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Chabot, Denys.

Ottawa, Oberon Press. c1984. 236pp, paper, ISBN 0-88750-554-6 (cloth) $23.95, 0-88750-555-1 (paper) $12.95.

Reviewed by Philip K. Harber

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

Somewhat like Jacques Ferron's 1979 novel Le ciel du Québec(VLB, 1979), this is a view of Quebec, "la province lunaire," in which every detail, every description is exaggerated to the point of violence in the manner of a dream in which two people look for the town of Champdoré, (Eldo- rado?), starting from the village of Pontgrave by train, tram, boat, and a motorcycle on rails. After numerous adventures, the calechè-driver narrator and Catherine his girlfriend are last seen in the forests near Champdore looking for a lost old lady. The author seeks to carry us along on a flow of words and images, while satirizing various aspects of Québec society, e.g., the village, the society party, the literary gathering, and the goldrush town. However, the deliberate obscurity achieved by shocking or surprising the reader at every turn on the narrative, makes this novel difficult to recommend to students, other than those specializing in the contemporary experimental writers. Perron's short stories convey something of the same "magic realism," but more readily.

Philip K. Harber, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, Ont.
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