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Copernicus Avenue

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  26 ratings  ·  12 reviews
"You will never know what really happened to Lech or any of us. We mean nothing by it, darling. It is a silent agreement we all have with ourselves, that nothing will ever make us prisoners again, not even memory." Set primarily in the neighbourhood of fictional Copernicus Avenue, Andrew Borkowski's debut collection of short stories is a daring, modern take on life in Toro...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published January 3rd 2011 by Cormorant Books
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Dee at EditorialEyes
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3.5 out of 5

The Poland of Andrew J. Borkowski’s Copernicus Avenue is a land of shifting borders but eternal meaning, shaping and shadowing everything that happens in each character’s life. A set of linked short stories, the book’s setting shuttles between Poland and the Polish Canadian neighbourhood of west Toronto, on the fictional Copernicus Avenue. Spanning many decades, the book tells the overarching story of the Mienkiewicz fami...more
Owen
Andrew is a local hero in our neighbourhood, winning the Toronto Book Award and all that. I've heard him read twice and would recommend the experience to anyone who has the opportunity.
The book is pretty good, too! I'm used to cutting local authors a lot of slack simply because they're local, but this book doesn't need the kid gloves to come out. A solid half of the stories are really good and would stand on their own in any collection. The other half range from decent to okay. A few stories...more
Ellen
Other than two embarrassing copy-editing mistakes glaring out at me on Page 3 which caused me to feel sad about the state of publishing today and to be gravely upset on the author's behalf, and another two in later stories in this work which I also noted as they interrupted my late night reading, this was an unbelievably terrific collection of short stories, linked commonly by Copernicus Avenue, a street in Toronto where generations of fictionalized post World War II Polish immigrants have made...more
HelenJ
This just was NOT my kind of book at all. I did read it all as it had been recommended by a dear friend but it was a slog & I must admit to skimming a lot! Maybe a man would enjoy it more as it's filled with planes, marching, etc.
Was hoping to like it after hearing A J Borkowski interviewed. Sorry!
Corinne Wasilewski
These stories were written with just the right touch. It would have been easy for them to deteriorate into cheap sentimentality at times, but, they never do. Borkowski keeps the emotion real. The writing in St. David's Day was exceptionally well done, particularly in regards to the running of the Lancaster bomber. Borkowski had me believing he must be a pilot himself to write with such ease and detail. I only wish the book was longer. Perhaps another book is in order to more fully flesh out the...more
Buried In Print
This review was deleted following Amazon's purchase of GoodReads.

The review can still be viewed via LibraryThing, where my profile can be found here.

I'm also in the process of building a database at Booklikes, where I can be found here.

If you read/liked/clicked through to see this review here on GR, many thanks.
Mauberley
An fine collection of stories that beutifully distills a view of the Polish immagrant experience in Toronto since World War II. The characters wrestle with the tyranny of the past and their hope for the future. If the conclusion of Alexei's story is a shade too pat, the descriptions of life in the neighbourhood of Toronto's Roncesvalles Avenue more than compensate.
Carrie Marcotte
This book provides snapshots into a small Polish community in Toronto. Although in short story form, with very few changes this book could have been made into a novel, but is fine the way it is written now. I like how some of the same characters are carried through the book and are developed in each short story, but each story can stand on its own.
Carly
When I say I 'discarded' it, doesn't mean I disliked it. I liked the looksee around the streets of west Toronto ... but after a few stories, I lost interest.

We discussed it at HP Library for October's book of the month.

But I cannot, in all honesty count it as one of my 100 challenge for the year 'cause I didn't finish it.


Leseparatist
Striking and moving, but the use and spelling of Polish was quite inconsistent. "The Trees of Kleinsaltz" and "St. David's Day" were particularly interesting. I enjoyed the structure as well as the subject matter.
cStories eBook Singles
Each story now offered as a cStories eBook Single! Check it out - http://win.cstories.ca !
Norm
specific, evocative
(way to go, Andrew!)
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