Friday, February 24, 2017


This short review first appeared in Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper, and the book it reviews was originally written in French, by a Canadian writer from Quebec. On a personal note, your humble blogger assumes that he was also watching the French language TV airing described in both the novel and the review below. Which is interesting, because I had my own strange experience involving a friend who was so freaked out by the REDRUM/MURDER reveal that he nearly went into shock and swallowed his tongue! More on that--and my own review of the book--later. In the meantime, if you want to buy your own copy, kindly do so via this link! - YOPJ 

Kubrick Red
By Simon Roy, translated by Jacob Homel
Anvil Press, 160 pages, $18

On first viewing, The Shining barely coheres: It’s hard to say why exactly events in the film happen as they do. Yet long after, it remains deeply unsettling. Mother and child survive, but the axe-wielding father’s death offers no finality. When Simon Roy was a boy, he caught The Shining on television. The deluge of blood made no impression, but when Dick Hollorann asked in slow-mo voice-over “How’d you like some ice cream, Doc?” young Simon was sure the hotel chef spoke directly to him. Since that moment of being scared witless, Roy has watched Kubrick’s film obsessively, finding new meaning in it and dark parallels with his own story. Just as Kubrick used Stephen King’s novel to talk about the horrors of genocide revisited on the present, in Kubrick Red Roy analyses the film to exorcise a crime in his family’s past. An atypical memoir tracing genealogies of violence – as startling as the film that inspired it.

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