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.

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A tear in the sky

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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.

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