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book cover of Charles the Bold

Charles the Bold

(2006)
(The first book in the Charles the Bold series)
A novel by

 
 
Possibly the greatest novel published in Canada in 2004 - the first in a historic series.

It's as if Dickens or Balzac - or Rohinton Mistry - had decided to write the book that summed up life in east-end Montreal. This is the first volume of a quartet that has taken Quebec by storm, selling over forty-five thousand copies.

On the very first page, we meet Charles Thibodeau being born. It's 1966 and the rest of Montreal is more excited by the fact that a new subway system is opening, but his birth is a big event for Charles's parents and for their working-class neighbours.

Sadly, Charles's mother dies when he is four, her funeral interrupted by War Measures Act soldiers on the streets. Soon young Charles, like a younger Huck Finn, is fending for himself. While he adopts a stray dog, Boff, in turn he is taken away from his drunken, violent father and becomes part of the Fafard family nearby.

His adventures follow thick and fast - at school, where he avoids becoming a teacher's pet, despite being smart, in a part-time job where he encounters a pederast, and at summer camp, where he establishes himself as a rebel. By the end of the book, he has fully earned his title, Charles the Bold, leaving us eager to follow his further adventures.

But the real hero of this book is Montreal, and its scores of memorable, lively characters who leap off the page. Like Gabrielle Roy in The Tin Flute, Yves Beauchemin has given us an unforgettable portrait of life in the francophone east end - with more to come in this ambitious and richly rewarding saga.

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Used availability for Yves Beauchemin's Charles the Bold

Hardback Editions

September 2006 : Canada Hardback
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Title: Charles the Bold: Translated By Wayne Grady
Author(s): Yves Beauchemin
ISBN: 0-7710-1147-4 / 978-0-7710-1147-4 (Canada edition)
Publisher: Douglas Gibson Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

September 2007 : Canada Paperback
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Title: Charles the Bold
Author(s): Yves Beauchemin
ISBN: 0-7710-1148-2 / 978-0-7710-1148-1 (Canada edition)
Publisher: Douglas Gibson Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

November 2011 : Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Charles the Bold
Author(s): Yves Beauchemin
Publisher: Douglas Gibson Books
Availability: Amazon CA