Monday, December 14, 2009

The Man in the Closet by Roch Carrier

It seemed this fall the big thing to do was to hold used book sales. There were a few in the lobby of my building at work and one at church. I took advantage of these to gather some Can Lit at reasonable prices. Now, this has positives and negatives. Positive: most books cost me $1. Negative: Not always the best selection. This meant I had to broaden my selection criteria, so basically, anything Canadian I bought. So that is how I ended up with Roch Carrier on my shelf.

Then, post wedding, I was falling behind and wanted a book that I could blow through quick. So I decided on The Man in the Closet.

The only other Roch Carrier book I have read is The Hockey Sweater, which I love (of course). So this was my first non-kids, non-picture book from him. And it wasn’t bad.

The Man in the Closet is a mystery type story of a small town in Quebec that often has big town people visit on the weekend (country homes). Two young (beautiful) girls come to stay in a house owned by the Martins. One night, a man jumps out of the closet and scares one of the girls, who in turns punches through a window and runs away (all while naked- she was getting ready for bed). This leads to chaos in the small town as fingers are pointed and accusations thrown.
Though a mystery, it was not all that mysterious, but the ending did still shock me a bit (not entirely). It was a good portrait of small town life and the interesting dynamics that play out. While I would never nominate this book for any kind of prize, it wasn’t horrible.

Anyway, it is hard to write about mediocre books- not much to say besides it was ok. I still say Roch Carrier is one of the most important writers in Canada, just for the Hockey Sweater, not this one.

Next up: Barnacle Love by Anthony De Sa, which I am now 25 pages into and really enjoying!

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