Light Lifting

Light Lifting

Stories

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION NOTABLE BOOK OF 2012
IRISH TIMES BOOK-TO-READ FOR 2012
ATLANTIC BOOK AWARD WINNER
FINALIST FOR THE GILLER PRIZE AND THE FRANK O'CONNOR AWARD
A GLOBE & MAIL, QUILL & QUIRE, AND AMAZON.CA BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

"Engrossing, thrilling and ultimately satisfying: each story has the weight of a novel." -- The Economist

This was the day after Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield's ear. You remember that. It was a moment in history - not like Kennedy or the planes flying into the World Trade Center - not up at that level. This was something much lower, more like Ben Johnson, back when his eyes were that thick, yellow color and he tested positive in Seoul after breaking the world-record in the hundred. You might not know exactly where you were standing or exactly what you were doing when you first heard about Tyson or about Ben, but when the news came down, I bet it stuck with you. When Tyson bit off Holyfield's ear, that cut right through the everyday clutter. --from "Miracle Mile"

Two runners race a cargo train through the darkness of a rat-infested tunnel beneath the Detroit River. A drugstore bicycle courier crosses a forbidden threshold in an attempt to save a life and a young swimmer conquers her fear of water only to discover she's caught in far more dangerous currents. An auto-worker who loses his family in a car accident is forced to reconsider his relationship with the internal combustion engine.

Alexander MacLeod is a writer of "ferocious intelligence" and "ferocious physicality" (CTV). Light Lifting , his celebrated first collection, offers us a suite of darkly urban and unflinching elegies that explore the depths of the psyche and channel the subconscious hopes and terrors that motivate us all. These are elemental stories of work and its bonds, of tragedy and tragedy barely averted, but also of beauty, love and fragile understanding.

Publisher: [Emeryville, Ont.] : Biblioasis, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781897231944
1897231946
Branch Call Number: FIC/MACLEOD
Characteristics: 219 p. ; 21 cm.

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j
JuneTeal
Jun 11, 2013

great reading

u
uncommonreader
Aug 01, 2012

Light indeed. These stories seem autobiographic. Macleod is a jock.

melwyk May 01, 2012

This first collection by the son of novelist Alastair MacLeod is strong and assured, and truly gripping. There are a variety of stories in the collection, but each is complete in itself and includes great characters. I enjoyed the fact that each story did not have the same narrator -- not actually the same person, but the same kind of person, which I've found tiring at times in some short story collections. But in this there are at the heart of the stories characters like young families, teens, athletes, blue-collar workers, and so on: a wider view of humanity which made the stories feel open rather than enclosed within a myopic perspective.
Great writing and compelling stories.

c
cmwallsm
Dec 11, 2011

These stories are really well written. Interesting narrative trick in the ending of each story, almost abrupt, leaving you wondering. Author is very profound about the mundane. I wasn't in love with the topics of the stories which is why I rated it lower, but it is a really excellent piece of work.

m
mcot
Nov 25, 2011

loved this book. I wish the author would publish more novels

brianreynolds Oct 15, 2011

Evaluations are difficult--even when you're comparing apples to apples. MacLeod's collection is certainly even in both its style and content, but Light Lifiting is a different fruit than a novel.

I was in awe of a number of things in all the stories. There is a sense of timing that makes each page dramatic. MacLeod has a feel for when to shout and when to whisper, when to run and when to linger. And there's depth. How does he know all this stuff? I expect it in a novel, to have things researched and feel like I'm touring some unique setting. In this collection I felt like I was changing gears at Epcot. And characters, It takes some time to seduce a reader into a romance with a protagonist; MacLeod does it well--does it anew every thirty or forty pages. I enjoyed the writing very much.

Story was something else. MacLeod, it seems to me, sidesteps the traditional mythos that have defined what "story" has meant to listeners and readers throughout history. As "sketches" they are powerful and complex, evocative and entertaining. They are slices of something bigger, but something readers must create themselves in order to walk away with a full stomach. As stories, they leave the reader hanging, refuse to come together or pull apart, avoid riding successfully off into the sunset or discovering there is no way out of the maze. MacLeod leaves us a little hungry. Like most modern short story writers.

* Alta Vista Sep 20, 2011

Alexander MacLeod will read from Light Lifting at the Rosemount Library, 18 Rosemount on Sat Dec 3, 2011, 2:00-3:00. Don't miss this chance to meet the author!

m
mdavids5
Jul 15, 2011

Really interesting plot lines that keep you flipping until the end of the story.

l
lisahiggs
Apr 05, 2011

Now I know why this guy’s name is so familiar to me as an author – he’s the son of Alistair MacLeod, who also writes short stories. The blurb on the back says this collection of short stories is long-awaited, but at the same time it’s his debut work.

Whoever has been presciently waiting for this book has been rewarded with good, tight, clean writing. Every i has been dotted, every t has been crossed, every ordinary person has had an extraordinary thing happen to them, every ordinary life has been looked at in an extraordinary way. The pacing is perfect, the language is poetic, the unexpected endings are flawlessly executed … but it’s all so smooth that there is nothing to really grab you on the way by.

l
lightbytheway
Dec 07, 2010

Shortlisted for Giller Prize 2010

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lisahiggs
Apr 05, 2011

The place was like a Bermuda Triangle for hopeful people.

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