Monkey Beach

Monkey Beach Five hundred miles north of Vancouver is Kitamaat an Indian reservation in the homeland of the Haisla people Growing up a tough wild tomboy swimming fighting and fishing in a remote village where

  • Title: Monkey Beach
  • Author: Eden Robinson
  • ISBN: 9780618219056
  • Page: 329
  • Format: Paperback
  • Five hundred miles north of Vancouver is Kitamaat, an Indian reservation in the homeland of the Haisla people Growing up a tough, wild tomboy, swimming, fighting, and fishing in a remote village where the land slips into the green ocean on the edge of the world, Lisamarie has always been different Visited by ghosts and shapeshifters, tormented by premonitions, she can tFive hundred miles north of Vancouver is Kitamaat, an Indian reservation in the homeland of the Haisla people Growing up a tough, wild tomboy, swimming, fighting, and fishing in a remote village where the land slips into the green ocean on the edge of the world, Lisamarie has always been different Visited by ghosts and shapeshifters, tormented by premonitions, she can t escape the sense that something terrible is waiting for her She recounts her enchanted yet scarred life as she journeys in her speedboat up the frigid waters of the Douglas Channel She is searching for her brother, dead by drowning, and in her own way running as fast as she can toward danger Circling her brother s tragic death are the remarkable characters that make up her family Lisamarie s parents, struggling to join their Haisla heritage with Western ways Uncle Mick, a Native rights activist and devoted Elvis fan and the headstrong Ma ma oo Haisla for grandmother , a guardian of tradition Haunting, funny, and vividly poignant, Monkey Beach gives full scope to Robinson s startling ability to make bedfellows of comedy and the dark underside of life Informed as much by its lush living wilderness as by the humanity of its colorful characters, Monkey Beach is a profoundly moving story about childhood and the pain of growing older a multilayered tale of family grief and redemption.

    One thought on “Monkey Beach”

    1. Books like this are exactly why I love Netgalley. I never would have found this book except for through that website. You have to wade through a whole lot of not so good books and then you find this just makes your heart sing.Monkey Beach-that magical place that b'gwus (Sasquatches) are. "Jimmy," Dad said. "Sasquatches are make believe, like fairies. They don't really exist."Or do they?This book follows Lisa Marie Michelle Hill on her journey through her memories after her brother [...]

    2. Intriguing but inconsistent. I couldn't get a grip on the main character (Lisamarie) or the stages/phases of her development; there was something off for me in terms of the timeline. Events - shocking, sudden deaths of important characters, for example - seem to happen "off-stage" with only their longer-term impacts discussed (again, intriguing, but the style left me disconnected from the narrative as a whole). A lot was mentioned in passing or so indirectly that it lost its impact (e.g Mick and [...]

    3. Find a map of British ColumbiaEden Robinson's debut Monkey Beach is set in the north coast of BC, just where the Alaskan Aleutian Islands and the province's own Charlotte Islands begin. There lies the city of Kitimat, surrounded by picturesque mountains and pine trees of the Pacific Northwest. "Kitimat" comes from the Thshimian language, and means "people/place of the snow" - an answer that they gave to European explorers when asked about the place and people who inhabited it - the Haisla.Monkey [...]

    4. "Weegit the raven has mellowed in his old age. He's still a confirmed bachelor, but he's not the womanizer he once was. Plying the stock market - instead of spending his time being a trickster - has paid off and he has a comfortable condo downtown. He plays up the angle about creating the world and humans, conveniently forgetting that he did it out of boredom. Yes, he admits, he did steal the sun and the moon, but he insists he did it to bring light to humankind even though he did it so it would [...]

    5. 2.5-stars, if we couldere was much about this novel that was appealing, particularly the aspects of native culture, and the settings. lisa's relationship with ma-ma-oo was my favourite piece of the book, and the knowledge lisa gained from her grandmother was so interesting to me. robinson deals with some very difficult themes within native culture. given the current unacceptable and heartbreaking situation in canada concerning the murdered and missing indigenous women, this is a very timely read [...]

    6. I could not resist the narrative voice of this earthy, augury filled, family rich story set in the First Nations Haisla community of western Canada. Nineteen year old Lisamarie is generally fearless and never takes guff from anyone--she’ll launch herself at a gang of bullies without hesitation and her uncle affectionately calls her monster--but the nighttime visits she receives from a small, wild, red haired man terrify her because they always precede a death or tragedy. It’s a visionary “ [...]

    7. MONKEY BEACH is one of those books were I am honestly unsure about how I feel about it. I suspect Robinson prefers it that way. MONKEY BEACH slips and slides between the past and the presents, tying the disparate parts of heroine Lisamarie's life together in unexpected ways. The nominal driving force of the novel is the disappearance of Lisamarie's older brother, Jimmy. He was on a fishing boat that disappeared; however, he is a great swimmer and there are tons of islands, so there's a small cha [...]

    8. This book I picked up randomly in a used book exchange in an airport just before I flew out to BC. Since this book took place in BC, I thought it would be a fitting companion for my trip. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this book. This is a beautiful story of a Haisla Native Canadian girl growing up in a BC Indian reserve with a unique gift of being "connected to the spirit world".We meet Lisa Hill as she finds out that her champion swimmer brother has been lost at sea while on a fishing rig. While [...]

    9. This was a beautiful book to read, and one that I will read again. Eden Robinson does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of Northern British Columbia's indigenous people, the Haisla. The story, which is narrated by 19-year-old Lisamarie Hill, opens with the news that Lisa's 18-year-old brother has gone missing. Her brother's disappearance triggers Lisa's memories of the deaths of her uncle and grandmother. As the present story develops, Lisa relives those moments in her childhood and revea [...]

    10. Reading for a neighbourhood bookclub. Probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own.I'm so glad I read this book. It's one of the best I have read for a long time. Even though it was sad in places and death was always present, the book had a strong sense of life. It was vivid. I loved so many things about it:The story was powerful and engaging from the first page. I wanted to know what happened next and hated putting it down. All the different elements that were introduced throughout the story w [...]

    11. 3.5 rounded up to 4 Originally pub in 2002 and , nominated for multiple awards, this coming of age story is a powerful story of place, of family, of grief, of one's roots. The setting is the amazing geography of the Pacific Northwest on the coast of British Columbia. It is the land of the Haisla Indian in Kitamat Village ,At the start of the novel, we meet 20 year old Lisa Marie Hill, who is struggling along with her family in trying to deal with the disappearance of her younger brother Jimmy. L [...]

    12. Just read this book again and confirmed my admiration for it. Robinson's prose is as chilling as the creatures who lurk just beyond the tree-line at Monkey Beach. Offers an honest yet understated inquiry into the viral effects of abuse, whether via residential school, between relatives, or self-inflicted through substances. When a book can make me cry, I revere it; but Robinson's greatest strength lies in this - she somehow captures the most arresting moments between broken individuals without l [...]

    13. This is a good example of what I've been looking for: First class contemporary Canadian literature first published sometime since the 80s. It's a refreshing break from all of the usual suspects, and a great literary debut. Very clean, beautiful prose and rich with style. My only complaint has more to do with Canadian fiction as a whole - it seems like northern life has become ground all too frequently tread, and the cliches can get a bit thick at times. Wilderness, reserve life, Vancouver itself [...]

    14. I was surprised and disappointed to find the prose and the sitcom-esque happy-family-with-too-cute-kids tone of this off-putting from the get-go. Abandoned at the 12% mark. I am pretty sure I tried this novel a decade or so ago with the same result, so I guess I shouldn't have been all that surprised.

    15. There is little I can say without giving up key parts of the story, so I will be brief. Monkey Beach offers a mystery as its driving force, offers expectations of the supernatural --the Sasquatch, even -- offers a look at indigeneity in Canadian society, offers a slice of eighties Haisla life, but the story is not really about any of those things. It is about a girl, Lisa Marie, making her way through her life, and the story is quietly excellent.

    16. I’m really fortunate that this text was a class requirement as I probably would never have read it otherwise. Sadly this notion parallels many great Indigenous Canadian works that don’t seem to greet the faces of enough readers. The upshot to this is those who do get to experience its worth can appreciate its value. This coming-of-age novel, which centres around Lisamarie and the Hill family, interweaves some brilliant supernatural elements. There is a dynamic that unfolds as a dichotomy bet [...]

    17. Wonderful story full of culture, wisdom and hope. Thank you Eden Robinson for sharing your beautiful words.

    18. This book was a surprise to me. Infusedwith haisla culture it deals with life issueswith stark realism while blending in themysticism of native blood. While on a boat tripto save her brother's life, Lisamarie's selfreflection paints a picture which gives aninsight to her troubles in struggling to accepther gift and also the loss of some of the mostcolorful people in her life. The unforgettablecharacters of uncle mick the rebel activist andgrand mother mamaoo Lisa's only realconnection to her roo [...]

    19. This book was on one of my book club reads. I had read it when it first came out and gave it a one star rating. Seeing as how it has been a number of years I decided to have an open mind and re-read the book. This time around I gave it two stars. There was a point, and Robinson was able to get her book published, but I totally missed it once again.

    20. This is one of my all-time favourite books that I've read probably four times. It was the first book I read that really brought the area of the world I grew up in to life and made me realize that it could be the setting for amazing literature. Robinson is a fiercely talented writer. I would read anything that she's written.

    21. I think this is one messy beach. Monkeys are unclean! Dislike. No one would want to go to that beach. Not a good book.

    22. Almost a year ago I read Eden Robinson’s new novel, Son of a Trickster, and I immediately wanted to read more of her stuff. But, of course, wanting and actually getting around to it are two different things. So here I am, at the end of 2017, finally reading Monkey Beach. Which I bought, mind you, a month or two prior, but it was finally a friend/former coworker reading it and wanting my opinion that galvanized me. I don’t know; as the end of the year approaches I’ve very much been yearning [...]

    23. Canadian Indigenous authors are quickly becoming my favorite reads. In this one, we have a narrative spanning several periods in our main character's young life. We start in present day with the disappearance of her brother and travel back in time through their lives meeting family, friends and more as we learn about the culture and traditions of the Haisla people in BC. Amazing characters, well written without shying away from disturbing topics. This was a win for me as I read along almost hopi [...]

    24. Waiting to find out the fate of her disappeared at sea brother, Lisa recounts what it was like growing up in the Haisla community in the Kitamaat area, communicating with the spirits and being a sort of outcast. It’s a gripping story but not all that riveting; there were plenty of Haislan myths and legends but not that much details about the community itself, I found.

    25. I read the last pages of this novel while being on a train, listening to Mumford and Sons and – very inconvenient when using public transportation – crying. Ever since that day the song “After the Storm” for me has been connected to this book; I reckon that might be because I don’t understand the song properly but I get its sense of melancholia, beauty, loneliness and love. All of these are part of my reading experience of Monkey Beach, but there is so much more. And I took you by the [...]

    26. Monkey Beach is a tour de force. It is a stunning piece of literature, with a powerful voice and heart wrenching characters. The entire novel is infused with life and realism. The story is hard to describe. Lisamarie is a Haisla girl growing up in Kitimat. The book starts with the news that her brother has gone missing on a fishing expedition. Her parents rush out to join the search, but Lisamarie stays behind, obviously trapped in the throes of grief. She begins to remember her past.Flashbacks [...]

    27. A tale that combines both humour and tragedy, western culture and aboriginal culture, wisdom and foolhardy decisions, Monkey Beach is as beautiful as it is haunting. Told in the perspective of Lisamarie Michelle Hill, a young Haisla First Nations girl, the story unfolds as a coming-of-age adventure fraught with heartbreak and humour in equal parts. Intertwined throughout the story is the tragedy of her brother’s disappearance and her journey to look for him at Monkey Beach.This novel captivate [...]

    28. Writing: 4Story: 3.5Satisfaction: 4Monkey Beach starts off slowly. It actually took me about a quarter of the book before I started investing in any of what was going on. But after that point, once the characters start to form and the mystery of Jimmy being lost at sea starts to fade into the background, the book really picks up. The writing style felt a bit like Chuck Palahniuk in that it's purposefully vague so the reader doesn't have a lot to go on in the beginning. There are also chapters th [...]

    29. The timeline for this narrative is circular and I wasn't quite sure where I was in any developments. While initially I found this disconcerting, the farther I got into the book the more I appreciated the layering. The inclusion of native myth and beliefs provided insight into a culture that I only try to understand and appreciate. The author's descriptions of scenery are rich in details and there is no doubt that she has seen what she describes.An example is:We drove past Costi Island, which spl [...]

    30. Monkey Beach was read for the CBC Book Club and the "Reading Across Canada" theme. This was the first - British Columbia. I read ahead again - was supposed to make this last for the month. I found that while this had a really strong start, and one I was enjoying, petered out considerably in the middle - lots of filler and it spiralled downhill - the way Lisa Marie's life was headed, and the pages and pages of description of fish and the types of fish went on far too long and then important part [...]

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