Tuesday, 19 April 2011

'True North', Andre Mangeot

True North (Salt Modern Fiction)'True North' Andre Mangeot
Chris Beckett has described the stories in this collection as 'pacy, eventful, sometimes violent, their settings unusually varied and colourful.' The seven stories are set in Thailand, France, Indonesia, Canada, Romania, Miami and the Sahara. The opening story, 'Rain' is set in Romania and follows Lucas' progress as he tries to 'set the seal on his father's approval.' A chance encounter with stranger Katya ultimately reveals that perhaps Lucas doesn't have what it takes to 'steward himself, never mind the company, a wife.' My favourite story of the collection is the title story 'True North', the story of a friendship that spans seven decades. It's a contemplative, sad story, about the way in which friends both reveal and conceal themselves; it's beautifully written, full of nostalgia and regret. Mangeot reveals information judiciously leading the reader to a conclusion in which the narrator, Paul is asked of his friend Glenn, 'Did you...did you know him?' and Paul surprises himself by replying 'I can't say I did, not really.'
Read an excerpt from 'True North' here

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