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The Museum Guard #2020

The Museum Guard A novel about two museum guards one an eccentric uncle the other his orphaned nephew DeFoe This book is an examination of the desire to step out of the everyday and into action With echoes of the h

  • Title: The Museum Guard
  • Author: Howard Norman
  • ISBN: 9780330370103
  • Page: 311
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Museum Guard By Howard Norman, A novel about two museum guards, one an eccentric uncle, the other his orphaned nephew, DeFoe This book is an examination of the desire to step out of the everyday and into action With echoes of the holocaust and of a world lost but not forgotten, this is a poignant novel.

    • [MOBI] ☆ The Museum Guard | By ↠ Howard Norman
      Howard Norman

    1 thought on “The Museum Guard

    1. May 4th 2008 Upgraded to 5 stars.An extraordinary novel by the author of The Bird Artist There are certain things you can rely on in a book by Howard Norman distinctly quirky protagonists, odd names, a relatively remote Canadian location, and a dynamite opening sentence The painting I stole for Imogen Linny,Jewess on a Street in Amsterdam , arrived to the Glace Museum, here in Halifax, on September 5, 1938 That s the voice of DeFoe Russet, the main protagonist of The Museum Guard He is one of tw [...]

    2. This captivating novel is the second of Howard A Norman s Canadian Trilogy , following The Bird Artist, and while the first is not a prerequisite to this one, a continuation of tone and narrative style meant that I found this one much easier to enjoy from the outset This book is also told by a young man coming of age in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, though this time in Halifax, which, in the first novel, was the big city for the remote folk of extreme Newfoundland.It is 1938 and young DeFoe [...]

    3. ADDENDUM So why only three stars after all the positive points mentioned below For two reasons it is not as good at The Bird Artist which got 4 stars and importantly b c it lacks humor ORIGINAL REVIEW I have to think about this a bit What is bothering me is where the characters end up at the end of the novel What is bothering and yet at the same time intriguing me is my uncertainty What is the author trying to say and do I agree and are the characters believable There is a lot to think abou.All [...]

    4. Okay, so I ve seen other people write very highly of Howard Norman s work I ve had The Bird Artist sitting on my shelf for awhile now, and while I probably should have read that book first since I did buy it first , but I liked the cover to The Museum Guard better.The Museum Guard takes place in Halifax, Canada What Where Who writes books about Canada I mean who cares The Museum Guard takes place just before World War II when Canada was rife with tension over the impending war they felt they mig [...]

    5. This was near the top of my to read list for a long time, based on some rave reviews I had remembered from long ago But even though the book held my attention and created some of the most distinctive characters I ve encountered in fiction, its strangeness and the flat narration of its protagonist finally did me in.Defoe Russett is one of two guards in a small art museum in Halifax He has been raised by his neer do well uncle, the other guard, in a local hotel, after Defoe s parents were killed i [...]

    6. After reading all the reviews and the novel, I ve come to the conclusion that you either really love the novel or you hate the novel There seems to be little room in between As for me, I belong to the group that did not enjoy this novel and its hard to pinpoint why I thought the author did a great job with the tone of the novel, a sort of sparse, dead, dreary tone But during some moments of the novel, I wanted some kind of emotion and felt little from the characters Even when Edward died or the [...]

    7. I want to start by saying I really loved the beginning of the story, the interaction between DeFoe and Edward alone in the museum The dialogue was quirky, but in a good way I loved the way the two of them were as different as East and West The book began as a character study of the highest level But then, about a third of the way into it, there seemed to be this wrenching feeling, where the supporting players acted somewhat randomly to facilitate action , as if the dialogue was not enough I felt [...]

    8. I kept thinking I might have already read this, but couldn t remember the details Unfortunately, that is still the case An interesting book, but not one I could connect to on any emotional level It was like reading about some historical figure from another country The lack of connection to the characters left me unmoved by a story that should have been tragic Set in Nova Scotia, just before the outbreak of the second World War, the Museum Guard is interesting, but unaffecting The characters inte [...]

    9. Halifax, Canada, 1938Defoe Russet museum guard and Imogene Linny caretaker of small Jewish cemetery , both orphaned, both in their late 20s, are the focus of this story, which is basically a character study Neither of them elicited much sympathy from me, and maybe that was intentional on the part of the author The last third of the book is the most engaging, but I doubt that I d ever pick up the book for a second read.

    10. Howard Norman s The Museum Guard brings us a compelling, page turning, quirky story told by a museum guard named DeFoe Russett, whose parents were tragically killed in a zeppelin crash, and who was, as a result, raised by his uncle Edward in the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia DeFoe s family is the staff of the hotel where he has lived for so many years DeFoe s life is a narrow one He has never left Halifax, has followed his uncle in his choice of careers, and in no way considers himse [...]

    11. Strange characters and a strange plot but it really worked out to be a great piece of fiction I was excited to read a book set in Halifax prior to the second world war, but I never ended up with a sense of place It could have been happening in a museum anywhere.

    12. The authors storytelling method works for me I like hearing the same episode revisited repeatedly I am still considering what I think of using the looming Holocaust as a backdrop in this story Does it trivialize the Shoah by making it s evident probability the means by which people who are living some relatively small lives make their lives bigger What about madness mental illness Is that trivialized, or is that just something that the indirectly affected learn to live their lives around, despit [...]

    13. This only got three stars because Ive read all of Normans novels and there gets to be a same ness about them A novel about two museum guards, one an eccentric uncle, the other his orphaned nephew, DeFoe This book is an examination of the desire to step out of the everyday and into action With echoes of the holocaust and of a world lost but not forgotten, this is a poignant novel.A novel about two museum guards, one an eccentric uncle, the other his orphaned nephew, DeFoe This book is an examinat [...]

    14. I enjoyed this book so much The writer has a quirky imagination I found myself drawn into the life of DeFoe Russet the protagonist, name suggesting coarse, homespun, reddish brown cloth with great interest DeFoe is a man who respects the dignity of others and loves to iron shirts I could write a paragraph about that metaphor of ironing.I seem to stumble into Howard Norman s books by accident, and I am always grateful to have traveled through the strange drama he creates.

    15. It s definitely a Howard Norman book QUIRKY characters, and amusing dialog the first half anyway I loved Edward, but that would be me, always going for the reprobate in the crowd Could not stand Imogene second half I didn t much care for Not because it dealt with war and all that, but, I simply could not stand Imogen Linney.

    16. I have thought about this book and why I found it to be so totally gripping.One of the reasons is that, for me, the book has the low key qualities of an old black and white movie a film of the 40 s that lasts 90 minutes with a focus on one character s interior life, voice overs, very few sets, major supporting roles, and a number of character actors That is, it leaves a lot to the imagination.The other reason is simply the perfect fit between the story and the character of the museum guard, Defo [...]

    17. The Museum Guard tells the story of an uncle and nephew who work as security guards at a small museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia The nephew, DeFoe, lost his parents in a zeppelin accident when he was eight and has since been raised by his uncle DeFoe grew up living in a hotel with his uncle and when he finally moved out of his uncle s room, it was only to relocate down the hall in the same hotel DeFoe s uncle, Russett, is a crotchety man in his forties who lives a fast life filled with women, alcoh [...]

    18. There were several well crafted aspects of this book and several less desirable or missing components.The good 1 The book really tapped into and used loneliness The author is obviously well versed in the character of the earnest but solitary young man, as well as what this man could become in the future the jaded, isolated fellow Finding one s self true self and not was a running theme.2 Simple writing style anyone who was interested would find this book palatable This is especially nice, as it [...]

    19. Strange I m not sure how I feel about it It s certainly a tangled story with obsession, madness, and compulsions of people at its heart I was struck by the narrator s blind loyalty to the object of his affection, though she came across to me on the pages as horrid, self indulgent, and cold It was refreshing to read something where the thinking and behaviours of the main character were primal and simplistic in nature, weak as humans often are The story, though, as it reaches its climax, leaves a [...]

    20. DeFoe Russet, the protagonist in this complex novel, is a minimally educated man of simple ambitions, limited horizons and little self knowledge An orphan whose parents died in a dirigible crash when he was eight, DeFoe is raised in a Halifax hotel in the 1930s by his alcoholic and amorous Uncle Edward DeFoe is content with the simple life of a museum guard and an oddly behaving girlfriend, even as word of Hitler s march through Europe begins to penetrate Nova Scotia Content, that is, until Imog [...]

    21. Don t get me wrong, DeFoe I like Edward, God help me Very fond of him, in ways I ve had to invent specially 13 He has a thick accent, mind you even if a word s got only one syllable 42 Let s talk about her face Some might consider it a bit what s the correct word dour But do you know what If dour is her natural look, it means it means when her face brightens, you notice 118 119 As someone whose face has often been described thus, or as serious, I doubly appreciate this passage It did not bode we [...]

    22. The main character, DeFoe, has lived with his uncle in a hotel since his parents died in a balloon crash several years ago Now he even starts the same job as his uncle he becomes a museum guard in the small local museum.Currently they have an exhibition with paintings from the Netherlands, and DeFoes girlfriend a jewish cemetry caretake is obsessed with a painting called Jewess on a Street in Amsterdam I gave up about halfway through the book It just didn t keep me interested The story is soo ve [...]

    23. I wish I hadn t read three of his books so closely together or I may have liked this I do like his writing style and what he writes about but I think I hate his characters Out of the three books I read, each male narrator was orphaned by suicide or freak accident A horse and cart overturning, a zeppelin accident and flinging themselves of bridges You never really feel much towards the narrator other than frustration as to why he would take up with an even annoying or strange female character T [...]

    24. Howard Norman portrays the life of a young man in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the late 1930 s, just at the beginning of WW II Under the care of his uncle since the death of his parents, he begins working as a museum guard with his uncle He spends his time trying to gain the love of a young woman who becomes obsessed with a Dutch painting in the museum As she becomes convinced that she IS the woman in the painting, A Jewess on a Street in Amsterdam, he struggles to bring her back to her senses The h [...]

    25. Since I read it in two sittings, I obviously found it something of a page turner, but I can t quite put my finger on why Quirky characters, certainly, and also the looming threat from the Nazis, at least three of the female characters are Jewish, and it s clear that DeFoe is likely to be drafted to fight in the war And both Halifax and Amsterdam are, to me, interesting places But I didn t find any of the characters especially believable, nor their situations especially moving In addition, I m no [...]

    26. Re The Museum Guard , I just discovered Howard Norman when my bookpal rec his memoir I Hate to Leave this Beautiful Place 2013.My attention was caught and I started,as usual out of sequence, his trilogy of life in small communities in isolated parts of Canada northern Manitoba, Halifax,Nova Scotia,Witless Bay,Newfoundland around the turn of the century see his extensive history of translation in the Cree language.All these 3 books are wonderful and captivating.For once I ve veered from my usual [...]

    27. Howard Norman is one of those exquisite authors who can paint a picture so vividly with his words that you actually feel that you are gazing at it If someone asked me if I had seen the painting the Sunday Flower Market, I would probably answer yes so clearly do I envision the scene and the feeling of the picture Howard Norman describes So too, with his characters I feel I know them I might not necessarily like them but, nevertheless, they intrigue me Once again, as in the Bird Artist, an encount [...]

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