To see out the night by David Clerson

To see out the night by David Clerson

Quebec fiction

Original title –  Dormir sans tête

Translator – Katia Grubisic

Source – review copy

If you have followed this blog over the last couple of years. You will know how much I have loved the books that the Canadian publisher QC fiction has been bringing out. Here is the second book by one of my favorite writers David Clerson his book The brothers is a strange tale of two brothers on is made from the limb of his bigger brother here we have a collection of twelve short stories by Clerson. I decide to review it as early as I could get away with as like his earlier novel these stories are a real treat to the reader.

The summer was unbearably hot. Louis’s apartment was an oven, and he sat in the sweltering heat reading about primates. He learned that orangutans were solitary and territorial, that they ate fruit, shoots,eggs,insects, and invertebrates, and that they are constantly on the move building a new nest of branches every night. The cries of the males were powerful, and could be carry over a kilometer or kore. Louis could almost here them in the distance. The fangs of an ape in one photograph terrified.He saw others, victims of hunters or held in poacher cages

He vecomes obsessed and feels an ape with in him as he learns more about the great apes.

I am not a huge short story fan as the blog will show I have reviewed a few collections but my real love is novels except when in this case it is one of those writers I have loved in the past like Clerson so this collection really appealed to me as a reader and fan of books from Quebec on the whole.  So We start with the story of Louis he is a security guard that watches a show about orangutans and over time sees himself becoming like an ape over time as he starts to lose touch with the world first he loses his job then he loses his house and ends up living wild almost like an ape that is within him. Then we have tales about a writer and the next one story that grabbed me is a tale of a secret underground city hidden in Montreal in a way a sort of sly nod and joke towards and maybe at  Toronto’s Path system the series of tunnels walkways and underground passages that link that city up as a pascal discovers the city under the city is a maze of passages and secret tooms and secrets below the city. Then we have stories of woods and death there is always a sense of transition in the stories of becoming something at times of want to change. A really surreal tale of the dog with no head which in a way reminds me of the brothers a tale of a dog born with no head and its care is a bizarre tale that ranks along with the oddest stories I have ever read.

Clara’s dog was born without a head one July morning, during the hottest days of summer. The mother had whelped by the cedar hedge in one of the few shady spots in theyard, flies buzzing around ger, The bitch died as her only baby was being born. Paul the fat guy who lived nearby , had come to watch. Maybe , paul suggeted, the animals head had stayed trapped in the mother’s body in her womb. Paul’s twin sons laughed when they heard his explination. When they got back home, they drew pictures in marker of huge bellies filled with animal heads. But clara held the puppy inher hands, talking to him where his head would have been, as if she’d ben whisering into the shell of an ear.

The opening of the story the dog without a head a bizzare tale of a dog with no head and his owner.

If you loved the brother it is easy to say you will like this collection it has a dash of Kafka “dark twisted lives and sense of not know quite what is going on” and Will Self at his best years ago ” like his grey area where it had a feeling like this at times” then add a pinch of the surreal humor of comics like league of gentlemen and  noel fielding those dark corners of comedy and tragedy. there is a theme of man and animal whether becoming a beast or insect or caring for a dog with no head the connection with nature and man at times is dark here. I loved this it is a collection that will last long in the reader’s mind. Another gem from QC is a great evening read the stories are all short 12 pages being the longest stories in the collection. What is your favorite short stories? Winstons score – A+ just perfect

September 2021
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