour of the book in many ways and he gets himself into some situations that are both hilarious and eyebrow-raising. A great comical piece of literature that also makes fun of the tourists and other venues that Newfoundland has to offer to its people.

I also met the author of this book and now my copy is a signed copy. :)

I give this book a 3.5/5.

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