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Why Men Lie (The Cape Breton Trilogy #3)
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Why Men Lie (The Cape Breton Trilogy #3)

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  870 ratings  ·  151 reviews

From the bestselling author of The Bishop’s Man, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, a brilliant, deeply wise and challenging new novel.

Why do men lie? Effie MacAskill Gillis, a self-sufficient woman of her time, is confident she knows. She learned the hard way—from a war-damaged father and a troubled brother who became a priest, through failed marriages and doomed rela

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Random House Canada
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Rebecca McNutt
I love reading Cape Breton literature (CaperLit); I think everyone should read at least one book that takes place in where they're from, and a large number of my book collection is CaperLit. Why Men Lie is the latest that I've bought, and it's wonderful. Filled with vibrant Cape Breton scenery, Scottish/Canadian heritage and characters that feel alive, literally.
Steven Langdon
Linden MacIntyre's previous novel, "The Bishop's Man," won Canada's Giller Prize for the best novel of the year, so this book, which overlaps to some degree (its protagonist is the sister of the priest who is the Bishop's man,) comes with high expectations. And for the most part, "Why Men Lie" manages to meet those considerable standards. The central characters are vivid and interesting, the plot is sharp-edged and keeps you engaged, and the writing is excellent.

"The Bishop's Man" began in Cape
Just a 2. It was a slog. The characters weren't particularly likeable. They were superficial egocentric sketches, aimlessly richocheting off of each other's lives. Confusing, muddy, angst-ridden. Buried secrets, lies and perceived lies, all over-magnified into dramatic substrate.

Found these two books nestled against each other on my ereader: Why Men Lie by Linden MacIntyre Why Nations Fail The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoğlu
Pamela Detlor
Best selling author and Giller Prize winner, for The Bishop’s Man, Linden MacIntyre delivers a thought provoking new work.

I wasn’t sure what the point was when I started reading Why Men Lie . The first 16 pages covered bits and pieces of a year, without a sense of where things were going. Though I wasn’t sure if I liked the protagonist, Effie MacAskill Gillis (Sister to Duncan, from Bishop’s Man), I did find the dialogue well written, and a steady flow to the writing. My issue with Effie: she
Ruth Seeley
The third novel in the loosely linked trilogy that includes The Long Stretch and The Bishop's Man, this novel focuses on Duncan's sister Effie (Duncan is of course The Bishop's Man). I think it fails as both a character study of Effie (in many ways the glue that holds together her generation's male triumvirate of Sextus, John Gillis and Duncan, which parallels the trio of males who are the focus of The Long Stretch - Sextus, John and Duncan & Effie's fathers) and as a novel. Effie remains a ...more
I am a big fan of Linden MacIntyre's journalism, and I did try to read this book in his wonderful voice, but I kept getting distracted. I was distracted, too, by the fact that I was living in Toronto at the time the story is depicted, so I was trying to piece together my own little memoir of that time. (BTW, and *ahem*, there was no snowstorm on December 31st '98. It was bitterly, bitterly cold, but it was clear. I had gone to a swanky NYE party and I remember the band played 'Party like it's 19 ...more
The first thing I have to say is that he is a beautiful writer. There were many times throughout this book that I had to stop and reread a particular line or paragraph. It wasn’t just the physical descriptions that gave me pause for thought. It was also the insights and revelations the characters made. The impact of those words was visceral at times. I was especially impressed by MacIntyre’s writing from the point of view of a woman. It was seamless.

I read The Bishop’s Man and loved it. When I s
Why do we lie? Is it to make ourselves look better? To reinstate emotional boundaries? To hide secrets? To protect ourselves? To protect others? More importantly why do we tend to tell the greatest lies to those closest to us? And, given that this is true, do we ever really know someone? The theme of deception, among other affairs that tend to complicate personal relationships, is deftly explored through Linden MacIntyre’s latest novel Why Men Lie (Random House Canada, 2012). Why Men Lie is the ...more
Why Men Lie is the third in a loosely connected trilogy of novels, after The Long Stretch and The Bishop's Man. The novels share a cast of characters but are narrated from different perspectives and cover different time periods. The focus of this novel is Effie MacAskill Gillis, who, in her mid-fifties and in the midst of a successful academic career at the University of Toronto, seems content to be living on her own after a traumatic childhood and two failed marriages. Without exception the men ...more
Louise Gleeson
I am always drawn to books by Canadian authors and thoroughly enjoy immersing myself in a familiar landscape. This book is set in both Toronto and on the East Coast. It is a beautifully told story, which is accessible to all readers. MacIntyre's ability to write from a female perspective was astounding. I was continuously surprised by the voice of Effie and developed a great fondness for her character. And even though we are meant to dislike her former husband for his indiscretions, MacIntyre ca ...more
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I'd read The Bishop's Man first. I may revisit my assessment of this book after reading the others in the series. A 3.5 for me.
Dorothyanne Brown
Hmm. I remain uncertain about "Why Men Lie". It's the sort of book that draws you in with interesting (and a bit confusing) characters, pulls you forward, and then leaves you wondering what you have gained from the reading. All of the men in the book are flawed, except perhaps one. Everyone lies. We never truly find out what Aunt Ada Doom saw in the woodshed (to use an example from Cold Comfort Farm). No one seems to grow.
In so many ways, though, this is the essential book of Cape Breton. Famili
Toni Osborne
Book 3, in the Cape Breton Trilogy

“Why Men Lie”, the last volume in the trilogy is actually an extension to “The Bishop’s Man” (book 2) where Priest Duncan MacAskill , known as the “fixer” was the center figure. This latest features Effie MacAskill- Gillis, Duncan’s sister, as the main player and is set mostly in Toronto and in Cape Breton during the late 1990’s. The story follows further the community and the family saga we have come to know in the previous installments. The central theme in “W
Mike Smith
My reading of this somewhat complex novel, which was loaned to me by a friend, was interrupted by several other books from the library that I had to finish and return, so I kind of lost the plot during the interruption. This is a sequel to MacIntyre's very good "The Bishop's Man", which I have since learned is in fact the second book in a trilogy. The first book is "The Long Stretch", which I haven't read. I recall thinking in The Bishop's Man that there were things the characters knew about tha ...more
Christa  Seeley
Apr 28, 2012 Christa Seeley rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Literary Fiction fans, Those who liked The Bishop's Man
Originally reviewed on Christa's Hooked on Books

After spending a few days with this novel, reading and rereading passages, I can honestly say it is one interesting experiment of a book.

Once you crack open Why Men Lie, it won't take long for you to realize that Linden MacIntyre is trying to make a point. It wasn't always clear to me what that point was but there was definitely more than a simple story here. This wasn't really a surprise to me, his earlier book The Bishop's Man, also carried a str
This book wasn't what I expected it would be so I was disappointed from start to end.I thought it would be more research based and provide more insight - but the research claim is from the personal experience of the author growing up among strong women and therefore claiming that he could write a women's character. Didn't work for me at all.

I didn't like all the drinking in this story either - the easy and quick reliance on a drink, or many drinks, to ease pain and clear or erase thinking. Too m
This book was fantastic! I hope to see it shortlisted for the Giller Prize this year. The third installment of the author's Cape Breton Trilogy, this novel stands apart from its two predecessors. Whereas "The Long Stretch" and "The Bishop's Man" were about the secrets, facades, and bonds between men, "Why Men Lie" looks at how those secrets, facades, and bonds appear to women. The main character in this novel is Effie, the brother of Duncan (the Bishop's Man), and ex-wife to John Gillis and Sext ...more
The 3rd book in the Cape Breton trilogy(The long stretch, The bishop's man, Why men lie), the story of the closely connected cousins & friends originating in the Long Stretch, continues seen through the eyes of Effie McAskill-Gillis. After a brief marriage to John Gillis whom she left after 2 years for his cousin Sextus, whom in turn she leaves because of his womanizing, she has a brief fling, then along period without men, until she runs into JC Campbell, a TV journalist, in the subway in T ...more
Effie MacAskill Gillis has been married twice and in a long-term relationship once; all of these were filled with lies and deception. Tired of “coping with the turmoil men cause” (11), she decides that “she didn’t really mind the now inevitable solitude. She’d learned to think of it as independence” (10). Nonetheless, she begins another relationship – this time with JC Campbell, who, like her, is a Cape Bretoner displaced in Toronto. Things begin well. Effie is initially impressed with JC’s appa ...more
Matt Rohweder
This is the third book in MacIntyre's trilogy about a family from Nova Scotia, and it certainly lived up to it's predecessor The Bishop's Man. I was enthralled from page one as these characters slowly move through two years learning what it means to remember past pain and familial horrors as well as how to really love one another.

I loved The Bishop's Man and easily include it in my top 10 books, so I had really high expectations for this book. I am so glad it lived up to them.

I feel as through
John C.
Why Men Lie is the 3rd Novel in Linden’s Cape Breton trilogy however it completely stands alone with no prerequisite to have read the other two.
Although a grabbing and provocative title, the novel is certainly not a documentary or an explanation thereof either. It is however a well written story following the life of one Effie MacAskill. She is a Torontonian and a Cape Breton native who is middle-aged and quite content within her rather quiet and solitary lifestyle. All that changes when she ha
Paula Dembeck
This is the third book in a three part trilogy that MacIntyre has written about three families from Cape Breton, the two Gillis families and the MacAskills. Although this is the final book in the series, it is not necessary to have read the others, or if you have, to read them in any order. Each book stands quite nicely on its own.

Duncan MacAskill was the central figure in the 2009 award winning Scotiabank Giller Prize novel “The Bishop’s Man”, and this book is about Effie, his sister. The stor
Jun 12, 2012 Icewineanne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People over 50 who live in Toronto
Recommended to Icewineanne by: Goodreads
This is the fourth time I'm trying to review this book. Everytime I try to edit my review, this program erases everything I have written which is extremely frustrating!!

I would not try again except that I received this book for free from Goodreads.

When I began this book, I did not realize that this is the last part of a trilogy. It may have been helpful to have read the other books prior to this one in order to have a more complete understanding of the characters.

The story revolves around an old
Jul 29, 2012 Brian added it
Irrespective of what is, in my opinion, good or bad about it, Why Men Lie? is thought provoking.

McIntyre, in all three of his books about (mainly) three families from Cape Breton’s Long Stretch area, presents his story like the reader is overhearing a conversation in a pub. The narrative is life-like. Like real conversations, they are obscured by innuendo, by omission, deception, interruption and non-verbal communication, all of which make the narrative challenging. The big revelations are to so
I received this book for free through good reads first reads.

I quite enjoyed this book, though I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. In the beginning I found reading this book slow going. The dialogue between the characters seemed choppy and impersonal. The scenes changed abruptly and nothing much seemed to happened. When I was about half way through I found it much more intriguing and was much more drawn to the characters. I found them to be actually quite vivid. After the mid way point
Dianne Kaucharik
I read this novel without knowing it was part of a trilogy but with a desire to support Canadian authors and a curiosity about this Fifth Estate journalist's writing. Perhaps it was MacIntyre's writing style, a cultural loss of translation between the east coast and Ontario, or the tiresome references to "impotence", but the book did not grab me. It was neither my "cup of tea" or "peaty single malt".
Lorina Stephens
The last in MacIntyre's Cape Breton Trilogy, Why Men Lie completes the fallout from a brutal act in WWII which has haunted the men involved and their families.

In this novel MacIntyre visits the character of Effie Gillis, who lived in silent fear for years, and now as a middle-aged woman attempts to reconcile that past and her own visceral, instinctive reactions to any trigger which might be construed as related.

While it is a story about latent violence both of the spirit and the body, it is also
Why Men Lie by Linden MacIntyre is a parallel sequel to MacIntyre’s Giller Prize winning novel, The Bishop’s Man, which won its acclaim in 2009. This story, though, is told through the perspective and voice of Effie (Faye) MacAskill Gillis, sister to Duncan, the protagonist in The Bishop’s Man.

It’s a complicated tale, a microcosmic view into the life and thought-process of Effie Gillis after three broken relationships and a conscious effort at building a tolerance to independence and the changes
Effie is a woman who doesn't want to depend on or trust men any longer after being married twice. She is a strong woman who knows what she wants, until she meets JC, she tries not to get too attached to him at first. This is a book about relationships between men and women and their children, but it also has a mystery. Who is JC, what is he hiding, is he lying? The ending will shock you because nothing in the dust jacket suggests such a gripping plot 3/4 of the way into the book - a page turner ...more
Wendy Caron
This is the third in a Trilogy written by MacIntyre. I read The Bishop's Man and on that basis I wouldn't have searched out this book but it was given to me as a gift. This is the story of the Bishop's Man sister, Effie. While reading the book I found myself asking 'who cares?' so I guess I didn't have much empathy with the characters; except perhaps JC who I found somewhat intriguing. I'm sad to say that in the end, there's no epiphany or answer as to why men lie, it's pretty much what you'd ex ...more
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Linden MacIntyre is the co-host of the fifth estate and the winner of nine Gemini Awards for broadcast journalism. His most recent book, a boyhood memoir called Causeway: A Passage from Innocence won both the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction.
More about Linden MacIntyre...

Other Books in the Series

The Cape Breton Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Long Stretch (The Cape Breton Trilogy #1)
  • The Bishop's Man (The Cape Breton Trilogy #2)

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“Familiarity is not the same as knowledge. But sometimes it's the best we can hope for. We can only love or hate what the other seems to be.” 1 likes
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