A Tourist’s Guide to Glengarry, Ian McGillis

Well, folks, this was not a great book. It wasn’t bad, either. It straddled that fine line between “meh” and “okay” where I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anybody, but I also won’t go around trashing it.

This book is about a day in the life of a grade four kid in (you guessed it) Glengarry. I usually like locally-set work, and this isn’t an exception – actually, the north-Edmonton setting is probably the best thing about this book. It does feel like early-1970s Glengarry (I asked my mom – she’d know!). 

Frustratingly, that’s where the good ends for me. This is a day in the life of a fourth-grader, but he doesn’t sound like any fourth-grader I’ve ever known. How old were we in grade four? Ten or eleven, maybe? I didn’t talk like him in the fourth grade. Actually, I don’t know anyone who did. The novel’s told in first-person, and so there’s this extraordinarily eloquent ten-year old who I just don’t find believable. That’s basically where the novel sits for me – I can’t suspend my disbelief or be immersed in the prose because I don’t buy a thing the narrator is saying.

This is probably worth reading once for the Edmonton setting, but I don’t plan to read it again. 

Current Total: 7

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