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The second novel in the highly acclaimed series Charles the Bold, about a young man growing up in east-end Montreal.“Montreal! You’re going to be hearing from me! I’m going to make your ears ring!”These are the last words in this hypnotically interesting saga that follow the adventurous life of our bold hero, Charles Thibodeau. This book takes us through his high school yeThe second novel in the highly acclaimed series Charles the Bold, about a young man growing up in east-end Montreal.“Montreal! You’re going to be hearing from me! I’m going to make your ears ring!”These are the last words in this hypnotically interesting saga that follow the adventurous life of our bold hero, Charles Thibodeau. This book takes us through his high school years, and is called The Years of Fire for three reasons. First, he discovers girls, and we follow his fumbling but enthusiastic adventures with them. Second, he becomes fired up about politics (“Every so often he would raise his right hand and stare at it in amazement. Just think, it has just shaken the hand of René Lévesque!”) and the first Quebec referendum plays a major role in this book. Above all, fire changes his life when his estranged father threatens his stepfather’s store with arson, and Charles gets involved in dealing drugs to pay him off. How he escapes from his contacts with the pool-hall underworld, with the help of his friends, and emerges as an ambitious young writer makes for involving and fascinating reading, provided by a superb storyteller....

Title : The Years of Fire
Author :
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ISBN : 9780771011498
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Years of Fire Reviews

  • David Fuller
    2019-02-23 02:12

    SEX, drugs and shooting pool -- Charles Thibodeau is growing up.Quebec's award-winning Yves Beauchemin throws his hero into the heady years of adolescence in The Years of Fire, picking up where Charles the Bold left off last year.In the second of a what will be a four-volume series (it was published originally in French in three volumes), Charles still lives with his adopted family, the Fafards.Following the 1980 Quebec referendum, they are hit hard by the recession. His adopted sister Céline has eyes only for Charles, but he has bigger fish to fry.That being any female remotely attractive. He idolizes them from afar; even dubbing one older high school student the "Black Goddess."Charles has always been a charmer. Now with every smile a girl gives him, he imagines how far he could go with her. Not that he has any idea how.He also begins to hang with friends of convenience like Steve, who offers to show him the ropes at pool. He soon finds "[t]he one or two ropes that Steve bothered to show him were short ones." Local pool shark De Bané is of slightly more help.Marlene, whom Steve introduces to Charles with a wink and a snigger, gives Charles the experience he feels he lacks. Afterwards she sizes him up like a slab of meat. "You have a nice ass," she tells him clinically, sounding "like an entomologist."Little timeThe tone of this second volume is in some ways darker than the first. Charles is older now, and the reader can't blame his misfortunes on cruel or negligent adults.He has little time for true love -- to Céline's disappointment -- and turns to questionable sources of income when his father Wilfred reappears, blackmailing Fernand Fafard for more money.In trying to raise the cash secretly, Charles endangers his job at Mr. Lalancette's pharmacy by helping De Bané push pills.Beauchemin weaves powerful themes through his hero's tale. Bad things happen to good people, like the Fafards. Childhood idols may have feet of clay, like the philandering Parfait Michaud.On another level, Charles can't stand up to certain father figures, such as De Bané or Wilfred -- or feel worthy of others, such as Fernand or Lalancette.Beauchemin still revels in deft and humorous description. One of the pharmacy's customers "hobbled to the door on legs that looked like two hams stuffed into a pair of brown sausage casings."He also weaves Montreal history through the narrative, from a chance meeting with René Levesque on the referendum campaign trail, to the 1980s predilection for self-medication shown by De Bané's customers.With his vivid cast of characters, a hero you can love even when he's screwing up, and a dynamic sense of history, Beauchemin may just be Canada's Dickens."Montreal!" cries Charles. "You're going to be hearing from me! I'm going to make your ears ring!" That he does -- and readers of this volume will be eager for the next.David Jón Fuller is managing editor of Lögberg-Heimskringla, the Icelandic community newspaper.Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 11, 2007http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/hist...