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I m done and it couldn t have been fast enough Took 100 pages to finally grasp at something that had potential but snowballed into something that went on for far too long.Moses Sweetland, 70, sits in his house on an island not far from St John s, Nfld The government is pressuring folks to sell and he is the only one holding out Until, the tide does change and for circumstances I won t disclose, the choice to at last go with the majority doesn t come to fruition The story flits from present I m done and it couldn t have been fast enough Took 100 pages to finally grasp at something that had potential but snowballed into something that went on for far too long.Moses Sweetland, 70, sits in his house on an island not far from St John s, Nfld The government is pressuring folks to sell and he is the only one holding out Until, the tide does change and for circumstances I won t disclose, the choice to at last go with the majority doesn t come to fruition The story flits from present to the past reliving vivid moments This is apocalyptic loneliness with just a little too much of day to day survival How many fires can one describe and how much winter can one weather Sigh.Did I enjoy this Nope I felt this to be a colder version of Castaway the exception of it being a personal choice that was an astounding blunder I ve read some rave reviews from GR friends which was the only thing that kept me going But alas, I just didn t connect with it and was happy when I was able to close the book on this one I have updated this to a solid 3 The writing was quite good it wasthe subject and it s repetitiveness that wasthan enough for me Had it been clawed back by 40 pages, it just may have gotten a higher rating Was having issues with the link I have learned that if I don t like the first two pages of a book I will never like it I thought it would be the same with this book because it was so boring, nothing was happening, not even up to maybe the first 100 pages So, why didn t I quit like I would otherwise Well, I love the ocean and wanted to read a book on village life in another country I am also reading books around the world and had looked for one set in Newfoundland But after 25 pages I did put it down a week later I picked I have learned that if I don t like the first two pages of a book I will never like it I thought it would be the same with this book because it was so boring, nothing was happening, not even up to maybe the first 100 pages So, why didn t I quit like I would otherwise Well, I love the ocean and wanted to read a book on village life in another country I am also reading books around the world and had looked for one set in Newfoundland But after 25 pages I did put it down a week later I picked it up again I did this over and over At 100 pages or so I had it in my hands and almost put it in my bag of books to take to the library sale For some nagging reason I set it back in my read pile Then a few days later, I began wondering how Sweetland, the main character of the story, was doing.Moses Sweetland is a 70 year old man who lives on an island off the coast of Newfoundland with friends, family and other residents Many on the island had already left to find jobs elsewhere, leaving just a few residents, mainly the elderly and others who either had jobs on the island or couldn t work The government wanted to pay them all to leave the island because they didn t want the expense of bringing supplies to so few people But first, all of the villagers had to sign the agreement or the government wouldn t pay any of the them Sweetland wouldn t sign Of course not That s the story His act of defiance angered some in the village while others just tried to coerce him into signing He even received threats And all of this slow action is taking place in the first 100 pages that I was struggling through Yet in that time you get to know the people, you get to know Sweetland, and I believe that was the purpose of Crummey s taking so long to pick up the pace And maybe nothing really doesn t happen in a small village until someone throws in a monkey wrench Sweetland did just that.I had a read a review of this book and learned that after everyone leaves the island, after Sweetland had signed the papers, he goes back to live there by himself.That was almost a spoiler to me, and actually it was, because I thought, well, that s all folks No That wasn t all There is yet another 200 orpages left So next we have Someone who commits suicide, or so they think Sweetland begins preparing to stay on the island without the villagers or the government realizing what he is doing He is storing up food, planting a garden, and getting his gear ready Then when he is alone on the island he is having flashbacks of his life and conversations with people who had lived there We follow him as he fishes, gets lost in the fog, hunts rabbits, preserves food, feels so lonely that he begins listeningto his radio, a radio that only has batteries and so will soon die Then he hears music in the church, feels something running past him in the dark, breaks into vacant homes looking for supplies, stops by the empty shops, finds a barge but not all in that order The excitement continued thoughout the book I realized soon enough that was reading an adventure survival book my favorite kind of book I finished the book and put it on my book shelf to be saved along with the other few good books that I keep and hope to read again when I have forgotten the stories.Alone on the island The weather had turned for fall and even the warmest days had an edge to them, the wind cold enough to warrant a jacket The dark coming earlier each evening, and he was often surprised to turn from the film of light on the horizon to see the cover already settled into night The abandoned buildings huddle and lifeless, their windows black A gaudy rash of stars about them Most days there was nothing else to see He felt nearly invisible up there in the lighthouse and he didn t mind the feeling as a rule, though now and again he was blindsided by an apocalyptic loneliness he was afraid he might be unequal to He caught a blur at the cemetery of movement outside the circumference of the light then, a shadowed scurry that made him swing around in the dark His heartbeat in his ears Sweetland kept his eyes on it the moon as he made his way along the path and was almost among the houses before he saw the light in Queenie Coffin s window He stopped still, watching the flow of the dull yellow square He blinked quickly three or four times He scanned along the Church Side hills, out as far as the point where he saw nothing but the habitual black And when he turned his eyes back to Queenie s house the window was dark Crummey has won awards for his writings He is also a poet, which I feel makes his writing beautiful, brilliant, and lyrical I felt that I was living on the island with him, with the people, and I didn t want them to leave the island, but I was also glad for the adventure that followed Sweetland s return to an island devoid of the residents Michael Crummey s next book, Galore has won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book, Caribbean Canada and the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award Finalist for the Governor General s Literary Award for Fiction, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Book Award, and the Winterset Award It also takes place in a small fishing village I have just purchased it How does one measure the value of a man s life Is it the house he lives in The amount of possessions he has The family and friends who love him or those he loves Twelve generations have lived on the island of Sweetland, a mythical place off the Newfoundland coast, they have made due with little and supported each other through hard times The governments price is 100,000 dollars, but only if everyone leaves the island Many accept, this is their chance to have an easier life and that is a l How does one measure the value of a man s life Is it the house he lives in The amount of possessions he has The family and friends who love him or those he loves Twelve generations have lived on the island of Sweetland, a mythical place off the Newfoundland coast, they have made due with little and supported each other through hard times The governments price is 100,000 dollars, but only if everyone leaves the island Many accept, this is their chance to have an easier life and that is a lot of money Their are a few holdouts but then only one is left Moses Sweetland and this is his story.His life his here, his memories, his secrets and he has all the comforts he needs He plays video poker, has his niece and her son It is her son he is most worried about, Jesse is a little different and doesn t take well to change Soon the pressure for Moses to change his mind is taken to extreme measures and he will reluctantly give in and accept the offer But after a tragedy ensues, he decides on an act that will set the stage for the rest of the book.A wonderful story that really resonated for me, got under my skin This is a quiet book, really atmospheric and it was easy for me to envision myself traveling along with Moses A survival story about hanging on and its dangers and a look back in his memories so that the reader gets a very well rounded look into his character He is a difficult old man, now at the age of seventy, with a sarcastic sense of humor Yet he is content with his life as it is and doesn t want it to change, doesn t see why it should A book and a character that I won t soon forget.Arc from publisher This one crept up on me and bowled me over with the stubborn and quiet heroism of a character who resists the inevitable destruction of his way of life and loss of his rural community Moses Sweetland lives on a Newfoundland island named after his ancestors Decades after the commercial cod fishery shut down, most capable ambitious residents have gone to elsewhere in Canada to seek work, leaving mostly misfits and the elderly behind to cling to the old ways Sweetland has been totally bound into This one crept up on me and bowled me over with the stubborn and quiet heroism of a character who resists the inevitable destruction of his way of life and loss of his rural community Moses Sweetland lives on a Newfoundland island named after his ancestors Decades after the commercial cod fishery shut down, most capable ambitious residents have gone to elsewhere in Canada to seek work, leaving mostly misfits and the elderly behind to cling to the old ways Sweetland has been totally bound into the lives of these people and the place his whole life Now the government doesn t want to pay the tab for services to the community and is enticing them to move to the mainland with generous compensation payoffs, which they all must agree to Sweetland and one of his neighbors are the only holdouts.Despite pressures from community members to give in, Sweetland keeps to the patterns of his life He knows every rocky hill and meadow on the island, every shoal and cove of its shores, and he finds purpose in partaking in the rhythms of nature and changing tasks that the seasons bring He lives alone, plays online poker, cuts a lot of wood, fishes, gardens, and snares rabbits for food All could be fine if it weren t for the people he loves slowly dying off or disappearing In his circle is a man who was addled from drinking kerosene as a kid, a blind man his school friend married out of pity, an agoraphobic woman who partakes of life through her window and trashy romance novels, a barber whose shop is a social haven instead of a place for haircuts, a retired priest hiding out from some unknown past, and a pair of loutish brothers always out for a lark I found this cast well crafted and far from the trend of authors to create quirky characters for entertainment and humor They have depth and bear important secrets Sweetland spins out through his memories, and most retain dignity and courage They are broken as individuals, but somehow as a community they achieve a worthy wholeness Sweetland s most significant connection is with a teen aged boy Jesse, the child of his niece Clara and a subject to some variant of autism Clara has recently had him checked out by a specialist in St JohnHave they got a name for it yet he asked For what For whatever is wrong with the youngster There s a spectrum And he isn t typical, is what they re telling me I could ve told you that much for free, he said Saved you the trip He frequently takes Jesse along on his various forays and tasks, plays games and jokes with him In turn the boy teaches him to use a computer, educates him on the wonders of science, shares movies like Titanic with him, and, through his perpetual questions, forces him to revisit many memories of family and events that shaped his soul Such as the time Sweetland helped save a group of Sri Lankan refugees put to sea in a small boat by those paid to smuggle them Another tie that binds is that a brother of his that died tragically when Sweetland was a kid is a constant imaginary companion of the boy His resolve not to leave the island is supported by a deep belief he shares with Clara Jesse won t be happy nowhere else than here I knows that for a fact An important wellspring of Sweetland s memories concerns his younger sister Ruthie, Clara s mother, dead at the time of this story He remembers carrying her down the stairs in the morning before others were up, start the fire, frying up her breakfast, and helping her to the outhouse Giving her a ride to pick berries, Ruthie singing in his ear as payment for the ride Once their uppity rooster slashed her and he immediately bashed it to death That memory Crummey creates for Sweetland makes him come alive for me That s a waste of good meat, Uncle Char said, scraping the ragged mess up with a shovel.Sweetland was still in a lather He could hear Ruthie bawling in the kitchen where Hollis was holding her arms while their mother stitched the girl s lobe in place He swung at the animal as Uncle Char walked past him, wanting to kill the thing dead over again The ring of wood against the shovel making his elbows tingle He stamped on the ruined corpse where it fell to the ground.Bist thee done Uncle Char asked him.I m done, Swetland said Though he was not, and likely never would be.At a certain point, Sweetland figures out a way to stay behind alone on the island after everyone else has left We come to understand why this refuge is so vital to him, why he never married, how his attempt to make a living elsewhere failed We root for him to succeed against the tough odds that nature and accidents ply against his foolhardy choice An abandoned dog becomes a special companion and focus of his beleaguered humanity It becomes hard to draw the line between noble effort and madness Literary scholars will find plenty of metaphors and allegorical references to play with in this m lange of characters and memories Mostly I felt them seeping underground in my experience of this elegiac tale Tragic losses do pile up, but I didn t feel my emotions were being wrenched just for the sake of emotional engagement and melodrama I felt some of the same satisfaction I get from post apocalyptic stories like Peter Heller s Dog Stars and the rich rewards I gained from the mix of bleakness and humor present in Proulx s The Shipping News and McMurty s The Last Picture Show There is a really good chance that this will be my favorite book of 2015 I asked my boyfriend to smother me with a pillow so I couldn t finish reading it, because then I d be sad it was over, but for some reason he found that to be an unreasonable request Geesh But SEER EEE US LEE It broke my damned heart to finish it Moses Sweetland is a grumpy old man living on a small island in Canada which is also named Sweetland The government wants to buy out all the island s inhabitants and use it There is a really good chance that this will be my favorite book of 2015 I asked my boyfriend to smother me with a pillow so I couldn t finish reading it, because then I d be sad it was over, but for some reason he found that to be an unreasonable request Geesh But SEER EEE US LEE It broke my damned heart to finish it Moses Sweetland is a grumpy old man living on a small island in Canada which is also named Sweetland The government wants to buy out all the island s inhabitants and use it for their own purposes, which all the citizens of Sweetland think is great, except for Moses He s the only one refusing to sign the agreement, which is holding up the deal This makes him very unpopular with his neighbors This is a gorgeously written book, equal parts funny and sad, about home, and family, and loneliness, with small mysteries perfectly teased out until the end My heart is fit to burst with love for it Liberty HardyFrom Best Books We Read in December Sweetland, what an equivocal name Remote, tiny island on the Atlantic, part of Newfoundland There used to be a fishing settlement but when novel starts it is half empty, inhabited by the old and misfits of all descriptions Due to economic reasons Canadian government offered to them a good price for leaving and moving on the continent Most of residents accepted the proposal With one exception.Moses Sweetland, whose ancestors were the first ones who inhabited the island, is the only one who d Sweetland, what an equivocal name Remote, tiny island on the Atlantic, part of Newfoundland There used to be a fishing settlement but when novel starts it is half empty, inhabited by the old and misfits of all descriptions Due to economic reasons Canadian government offered to them a good price for leaving and moving on the continent Most of residents accepted the proposal With one exception.Moses Sweetland, whose ancestors were the first ones who inhabited the island, is the only one who decided to stay and not abandon his household He will not be like his biblical namesake who led his people to the promised land Because Moses just loves his home country and if there was any patch of ground he could name as own it would be this severe island Sweetland, now retired lighthouse keeper, spent his whole life here and, not counting some trips to nearby islets, only one time departed todamn TorontoAnd nothing good came of it Sweetland is stubborn and crusty but he loves that place dearly He feels welded with this forbidding region, grey ubiquity of the ocean, jagged cliffs, misty hills, green meadows where buffalos once used to graze He s attracted by the gently rolling hills, murmur of the rain, roar of the ocean, even unpredictable, brawling weather As if, he and the island, were meant for each other.Can one blame a man for his love For his fidelity to everything he knows and can name as yours At last, for his pigheadedness when like some voluntary Robinson is riveted to his little home land I found any false note in the behavior of Moses His atavistic attachment to own home has nothing to do with sentimentality of an old man Just the opposite, there is something decent and true in his struggle for right to living on own rules Sweetland is contrary and grumpy but he s a man I would love to have on my side in the hour of trial.Unfortunately island Sweetland is condemned, is a place facing extinction How many languages fell into disuse, how many professions disappeared, how many little communities were erased from maps in our lifetime It s still happening That waySweetlandreads like an elegy for vanishing Like testimony of passing Like homage for living there people Like love song 2 As always the rating is based on my emotional response rather than the book s merit and does not do justice to the author s talent Admirable and atmospheric prose, compelling storyline, great characters yet rating a book I did not enjoy reading is challenging as I feel I m being a bit unfair I needed to ponder this one a bit and fear much of the narrative and nuance passed me by.Reviewer Nicholas Herring wrote an impressively prolonged and often exhausting study of grief and ghosts centeri 2 As always the rating is based on my emotional response rather than the book s merit and does not do justice to the author s talent Admirable and atmospheric prose, compelling storyline, great characters yet rating a book I did not enjoy reading is challenging as I feel I m being a bit unfair I needed to ponder this one a bit and fear much of the narrative and nuance passed me by.Reviewer Nicholas Herring wrote an impressively prolonged and often exhausting study of grief and ghosts centering around the disintegration of 69 year old Moses Sweetland That it was I liked Moses, a man losing ground yet fighting to uphold those around him It was tediously bleak and dreary and left me feeling rather gutted like the many rabbits caught in Sweetland s snares &FREE ⇯ Sweetland ↿ The scarcely populated town of Sweetland rests on the shore of a remote Canadian island Its slow decline finally reaches a head when the mainland government offers each islander a generous resettlement package the sole stipulation being that everyone must leave Fierce and enigmatic Moses Sweetland, whose ancestors founded the village, is the only one to refuse As he watches his neighbors abandon the island, he recalls the town s rugged history and its eccentric cast of characters Evoking The Shipping News, Michael Crummey one of Canada s finest novelists conjures up the mythical, sublime world of Sweetland s past amid a stormbattered landscape haunted by local lore As in his critically acclaimed novel Galore, Crummey masterfully weaves together past and present, creating in Sweetland a spectacular portrait of one man s battle to survive as his environment vanishes around himPraise for Galore A glittering, fabulist tale Los Angeles Times Touch Not the Cat whose ancestors founded the village The Charmer’s Box is the only one to refuse As he watches his neighbors abandon the island The Charmer’s Box: Poetry he recalls the town s rugged history and its eccentric cast of characters Evoking The Shipping News Red Roots (Vampire Empire, Michael Crummey one of Canada s finest novelists conjures up the mythical What to Do Until Love Finds You: The Bestselling Guide to Preparing Yourself for Your Perfect Mate sublime world of Sweetland s past amid a stormbattered landscape haunted by local lore As in his critically acclaimed novel Galore Rizal Beyond the Grave: A Reiteration of the Greatness of the Martyr of Bagumbayan Crummey masterfully weaves together past and present The Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory, 1965-67 creating in Sweetland a spectacular portrait of one man s battle to survive as his environment vanishes around himPraise for Galore A glittering Last Words of Saints and Sinners: 700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History fabulist tale Los Angeles Times This book struck out.I tried three different times to read this novel THREE Each time I got a little farther into the story, but I always got frustrated with the writing and gave up I even tried listening to the audiobook, thinking I could trudge through, but I still became annoyed by the cliched characters and bad dialogue.The story is that the government is trying to move everyone off a remote island called Sweetland, near Newfoundland The main character, Moses Sweetland, refuses to leave This book struck out.I tried three different times to read this novel THREE Each time I got a little farther into the story, but I always got frustrated with the writing and gave up I even tried listening to the audiobook, thinking I could trudge through, but I still became annoyed by the cliched characters and bad dialogue.The story is that the government is trying to move everyone off a remote island called Sweetland, near Newfoundland The main character, Moses Sweetland, refuses to leave because his family has lived there for hundreds of years Everyone else on the island wants to take the resettlement money and move away, so Sweetland faces threats and ire I had wanted to read this novel because I like stories about small communities in far away places, but my interest couldn t outlast the mediocre storytelling Usually I like to highlight good quotes from the book at the end of my reviews, but I didn t find any worth noting Maybe you will like this novel This is a lovely, slow moving story of a man and his island Curmudgeonly Sweetland is digging in his feet, and refusing to leave his beloved home, even though the government has made it clear that they will ONLY pay out the hefty resettlement fee to each resident if ALL the residents relocate You can imagine that Sweetland s being the last hold out is not making him too popular with his neighbors This is quite possibly the most character driven novel I ve ever read, and also, some of the mos This is a lovely, slow moving story of a man and his island Curmudgeonly Sweetland is digging in his feet, and refusing to leave his beloved home, even though the government has made it clear that they will ONLY pay out the hefty resettlement fee to each resident if ALL the residents relocate You can imagine that Sweetland s being the last hold out is not making him too popular with his neighbors This is quite possibly the most character driven novel I ve ever read, and also, some of the most delightfully cantankerous characters I ve ever met A truly bittersweet read, I, of course, prefer to remember one of the funnier moments This is a very short tale about the wacky Priddle brothers, two local ne er do wells Barry lost the tip of his index finger the afternoon they d taken turns putting out a lit match with a.22, one brother at a time holding the little flame at arm s length, thirty paces off Yeah I ve known guys like that