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Up in Ontario Paperback – Nov 1 2003


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Paperback, Nov 1 2003
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Turnstone Press (Nov. 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888012861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888012869
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 15.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 313 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,604,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stone Junction on Jan. 27 2004
"Either you belong to someplace or you don't. If you don't, you can go anywhere. If you do, then the place belongs to you too."
So says Gil Dubois, a trapper and fisher who defiantly belongs to a place, and will not leave it for anything. Not for his wife in Winnipeg. Not for his impressionable young son Wade. Gil belongs to Lake of the Woods, and it belongs to him. On one level, Gil dominates Up in Ontario, the assured literary debut by former Manitoban James Sherrett. Gil is an attractive, classical archetype, a Marlboro Man in the Canadian backwoods, living by his own rules.
Yet rather than pursue the obvious Grizzly Adams parallel, Sherrett reaches for something far more significant. Up in Ontario is a tale of father and son, separated through distance and time, brought together in their mutual love of an idyllic wilderness.
Sherrett is a powerful enough writer to trust his talents, bringing about the story in his own relaxed manner. Like Lake of the Woods itself, Sherrett leisurely follows the currents and eddies of the Dubois's lives, touching on those precise moments where simultaneously nothing happens and everything changes.
Both Gil and Wade, as the years pass, find themselves struggling to discover their places in the world. Gil accepts that his life is an anachronism, part of an ever-shrinking population, railing against the encroachment of a constantly expanding civilization.
He lives "in the last century," knowing that there was "no changing the things that had happened, there was only being less afraid of the things to come."
Wade, growing up in Winnipeg, bemoans his realization that he is not his father.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Monique on April 3 2004
Up in Ontario is a story hat moves me to tears yet also makes me burst out laughing.
Right from the first sentence James is testing his reader and promising a family epic. Reminiscent of One Hundred Years of Solitude, he begins with one character and then moves to the life and family that unfolds around them. Rather than 100 years of solitude, James has focused on 30 years of the Dubois family. Gill Dubois is the solitude, or rather he chooses the solitude of his cabin on the shores of Lake of the Woods. A lifelong fisherman and trapper, he can't for love or money give up that life, not for his wife Christine nor for their son Wade.
The characters of Wade and Gill fascinated me. I'm drawn to their maleness, the blood on their hands from hunting, and the guts of the fish. But despite their manly pursuits there is a warmth and humanity to these characters, a tenderness and a wit that should not be underestimated. Up in Ontario is a story about men: their loves, alliances, compromises, dreams and deaths.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Clean Diction Nov. 17 2004
By andrew - Published on Amazon.com
I like strong verbs and nouns in what I read and this novel excels at both. It's a good story with enjoyable characters and a number of memorable scenes. There's romance as well as action and that kept me turning the pages. A good read. I'd like to see more by this writer and hope he has another book on the way.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Favourite Canadian novel April 3 2004
By Monique - Published on Amazon.com
Up in Ontario is a story hat moves me to tears yet also makes me burst out laughing.
Right from the first sentence James is testing his reader and promising a family epic. Reminiscent of One Hundred Years of Solitude, he begins with one character and then moves to the life and family that unfolds around them. Rather than 100 years of solitude, James has focused on 30 years of the Dubois family. Gill Dubois is the solitude, or rather he chooses the solitude of his cabin on the shores of Lake of the Woods. A lifelong fisherman and trapper, he can't for love or money give up that life, not for his wife Christine nor for their son Wade.
The characters of Wade and Gill fascinated me. I'm drawn to their maleness, the blood on their hands from hunting, and the guts of the fish. But despite their manly pursuits there is a warmth and humanity to these characters, a tenderness and a wit that should not be underestimated. Up in Ontario is a story about men: their loves, alliances, compromises, dreams and deaths.

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