Nikolski, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (6 ratings)


Spring 1989. Three young people leave their far-flung birthplaces to follow their own songs of migration.

Each ends up in Montreal, each on a voyage of self-discovery, dealing with the mishaps of heartbreak and the twisted branches of their shared family tree.

Filled with humor, charm, and good storytelling, this novel shows the surprising links between cartography, garbage-obsessed archeologists, pirates past and present, a mysterious book with no cover, and a broken compass whose needle obstinately points to the Aleutian village of Nikolski (a minuscule village inhabited by thirty-six people, five thousand sheep, and an indeterminate number of dogs).




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Showing 1 - 5 of 6 reviews.

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Review by

This book is full of unique and subtle symbolism. A thorough and careful reading of this novel will yield layers of meaning without any pretensions in the delivery of the story. The characters are intriguing and as a reader I came to adore them all. I am very glad to have read this book.

Review by

While entertainingly written and beautifully translated, I too am surprised this novel won the Canada Reads 2010 contest - guess I should have listened to the whole debate. The characters are quirky - but not really quirky enough. There are allusions to magic realism, but without mastery of the form. I'm hard pressed to see the point - or the themes - of this novel. We're all ships passing in the night? Our lives sometimes intersect without our really being aware of it? Uh huh.

Review by

Loved it. An unusual, magical realist type of ramble that doesn't really have a plot, but that doesn't particularly matter.

Review by

I think I am a pretty good reader...but I also think I need to reread this book. In fact, I am sure that I need to reread this book.Set in Montreal and various parts of Canada, this novel tells the story of three different protagonists whose stories are similar in that they are all on a journey of discovery. Joyce Doucet, Noah Riel and an unnamed narrator all search for treasure in obscure places. Somewhat reminiscent of The Waterproof Bible, there are strange references and interwoven stories that I will one day untangle.I really need to reread this book.....

Review by

don't waste your time this is the shadow of a ghost of a story. scrabblenut as pegged it, people the emperor has no clothes! people appear and behave, in this story as plot devices to keep it moving and it eventually doesn't really move anywhere.

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