Blackstrap Hawco :said to Be About A Newfoundland Family

Blackstrap Hawco :said to Be About A Newfoundland Family

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
Fifteen years in the making, this book is the one Canada’s “heavyweight champ of brash and beautiful literature” was meant to write. An epic masterwork about Newfoundland’s working class, Blackstrap Hawco spans more than a century in gorgeous and widely varied prose, reminding us that even when writing about the degradation of identity and language, Harvey does it magnificently.

Named in a moment of anger, Blackstrap Hawco is heir to an island dominion picked over by its adoptive nation. From the arrivals of the indentured Irish to the Victorian drawing rooms of the English merchants, from the perilous seal hunt to the raucous iron ore mines, from a notorious disaster at sea to the relocation of outport communities, the family legend might be all his people have left to live for. But as Blackstrap Hawco – a novel that will consume you in its dazzling swirl of voices, legends and beautiful hearsay – testifies, a story this haunting, this powerful, might just be enough.

Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, c2008
ISBN: 9780679314295
Branch Call Number: FIC Harve
Characteristics: 829 p.


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Jul 01, 2013

Again set in the outport of Bareneed, this "epic" of Newfoundland life extends over a century. However, at 829 pages, it is far too long and as such, self-indulgent. If the intention was to show the humanity of the working class, others have done it better. Not without merit, but I could only read half of it.

leah_p Dec 30, 2011

This is a brutal read. I almost couldn't get through parts of it; many passages sear themselves into your memory. The author spent 15 years creating and researching this multi-generational family saga, which is defined as a transcomposite narrative. It's full of depravation, cruelty, insanity, surreality, chance, coincidence, prejudice, pride, ignorance and pure unfeeling, indifferent life.

Jul 13, 2010

Wonderful writing, but the subject matter so sad and much of the time so ugly and vicious, I couldn't finish it.
I definitely related to some of the characters, but the bare ugliness, illness, deperation cruelty and poverty were too much.

abird Nov 06, 2009

IMPAC Dublin 2010 Longlist

Feb 25, 2009

Good story, well told, but 200 pages too long.

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