Everything I Own is good, highly evocative of both 1970s youth and Montreal. The bits about checking the record charts … that brought back memories of the CKY Top 30 in every Saturday’s Winnipeg Free Press. You could pore over that thing for an hour: Which one rose the most? Which one fell the most? Which song is on track to be the next number one? Which ones haven’t I heard yet?
And his mom’s comment about Tonight’s the Night reminded me of my own inability to grasp The Who’s Squeeze Box, which I thought was about a lady who likes to play the accordion.
The ending was confident. There was no twist with the jumper, and no big moment with Laurence; instead the story simply unfolded.
— Rob McKenzie, Winnipeg/Montreal/Toronto/Abu Dhabi
Kudos on Everything I Own. I liked it a lot. It is well-written, captures the times, music and place (Montreal), and I found the exchanges between Michel and his dad, and Michel and his adolescent buddies especially strong. I could so easily identify with your protagonist. In my case, I was a Québécois-wannabe from Ontario, who also experienced the younger man/older woman scenario. I also crossed swords with an ex-girlfriend over the 1995 referendum. And while my relationship with my garage-owning, mechanic father wasn’t nearly as contentious as Michel’s was with his dad, we represented two unbridged worlds. I’ve never forgotten the exasperated look he had when he told me: “I hope you can make a living with your head, because you’re sure as hell not going to do it with your hands.” Dad’s been gone almost a decade and I still have daily conversations with him in my head. Still trying to impress him, I suppose. Yes, your novel struck a chord.
— JW, Montreal