A troubled childhood | Montreal Newspaper

The first novel by the Swede Alex Schulman, Survivors is one of those books that can not leave anyone indifferent.

They are three: Nils, Benjamin and Peter. Three brothers are now adults who no longer see each other except when they should. As now. To respect their mother’s last wishes, everyone returned to the farm to distribute her ashes. And here we are talking about the lost farmhouse in the depths of the Swedish village where, as children, they spent the summer without the right to watch TV.

Anyway from the first pages we will realize that things did not take long to go bad. So much so that Benjamin will have to call the police to prevent Nils, the eldest, and Pierre, the youngest of the siblings, from killing each other. Before the reasons for this violent quarrel are known, however, you will have to wait a bit …

funny parents

Alternating religiously the present and the past, each chapter sheds light on the story of these three brothers, whose childhood seems to have been marked by a terrible tragedy. Little by little we will be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Nils alone because he preferred to stay away from this “crazy family”. Sensitive Benjamin, constantly attentive to changes in everyone’s mood. Little Pierre, who always had to defend himself. And then those parents who spent their time drinking or napping without paying much attention to their offspring.

Some passages are beautiful. As for the ending of the story, it is quite surprising. Overall, we liked it.


Agincourt in rainy weather

0416 in reading mode

History is always full of surprises. One thinks especially of the battle of Agincourt, which took place on October 25, 1415 during the Hundred Years’ War. While most of the French should have won hands against the English troops hungry and exhausted, they suffered an extraordinary defeat. Which is said here in great detail and with a lot of humor, Jean Teulé never had the pen in his pocket.

The law of the dreamer

0416 in reading mode

What is special about this novel? Daniel Pennac, the author of the harsh Malaussene saga, takes to the stage. From a very old youthful dream, which left him an indelible memory, he tells us a lot about his life as a writer and about his personal life. And in doing so, he makes us better acquainted with the great Italian director and screenwriter Federico Fellini, whose films he has always adored.


0416 in reading mode

Impossible to hide it, most mothers today are literally overwhelmed. Between children, preparing balanced meals, housework, work and their lives as women, they no longer know where to turn. However, work-family balance is on everyone’s lips and fathers have never been so present. This essay clearly explains where it gets stuck.

12 seasons

0416 in reading mode

That’s true, there are no 12 seasons. On the other hand, it is 12 months and what is found in the fruit-vegetable section of the markets changes throughout the year. From one month to the next, French pastry chef Yann Couvreur offers us some vegetarian dishes and a range of extraordinary cakes. The only problem, the measurements, extremely accurate, are not always easy to observe.

Chills guaranteed

0416 in reading mode

A tear in the sky

Hard to close this book without trembling and without wanting to shout. Because it tells a true story and because the story mentioned is nothing short of terrifying. We even go so far as to say that it goes beyond fiction altogether. Because we may be accustomed to reading legal thrillers and thrillers, what happened to Tom Cummins, the author’s older brother, is a nightmare in its purest form.

Autopsy of a disaster

On April 4, 1991, as the entire Cummins family prepares to return to Maryland, Tom decides to spend one last evening with his cousins, Julie and Robin Kerry. They want to show him the poem they painted on the deck of the Old Rock Chain Bridge, the old unused bridge that crosses the Mississippi not far from the city of St. Louis.

In the absence of luck, Tom and his cousins ​​will meet four boys driven by the desire to hurt. And in the next few minutes the unspoken will happen. Only Tom will come out alive from this at the cost of a great deal of willpower effort. But as we think he is out of the woods, we will discover that in reality, everything has just begun and that soon there will be even worse.

A disturbing story that marks and shakes deeply.

Leave a Comment