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The Son of a Certain Woman Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Sep 17 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada (Sept. 17 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345807898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345807892
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.6 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 699 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

FINALIST 2014 – Stephen Leacock Award

"Wayne Johnston's genius for extravagant storytelling soars to new heights in The Son of a Certain Woman."
—Nancy Wigston, Toronto Star

"Johnston is the kind of storyteller who can go well past the point of believability with his tale, yet still give the reader a true sense of the history and flavour of his hometown of St. John's, and say something essential about human nature while he's at it."
—The Gazette

"Percy, despite his psychological peculiarities, has a captivating voice that won't be soon forgotten in Canadian literature."
—Salon

"[A] boisterously engaging coming-of-age story. Dialogue and conversation propel much of a story that's intelligent, funny and sexy."
—Winnipeg Free Press

About the Author

WAYNE JOHNSTON was born and raised in the St. John's area of Newfoundland. His #1 nationally bestselling novels include The Divine Ryans, A World Elsewhere, The Custodian of Paradise, The Navigator of New York and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, which will be made into a film. Johnston is also the author of an award-winning and bestselling memoir, Baltimore's Mansion. He lives in Toronto.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Dean on Oct. 9 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was the second of Wayne Johnston's novels I've read - the first (some years ago) was 'The Navigator of New York' which I remember plodding through and finding rather dull, so it often surprises me when I read that Johnston is known for his humour and satire. 'The Son of a Certain Woman' couldn't have been more different to that other book (or at least my memory of it) and for the first 100 pages or so I loved it - so big-hearted and genuinely funny. But its central concept of the disfigured son who lusts after his beautiful mother for me eventually became the novel's undoing and I found the last couple of hundred pages not only increasingly disturbing, but also disappointing as the novel never really goes anywhere, and the final scene where Percy's thoughts of his mother during his baptism bring on a state of “religious” ecstasy? Preposterous, and if it had occurred earlier in the book I may have abandoned it. “Here comes Percy Joyce” indeed…

Whilst reading this I kept thinking of one of my favourite novels of a couple of years ago: Anne Peile’s ‘Repeat it Today with Tears’ which dealt with a girl tracking down her absent father and deliberately beginning an affair with him – that too could have been sensationalist and tawdry but Peile handled it with such sensitivity and made the characters so believable that as a reader I ended up almost rooting for them. Mother/son incest is a different kettle of fish altogether though, and by treating it as comedy Johnston doesn’t even attempt to try and challenge the reader’s preconceptions – he (or Percy) tries to convince us about Percy’s lust several times, but I felt like he was almost trying to convince himself too and I just couldn’t buy into it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mbwoolridge Betty Woolridge on April 2 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read Wayne Johnston novel before this one is different maybe that is why I did not like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harvey King on Dec 26 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in the book as I do not feel that it is up to the standard he set with his previous books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joe Reader on Dec 17 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Originally I thought the subject matter a bit strange, but as I got into the book, i was caught up in it and could hardly put it down to go to sleep. The bizarre home situation coupled with the school/church involvement intrigued me, and from the first 100 pages onward the theme started to make sense to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on Dec 6 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nothing like Newfoundland humor, the catholic church, loose morals and realistic, sometimes offensive, language to make a great story. The ending was disappointing to me. But that's just personal preference. The story was Johnston's usual great quality.
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