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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  118 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Had Hugh MacLennan been an anarcho-syndicalist and a D.H. Lawrence devotee, he might have written books like Cabbagetown, a voluminous tale of depression-era Canada that's arguably Hugh Garner's finest novel. First published in a bowdlerized edition in 1950, Cabbagetown is one of the few Canadian novels published before 1960 that is genuinely frank about sex and politics,...more
Paperback, 415 pages
Published 1968 by mcgraw-hill
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Joseph Levesque
Many facets of this book are just wonderful -- and I'm so glad I read it -- but man, is it depressing! Perhaps it is redundant to state that a book about a Toronto slum during the Depression is "depressing". As such, it is a fantastic representation of the era and the struggles of the time. My continued hope that things would turn around for the protagonists proved fruitless; however, I couldn't put the book down.

I loved experiencing all the locales I frequent on a daily basis in a historical s...more
One of my favourite Canadian authors, and he knows whereof he speaks. Fiction but partly autobiographical. Cabbagetown was a Toronto slum during the depression. Garner grew up there, and spent time riding the rails across both Canada and the US, serving in the Spanish Civil War, and serving in a Canadian Navy Corvette escorting convoys across the Atlantic during WWII before becoming an author so successful he could support himself by writing (a real feat for a Canadian in the 1950's). I hadn't r...more
Linda Dow
Fantastic coming of age story. A well organized and beautifully written, if tragic, example of modernist realism. It can be a bit of a challenge to keep track of all of the characters at the beginning, but it's worth the effort. Particularly noteworthy: the examination of how our communities shape our identities, the politics of power and the question of whether Ken is a hero or anti-hero.
Heart touching story of Cabbagetown, Toronto, during the depression. Shows the lives of a group of friends as they deal with their world day to day.

Always thought it would make a great Sullivan movie or miniseries.

I've re-read it a dozen times over the years. Highly recommend it.
Unbelievably, I actually truly enjoyed this book. Instead of being a boring historical read, I was actually caught up in the lives of a handful of people living in Cabbagetown at the time of the depression.
This is just such a good book! It was obliquely referenced in one of my textbooks, and I am so grateful I picked it up. It represents how astoundingly good comtemporary Canadian fiction can be.
Good Read about that section of Toronto during the Depression. My Mom & Dad grew up, one in Cabbagetown and one in the better parts. It reminds me of some of the stories. Everyone should know how things were in the Depression, It can come again.
Ending felt a bit off... the beginning and middle were what felt like real and raw stories of coming of age in the Depression.
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Hugh Garner was a Canadian novelist.

Born in England, Garner came to Canada in 1919 with his parents and was raised in Toronto. During the Great Depression, he rode the rails in both Canada and the United States and then joined the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. During World War II he served in the Canadian navy. Following the war, Garner concentrated on his writing. He published...more
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