Mama’s boy by David Goudreault

 

Mama’s boy by David Goudreault

Quebecian fiction

Original title –  La Bête à sa mère

Translator – JC Sutcliffe

Source – review copy

This is the second of two books from the Quebec based publisher Book*hug . This was David Goudreault debut novel he has written novel and poetry and is also a songwriter he was the first Quebecer to win the Poetry slam world cup. he has written four novels and this is his first to appear in English. He leads creative workshops in schools and detention centers all across Quebec. He has won a number prizes this won the Grand prix literaire Archambault.

My mother was always committing suicide. She started out young, in a purely amateur capacity.But it wasn’t long before mama figured out how to make the psychiatrists take notice, and tp get the respect only the most serios cases warranted. ELectroshocks, massive doses of antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics and other mood stabilizers marked the seasons as she struggled through them. While I collected hockey cards, she collected diagnoses.Thanks to the huge effort she put into her crises, my mother contributed greatly to the advancement of psychaitry. If It weren’t for the little matter of patient confidentiality, I’m sure several hospitals would be named after her.

The first paragraph opens your eyes to the relationship with his mother growing up.

This is one man’s journey to find his mother after he was placed in care and spent his teen years in a series of various foster homes have made this man the character he is today and now he is trying to find his mother. As her mental health problems sent him into care. The book opens with an indication of how bad his mother was when he says she was always trying to commit suicide. He uses various names as the book unfolds during the story and shows the good and bad sides of foster care each family he has a nickname for them usually about the way the family is with him or they act. He isn’t the most well-adjusted person a man of his upbringing and surroundings. At one point we see him kidnap his girlfriends cat in a jealous rage they had only been together a few short weeks. HIs turning out of the care system and taking drugs and getting tattoos and his first steps into becoming a man. The narrator has a dark side that we as a reader should really hate but at times, we can find him charismatic. He finds a job using lies to get near to where his mother lives to try to find that right moment to return to her life. As he waits and recounts the mother he remembered and the woman now.

I celebrated my eighteenth birthday by spending half of my first welfare cheque on a tatoo. For humans- unlike cattle- marking your body is a sign of liberty. I’d learned this during my hours online. I needed something original, something unique that really represented me. I got a tatoo of a big Chinese character on the back of my neck. Strength.That;s what the tatoo meant. It was impressive

He spends his first real money very unwisely on a tatoo but it is also a sign of  his struggling and what he needs to move forward

This is one of those books that as a reader whether you like it or hate it will hinge on how much you like the narrator of the book. I put him between Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman on the scale of how much you could dislike this character he has a skewed view of the world as we would see it here in the UK he is prime for being on the Jeremy Kyle show. A rollercoaster ride an insight into how being in care effects you as a person it shows how he hasn’t formed normal social interaction and the views he shows also show a lack of proper role models in his life . A powerful voice if hard to read at times once again another outstanding read from Quebec. The book could easily be transferred to here in the UK the experiences and the life he has had could be the same of man a young man in the UK that has gone through the struggling social care system.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: That was the month that was March 2019 | Winstonsdad's Blog

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