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Nights Below Station Street [Paperback]

David Adams Richards
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2009
David Adams Richards’ Governor General’s Award-winning novel is a powerful tale of resignation and struggle, fierce loyalties and compassion. This book is the first in Richards’ acclaimed Miramichi trilogy. Set in a small mill town in northern New Brunswick, it draws us into the lives of a community of people who live there, including: Joe Walsh, isolated and strong in the face of a drinking problem; his wife, Rita, willing to believe the best about people; and their teenage daughter Adele, whose nature is rebellious and wise, and whose love for her father wars with her desire for independence. Richards’ unforgettable characters are linked together in conflict, and in articulate love and understanding. Their plight as human beings is one we share.

From the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Nights Below Station Street + Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace + For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down
Price For All Three: CDN$ 47.85

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Product Description

From Amazon

David Adams Richards writes about people from the wrong side of the tracks with poignancy and compassion. Nights Below Station Street is set, like all of Richards's work, in small-town New Brunswick, and it begins a trilogy that continues with two other novels set in the Miramichi Valley, Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace and For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down. Written in an easy-flowing, realistic mode, this deceptively simple novel explores the day-to-day lives and trials of a handful of concisely drawn, compelling characters. Adele is a feisty girl of 15, strong-headed, entering adulthood in a tumbling erratic rush. Her mother, Rita, who watches children and cleans houses, is solid and hard-working, the pillar of the family, which also includes the father, Joe, a hapless but cheerful drunk, and Milly, a younger daughter. Their familial relationships are complicated by their friendship with Myrrha, who lives nearby in a trailer with her spoiled, chubby son Byron.

One reason why Nights Below Station Street won the 1988 Governor General's Award for fiction (he won the same award for non-fiction 10 years later for Lines on the Water) may be Richards’s talent for capturing the everyday speech patterns of his characters. When Adele complains to her boyfriend Ralphie about her Christmas gifts, "This here isn't nothing compared to what I got last year," the reader can easily picture the look of adolescent petulance on her face. In the end, these ordinary people are tested by the various trials of their difficult lives, and while they never end up in any simulacrum of paradise on earth, they do come through their struggles with fortitude and a kind of rough wisdom, their humanity intact. --Mark Frutkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Praise for Nights Below Station Street:

“David Adams Richards has illuminated the human struggle for love and belonging.…”

“Richards depicts his characters with such searing fidelity that we are forced to marvel at his talent.”
Globe and Mail

“An exploration of the nature of love and the process of redemption.…”
Ottawa Citizen

“A warning label should be attached to every copy: You’ll hate for this book to end.”
Halifax Daily News

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
What I recognize in my second adventure into this author's work is a particular truth--which is that (at least in my Canadian experience) poor communities have a singular commonality. There is a language, both spoken and experiential, about being poor that transcends its environment. In Richards' books, poor in Toronto sounds and feels a lot like poor in New Brunswick. While the physical aspects are very different, the population isn't. And there was something so familiar about some of the characters that I felt as if I'd known them in my childhood.
Poor angry, alienated to the point of sickness Adele; her mother, lovely, determined Rita, making the best of her marriage to alcoholic Joe--who just may be one of the most perfectly rendered characters I've ever encountered. One cannot help but love and feel for Joe, battling his demons and temptations that all reside within bottles; stammering, powerful Joe with his big body and battered, but still functioning heart; Joe the unlikeliest of heroes.
There is such a cast of characters in this book; they have their hopes and miseries and they all intersect at one point or another as time eases away unnoticed and fate makes itself felt in every way in the hushed, shattering beauty of a blizzard.
David Adams Richards is the consummate observer, translating his visions into quiet, apparently effortless prose; placing people before us in all their flawed splendor so that we might view the human condition and reflect upon our similarities and differences.
My highest recommendation.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not great Aug. 2 2000
By A Customer
Had to read this for an English course. Incidentally, I live in the same town the book is set in. The town or the people in it are not as presented, at least it isn't right now.
Great character development, but that's about all there is. Cared a lot for the chareacters, but nothing really happens to them until the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good Sept. 7 2000
By A Customer
Slow going at times, but it wraps up nicely and the reader is feeling as though everything is as it should and always has been.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Challenging but potentially engaging Nov. 22 2001
You will get to know some members of a small mining town in New Brunswick, all struggling to figure themselves out, find love, and place themselves in a difficult world.
I had some trouble getting used to his unique style of writing - David Adams Richards writes as if observing his characters and describing their actions and thoughts as if he's from another land altogether. This was very distracting for me, and tended to take away my flow of reading. On the other hand, it was also challenging, in that it made me think about the characters and what their words and actions meant.
The last 20-30 pages are by far the best of the entire novel and well worth the read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading Jan. 30 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you're looking for an introduction to David Adams Richards, Nights Below Station Street ought to do. It's a compelling, prettily written little tale that clocks in at 226 pages. Set in the Miramachi in New Brunswick, Canada, it deals with the lives of Joe and Rita Walsh, their daughters Adele and Milly, and their friends, acquaintances, neighbours, and enemies. Richards shows us the universal through the particular, rural New Brunswick supplying a stage that is just as authentic as Stratford Upon Avon. The characters mightn't be eloquent knights or nobles, but their words, deeds, concerns, and situations resonate as powerfully. This is a stirring little yarn waiting to teleport you to another time and place - and it's got an interesting ending. Nights Below Station Street is part one of what has become known as the Mirimachi Trilogy. Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace and For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down make for volumes two and three of that trilogy. Nights Below Station Street is a very nice read.

Troy Parfitt
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