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The Colony Of Unrequited Dreams Paperback – Sep 7 1999


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The Colony Of Unrequited Dreams + As Near to Heaven by Sea: A History of Newfoundland and Labrador + Random Passage
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (Sept. 7 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676972152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676972153
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13 x 4.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cajun on Feb. 15 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this novel 40 books ago. I still think about it. Wayne Johnston pulled me right into his wild, stark, exotic Newfoundland, where I found two unique characters with an ever tense and often wacky relationship. Johnston's writing is clean and crisp and never conceited. His landscape is frozen and beautiful. And his humor is dead-on. While the well-done SHIPPING NEWS gets all the Newfoundland publicity, that book doesn't quite measure up to this masterpiece. For fiction at its finest, visit A COLONY OF UNREQUITED DREAMS.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Nunnally Jr. on Jan. 20 2001
Format: Paperback
Describing this novel will almost certainly minimize its tremendous power. A fictionalized first person of a key Newfoundlander's life, coupled with intercalary chapters which are a satiric history of Newfoundland, sounds like one of those heavy tomes worthy of a Canadian TV mini-series rather than a good evening's read. But this book is a powerful, solid read, the kind of read one imagines cannot be obtained in a modern novel. Smallwood, Newfoundland's first premier upon its confederation with Canada, is portrayed in a variety of situations throughout a long life, some historical and some fictional. But this novel does not bear the cobwebs of the "fictional history" genre. Instead, the book's two major characters--Smallwood and Sheilagh Fielding--seem as real as life, flawed and fascinating.
This book is vibrant and alive, straightforward, believable,and wholly warm and human. The parts of the book based on actual history are much more fantastic than the parts of the book which are pure fiction. The book explores some interesting ideas--the twin pursuit of compassion and ambition, the persistence of love over time, and the effects on the protagonists of constant self re-invention. The reader comes away with a sense of place as to Newfoundland, with that feeling of having "known" the characters,and with an abiding respect for a gifted novelist. This is one of the truly great novels I've read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A man who grew too big ,too fast.
He went from being a socialist to being a demigod who did not fear retribution for his acts of vengeance .
A woman I knew in 1949 could not be persuaded that Joey did not pay her Baby Bonus out of his own funds.
Someone once said that the greatest orators of all time were Our Lord Jesus, Hitler , and Joey.
Amen to that.
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By Betsy French on Jan. 5 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
we ordered this book Dec.9/13 and still it hasn't gotten here.....so it is going to be hard to rate this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cajun on Feb. 15 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this novel 40 books ago. I still think about it. Wayne Johnston pulled me right into his wild, stark, exotic Newfoundland, where I found two unique characters with an ever tense and often wacky relationship. Johnston's writing is clean and crisp and never conceited. His landscape is frozen and beautiful. And his humor is dead-on. While the well-done SHIPPING NEWS gets all the Newfoundland publicity, that book doesn't quite measure up to this masterpiece. For fiction at its finest, visit A COLONY OF UNREQUITED DREAMS.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stone Junction on Sept. 17 2000
Format: Paperback
Perhaps I'm a little bit biased towards this novelization of the life of Joey Smallwood. No, I'm not from Newfoundland. No, I'm not a historical fiction buff. No, my name's not Joey.
But as I read along, a sneaking suspicion entered my mind. I did a little bit a family research, and it turns out that I am distantly related to the character of Prowse, who could be loosely described as Smallwood's arch-enemy. Admittedly, it is a tenuous relation (three generations by marriage), but still, very cool. And of course, it helps that the novel is one of astonishing quality.
COLONY tells of the slow rise of Joey Smallwood, from his very humble beginnings to his eventual election as Newfoundland's first premier. Now, I don't know anything about the history of Newfoundland. I don't believe the book is meant to be a technically accurate representation of Smallwood's life. This is not a biography.
What COLONY is, is a vastly entertaining look at the twists and turns that can occur in the life of one man. As in John Irving's best novels ( I kept thinking of THE CIDER HOUSE RULES as I read along), COLONY is an epic view of a tiny subject. As Smallwood's life progresses, the story becomes more and more enriched with characters and themes and regrets and promises. What Smallwood does with his life is miraculous, and sometimes awe-inspiring. I don't mean to imply that Smallwood is a saint. But his flaws and delusions only serve to heighten his triumphs and failures.
As I said, I don't know how much of COLONY is factually true. Did he have an ongoing unrequited love affair with his childhood friend and nemesis Fielding? Are the motivations behind his actions accurate? In the end, it doesn't matter. This isn't meant to be a treatise on the political background of a premier. This is a story, and a damned fine one. And it is obvious after reading it why, for all his mistakes, Joey Smallwood is a widely beloved figure in Newfoundland.
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