Fiction at a Glance

Larry Volt

Larry Volt
Pierre Tourangeau

XYZ Publishing

The years of late adolescence and early adulthood are a time when nihilism and idealism can walk hand in hand, and the results, especially in times of general unrest, can be literally explosive. Doris Lessing explored such a mindset to great effect in The Good Terrorist. Larry Volt (a play on ‘la révolte’) stakes similar territory.

Tourangeau takes us into the head of Larry Tremblay, an 18-year old Montreal university student concerned equally with sex, drugs, and general societal disruption. When on impulse he kidnaps a CEO (Larry thinks his quarry is American, but he turns out to be a fellow francophone), he sets in motion an accelerating involvement with extreme separatism that culminates at the time of the October Crisis. Tourangeau’s vivid, fast-moving narrative conveys the charged atmosphere of a pivotal time in local history, and also works as a timeless character study of a certain kind of aimlessly angry young man. Lederhendler achieves what should be every translator’s aim, a translation that doesn’t read like a translation. mRb

Ian McGillis writes about books and visual arts for the Montreal Gazette. He is the author of the bestselling novel A Tourist’s Guide to Glengarry, and is currently working on a memoir about life as an obsessive fan of soul, reggae, and hip-hop.

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