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Summer Gone

3.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  162 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Canadian best-selling author David Macfarlane has written a masterful first novel about love experienced and love remembered that flickers with fleeting passions and sudden tragedies, offering an elegy not only for the ephemeral beauty of northern summers but for an entire era.

Summer Gone is about that moment when everything stops. Like skilled canoeists, we briefly hold a
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 18th 2000 by Crown (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 348)
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Paula Dembeck
In this novel MacFarlane explores the idea of summers in cottage country and three generations of father and son relationships. It is also about time, how we try to capture and hold on to it despite its fleeting nature and how we try to go back and retain what it has meant to us.

Bailey Newling, (called Bay), loves the summers. As a boy growing up in small town in Cathcart Ontario, he dreamed of summers in the northern cottage country. He is a lonely boy who had only one true childhood friend, l
Feb 28, 2015 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliantly written and conceived jewel of a novel. Highly recommend it. From Amazon: David Macfarlane’s Summer Gone introduces a writer of incandescent literary skill and beautifully evokes the sometimes painful relationship between father and son.

When Bay Newby is twelve he is sent north for the first time, and he falls in love with the life of ritual, beauty, and stark privilege of summer camp. Then the death of his baby sister calls him home, and it will be twenty-three years before his ne
The Bookloft
Bookseller: Eric

The stain on the last page of my copy of Summer Gone is from a big, fat tear drop. Rarely do I stumble (a friend recommended it to me) upon a book so evocative. I mean - you can smell the wood smoke - evocative.
Not a new book, it was first published in Canada to great acclaim in 1999 and more recently here. For those that bitter-sweetly remember those Summers by the lake, Summer Gone will launch you back in time.

Fathers and sons, husbands and wives, betrayal, loss of innocence an
Nov 01, 2011 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully well written book, at times told by an unnamed un-introduced narrator who’s identity we see slowly looming throughout the novel, at times told by Bay Newling the lead character whose life the story revolves around. He tells of the important summers of his life spent north amongst the cottages and inlets of the Waubano Reaches and of why summer itself holds such relevance for him.
David Macfarlane uses a unusual narrative technique, the story meanders through time and theme as Bay te
Just a couple of comments I want to make. I really enjoyed the writing style at first. I'd compare it to a french braid--the reader follows some main storylines but little threads of other narratives are drawn into the main plot lines. It creates a really engaging and interesting twist on the story. However, it did tend to drag on quite a bit and often led to the repetition of several elements, so much so it felt a bit like deja vu at points. It was quite an interesting technique and, though I e ...more
Oct 12, 2009 Marc rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Biggest regret? The time I wasted reading this book that I can never get back. Finished the last 60 pages today which, I must admit,I had to skim through because it's SO boring. The only reason I kept with it was because someone said the resolution at the end was great, surprising or something like that??? Were we reading the same book. Don't bother. I agree with some of the other readers' comments about how confusing this book is, the constant switching of character's stories, the jumping back ...more
Louise Ellis
Oct 09, 2014 Louise Ellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more I got into this book the more I liked it. At first I found the mix of descriptions and story line annoying. It is beautifully written and I enjoyed it once I slowed down allowed myself the time to appreciate it.
Feb 27, 2010 Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010
lyrical prose, telling the story of three generations of men, but mostly of Bay, at the center. There's a few key events the story goes back to as the narrative hops around in time: Bay as a young boy at camp, Bay summering with his wife and young son Caz, Bay on a canoe trip with teenage Caz telling his life stories. Each time we go back to the events, we learn a little more. No surprises in this novel, since by the time events are actually revealed, there have been enough hints along the way. ...more
I struggled a little at the start to get the grip of the different narrative sections, but once I had them in place it all rolled out beautifully. I loved the back and forth in time - the sense of circles, revisitng places in conversation and thought - trying to make sense on multiple visits. The intentions and randomness that make up life. The things said and unsaid. All deliciously atmospheric. A great sense of time as well as place throughout.
Sep 01, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lyrical exploration of memory, desire, and dreams lost, set (mostly) in the north woods of Canada. The epigraph is from Nabokov's autobiography "Speak Memory," but I think that MacFarlane does a better job of evoking the past than does Nabokov, who is supposed to be the master.
Carolyn Somerville
I enjoyed this book when it was over. While I was reading it, the rambling drove me a bit crazy. The last 60 pages made up for the whole book. There were some amazing paragraphs. I even back over the book the next day. Doesn't happen very often.
I enjoyed this book very much. Set in the landscape of Ontario's cottage country, this novel tells centres around the story of a divorced father and his son and an ill-fated canoe trip. Beautifully written. Finalist for the 1999 Giller Prize.
Daniel Kukwa
Feb 26, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-lit
It seemed to have all the ingredients for a novel I'd enjoy...but I all but gave up half-way through. As bland as my childhood home's original wallpaper...and one of my most turgid reading experiences of the last few years.
Oct 22, 2012 Lara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
Got the feeling the author was going for a quiet but poignant story a la Atwood or Munro, but missed the mark. Like, completely. The ending made me want to throw the book against a wall.
Jul 31, 2013 Spanishliz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, novel
There's a good story in there somewhere, but every time I thought I was getting to it the author doubled back or took off at a tangent, leaving me not really caring what happened.
Apr 25, 2008 Roberta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was enticed by the tiny sketches at the end of each chapter demonstrating how to do different strokes in a canoe. I liked the book, easy read.
Gabriele Wills
Oct 02, 2009 Gabriele Wills rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
At times lyrical, at others, tedious, this novel does manage to evoke summers in "cottage country".
Mar 23, 2007 Claire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok...but nothing special. Is it jsut me or is CanLit starting to blend into itself...kind of bland....
Leslie Leroux
Very confusing read
Greg Wolfson
Nov 04, 2013 Greg Wolfson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
beautiful, touching
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David MacFarlane is a Toronto, Canada author, editor and magazine writer.
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