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Sparrow Nights

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  118 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
An exhilarating novel of erotic and psychotic extremes from one of Canada’s best fiction writers.

Everyone would agree that Darius Halloway was the most civilized of men, a professor of French literature, a connoisseur of ideas and women and wine, a perfect guest at life’s dinner party. Darius himself would have agreed, until Emma, waifish and insatiable,walks out the door,
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 12th 2002 by Vintage Canada (first published 2001)
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Feb 26, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant novel. A sort of Canadian Great Gatsby, Sparrow Nights follows tormented and alcoholic university professor Darius Halloway as he moves through the emotional stages of a hard breakup. Perpetually infatuated by young women that invariably leave, Professor Halloway moves through life as an undernourished ghost, so socially deprived that a glimpse of a coworker at home through a crack in a curtained window brings him a sense of fullness for the night. I found myself underlining ...more
Sean Kelly
I think that "interesting" is perhaps the best adjective to describe this novel. I have read one other book by Gilmour, and I enjoyed it. I will likely read more of his works, but not immediately. His characters take some time to digest, and I feel like I also need some time to distance myself from Professor Halloway, his womanizing, alcoholic, borderline insane protagonist. The most intriguing aspect of the novel is the protagonist's (and narrator's) decent into self-absorbed madness. Fuelled b ...more
Jun 07, 2011 1.1 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It read like a wierd mix of Houellebecq, Dostoevsky, and even, oddly, a little dash of Ellis. Depressing, absurd, sometimes tiresome and predictable, especially the little pedantic moments the narrator has – and despite a few minor annoyances here and there, it was a thoroughly enjoyable book. Gilmour writes well and knows his business: and it shows.
May 30, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
PROTAGONIST: Professor Darius Halloway
SETTING: Toronto

At first glance, Professor Darius Halloway fits the stereotype of the middle-aged professor, the kind of man you would expect to see teaching French literature at a university. He's a connoisseur of fine wine and women; living on his own, he inhabits an insular world where he indulges his every whim. But then his entire being is thrown off balance when a sexually insatiable young woman named Emma Carpenter enters his life. She is t
Nov 18, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This guy can really write. I stumbled across this book and started reading it having no knowledge of the controversial comments he made where he came off as a sexist prig. I don't agree with the comments, but I have a grudging respect for his honesty, and really, the chorus of self-righteous outrage is waaay over the top. Again, I strongly disagree with his comments. But have we really become a society where everyone has to think exactly alike, or else be vilified by the politically correct poli ...more
Intriguing tale in the main. Main character is relentlessly self involved and isn't particularly nice in most cases. At times, the reader wonders if the story is going anywhere, or of it's just there to hash out problem relationships the protagonist has had. Toward the end, however, the book saves itself and becomes a relevant narrative with some purpose. Given my bias against "literary" books in the modern idiom, that's a pretty good accomplishment.

The discussions of sex are fairly frank and pe
Tom Hill
Mar 09, 2013 Tom Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hard drinking, whoring college literature professor is obsessed with thoughts of his old girlfriend and in the process commits a murder, while disposing of the body in his furnace. What's not to like in that plot? Actually, the book was an enjoyable read.
Darrell Epp
Dec 07, 2009 Darrell Epp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book, highest recommendation. Try to find Gilmour's first novel, Back on Tuesday. Great Stuff.
Jun 20, 2013 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Canadian fiction's most engaging protagonist is this Darius Halloway. I love you, Gilmour.
Oct 23, 2007 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-writing
I loved it but I wouldn't recommend it due to it's explicit content! :)
Jul 16, 2013 Caroline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Main character was a pompous self-serving whiner. Quit around page 100.
Dec 29, 2008 Miquela marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Rated R for erotic material. Fun.
Apr 21, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

David Gilmour is a novelist who has earned critical praise from literary figures as diverse as William Burroughs and Northrop Frye, and from publications as different as the New York Times to People magazine. The author of six novels, he also hosted the award-winning Gilmour
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“That’s the great illusion of travel, of course, the notion that there’s somewhere to get to. A place where you can finally say, Ah, I’ve arrived. (Of course there is no such place. There’s only a succession of waitings until you go home.)” 7 likes
“So you're here by yourself?"
“Seems like an odd place to come by yourself."
“I needed to get away."
“Woman trouble? That's another of my father's expressions."
“No, actually. I poisoned my neighbor's dogs."
After a moment she said, “How drunk are you?"
“Is that true?"
“That you poisoned your neighbor’s dogs."
“I’m afraid it is."
“I have dogs."
“Well, keep them away from me.”
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