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The Carpenter

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The Carpenter is set in a God-fearing small Ontario town in the 1980s, a town rife with secrets, grudges passed through the generations and an undercurrent of criminal behaviour. Lee King, the carpenter, is returning after a lengthy stay in maximum-security prison to a community that still recalls his horrendous crime. His mother is dying, and he wants to see her and his ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Phyllis Bruce Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Annet
Jan 05, 2013 Annet rated it really liked it
Wow, this is some book, great start of the year for me. This book got to me from page one up until the end. Raw, dark, intense, personal, great story, great characters, wonderful strong debut by this Canadian writer.

In short, it's a story in the 1980's in a small bleak Ontario town. Leland King is returning from prison to his home town after doing time for a heavy crime. His mother is dying, and he is trying to connect with his family again. His young nephew Pete has quit school and works at a
...more
Anna
Jul 23, 2014 Anna rated it it was ok
It's never easy to write a review about a book written by somebody you know, but, with that being said, I'll still attempt to. Lennox writes with a Cormac-McCarthy-esque spareness, purposefully keeping emotion tight and trim, which lends itself well to letting the reader taste the darkness that is unfolding all around the main male character. It, however, leaves some key characters and moments hard to empathize with - if we, the readers, aren't given an emotional peephole into people's actions ...more
Jennifer D.
Jan 04, 2016 Jennifer D. rated it really liked it
19oct12 - wow. that hurt. this book is a raw, hard gut-punch. i will be seeing/meeting lennox in two days, as part of the IFOA - international festival of authors - running in toronto. i am trying to think of the place he was writing from with this story. and i am having a bit of an ache in my heart that this depth of emotional pain is familiar (for very different reasons) and sorry that someone else (many other someones) is (are) sitting with this experience and knowledge. there are relatable ...more
Pat
Jan 23, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
Matt Lennox has created a social geography that is familiar and yet distant. His spare style tends almost to the noir at times and the psychological insights stand out in stark relief. His is a novel of rejection and redemption and reality and well worth the read.
Joan
Sep 17, 2012 Joan rated it really liked it
Intense. Well written, and good twists to a great story.
Brittany
Mar 04, 2013 Brittany rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fans of can lit / people studying writing
How I Came To Read This Book: A copy if it mysteriously showed up in my mailbox. I read it so I could review it and give another copy away through my blog.

The Plot: Leland King has just served 17 years of hard time, and is returning to his hometown - the very place where his unspeakable crime was committed - to be with his dying mother. In that same town we meet Lee's nephew, a high school dropout named Pete that seems to have his head on straighter than most of the folks around him (except of c
...more
My Inner Shelf
Leland King rentre chez lui après 17 ans de prison. Sa mère est mourante, sa sœur a épousé un pasteur complètement bigot, son neveu de 17 ans a quitté le lycée pour travailler. Un vieux policier à la retraite en mal de sensations fortes est troublé par le suicide d'une jeune femme dont il a bien connu la famille. Jusque là, rien à voir, quoique...Leland reprend une vie à peu près normale mais semble ne pas y croire lui-même, son neveu Peter lui est rapidement très attaché, et ignore le crime ...more
Bree
Jun 15, 2012 Bree rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction, 2012
This was more than a 3 star, but not quite a 4 star, but 4 seemed to fit better than 3, I think.

The plot was really interesting, the characters were intriguing, and I really wanted the best for Lee once he was out of prison. The family dynamic was weird (which I'd imagine is realistic in that situation), and the book slowly tells the backstory.

What drove me crazy about this one was the punctuation...I know, I know, it's acceptable, but I prefer quotation marks when people are speaking, instead o
...more
Jessie
Dec 28, 2014 Jessie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The story is a familiar one (Lee King returns to his hometown in search of redemption and betterment), and local characters (some from his past and some new) help and hinder him in his progress while the drama of their own lives unfold. The book sets up a few mysteries that made this a classic page turner for me. I wanted to know the answers to the questions posed at the start, and the ending did not disappoint. The various separate stories came together by the end in ...more
Lynn
Apr 28, 2012 Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, canadian
When I was a kid, my dad would have Argosy Magazine laying around the house. I would sneak the magazine into my room and read stories that I wasn't supposed to. The stories all had a very masculine edge to them. The Carpenter is like that. Although there's some deep issues revealed in the book, Matt Lennox doesn't waste words analyzing the emotional component. The characters populating this book are incredibly real. The dialogue is crisp and staccato. Nothing feels false about this book.

Leland
...more
Etienne02breton
May 28, 2016 Etienne02breton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'histoire d'un homme qui sort de prison et qui tente de refaire sa vie. Une histoire simple, sans trop d'originalité, mais bien écrite et réaliste. Un drame qui malgré quelques clichés au niveau des personnages, vient nous chercher et nous fait réfléchir. Si l'On considère qu'il s'agit d'un premier roman, cela est plus que respectable. Je relirai cet auteur avec plaisir!
Lynda
Aug 17, 2012 Lynda rated it liked it
I originally thought this was a murder mystery - but it becomes something different and more - a look at lives of several people in small town that seem to have bad things happen to them that are not necessarily of their own doing. It is not a happy story but I liked it for being different and making you think about life and the choices we make.
Clarabel
Dec 04, 2015 Clarabel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: winter
la lecture est intrigante à souhait et distille une atmosphère sombre et mélancolique particulièrement fascinante. j'ai trouvé ce roman maîtrisé, puissant mais dévastateur ! ça colle parfait si la météo est au gris déprimant.
E.R. Yatscoff
Jun 27, 2012 E.R. Yatscoff rated it it was ok
Slow going story with a lot of good characters in a small town. A jailbird returns to his hometown to be with his dying mom. Lennox is a good writer but I think he'd be a great one if he could pick up the pace.
Jael Richardson
Oct 20, 2012 Jael Richardson rated it it was amazing


A carefully crafted debut novel that handles faith and redemption and good and evil with thoughtful, insightful character and plot development.
Glenn Carter
May 22, 2015 Glenn Carter rated it really liked it
Amazing book. Menacing characters and would be superb as an HBO movie or series. A great story of a good man forced to do some horrible things.
Carol Maloney
Mar 26, 2016 Carol Maloney rated it liked it
This would have been 4 stars but for the story line of the twin. I really enjoyed the characters. Pete was interesting. Sinister and surprising.
Joe Stamber
May 28, 2013 Joe Stamber rated it did not like it
Shelves: no-thanks
Sounded interesting so I "Looked Inside" on Amazon. Another author who missed grammar lessons - no speech marks, no thanks.
Vionna
May 20, 2012 Vionna rated it it was ok
After 76 pages, I closed the book and returned it to the library. I thought it was flat with a multitude of uninteresting characters.
Kelly
Feb 01, 2015 Kelly rated it really liked it
Excellent writing and an interesting story. The last third of the book is over-written, and much of the tension is lost.
Orla Hegarty
Apr 13, 2013 Orla Hegarty rated it liked it
Shelves: canada
Started strong but gradually waned.
Shirley
Shirley rated it it was ok
Apr 21, 2012
Judy
Judy rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2013
Karen Chong
Karen Chong rated it it was ok
Mar 19, 2013
David
David rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2012
Lauren Carter
Lauren Carter rated it really liked it
Jun 21, 2013
Fred Boué-Bigne
Fred Boué-Bigne rated it liked it
Aug 18, 2015
Sjhomes
Sjhomes rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2012
Dawn
Dawn rated it liked it
Jun 28, 2013
Cristina
Cristina rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2014
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Matt Lennox is a Captain in the Canadian Forces Army Reserves, and was stationed in Kandahar between 2008 and 2009. He wrote many of the stories in his first collection, Men of Salt, Men of Earth, published by Oberon in 2009, while there. The collection was shortlisted for the 2010 ReLit award, and the title story was published in Best Canadian Stories in 2006. He is currently in his second year ...more
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