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The Road Past Altamont

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In the highly-acclaimed "Street Of Riches", Gabrielle Roy introduced the unforgettable characters of Christine and her vibrant, full-blooded family. In "The Road Past Altamont", she daringly returns to the characters and nearly identical timespan; looking at her subjects with a fresh vision. Gabrielle creates a wholly new and deeply personal story of a young girl’s decisio ...more
Paperback, New Canadian Library Edition, 146 pages
Published 1989 by New Canadian Library (first published 1966)
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Four interconnected short stories dripping with melancholy. The narrator is said to be a fictive character from an earlier novel "Street of Riches" but I haven't read anything else of Gabrielle Roy yet except her most famous work, "The Tin Flute."

The first story, "My Almighty Grandmother," has the narrator at six years of age. From her eyes we see her old grandmother with her dimming eyesight, failing memory and a host of other infirmities. The girl, her mother and her grandmother: three women o
...more
Leigh
A little slow getting started, but the final story is exquisite and deeply moving.

How well I remember that year of my life, the last perhaps when I lived quite close to people and things, not yet somewhat withdrawn, as happens inevitably when one yields to the intention to set things down in words. Everything still existed simply for me that year, because of the precise and reasonable duties that stitched me to life.... Seldom since then have I been able to return completely to this or to see th
...more
writer...
Ethereal quality to some of Ms Roy's writing. Excellent wordsmithing. Qualities I enjoy very much.

Set in my home province of Manitoba, Canada, this is one of Ms Roy's classics. Featuring 3 segments of Christine's life - an emotionally evocative childhood stay with her maternal grandmother;
an affirming friendship with an elderly neighbour; reflective adulthood with her aging mother prior to leaving for Paris and the afterward.

Inspired to look for more by Gabrielle Roy.










Canada travelled for Giraff
...more
Chris
So this is one of those largely forgotten books that you read and then think, “why the hell aren’t more people reading this”.
It’s more than a coming of age story. It’s about life.
Go find it.
...more
Cédric
I didn't know it was possible to say so much about so little...and reveal something about this "little" that encompasses great feelings I can't place.
The narrative is simple, but it contemplates and assaults through questions with impossible answers, leaving in you part of the author's sensitivity to the world and its mysteries. It took me a while to consume this book(over a year), and it will take me even longer to digest it. If you're from Manitoba and are looking for a fresh, immense take on
...more
Julie
This was an enjoyable collection of interconnected short stories, which also links to another short story collection by the author, Street of Riches.

This may have been a quick read, but the short stories were well written, with well developed characters and plot - and some of them full of heart - like my favourite The Old Man and the Child. The author showed the friendship of the two wonderfully, the story itself was also well told, and I really enjoyed reading about the friendship the two shar
...more
Ashley Tate
I gave my mom a matching copy for Mother's Day. I am extremely fond of this book, as it manages to convey mother/daughter relationships in a manner much more poignant than any Lifetime special or copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul (and it's so easy for tales of this kind to devolve into these). Our narrator is reliable, grasping and understanding her own flaws with no concern for making herself unnecessarily sympathetic. And yet she is. Everyone can relate to her moments of youthful capriciousnes ...more
Greta
Gabrielle Roy writes about Manitoba, the French immigrants and their families in the lovely, short novel. Really loved experiencing a girl's growing up years in a small town outside of Winnipeg and the older folks who were her family and friends. In translation it was very good, and in French it would be even better I bet.
Sophia
I took an entire literature course this past semester solely on Gabrielle Roy's works and this was the only book out of the seven we read that I truly enjoyed. The first two stories were my favorite, although, emotionally speaking, they are extremely difficult to read. I couldn't get through either without crying.

I found these short stories to be brutally honest about difficult experiences we all have or will have and to portray the characters as utterly, vulnerably human. Yet Roy also beautiful
...more
Arlie
Roy's exquisite writing from the point of view of Christine as she remembers her childhood is insightful and amusing - an all round lovely book. Told in four sections, each covers a portion of Christine's childhood; the first her time spent with her grandmother as a 6 year old child, another her recollections of visiting Lake Winnipeg for the first time. Roy captures the mind of a child so well that it's hard to believe it's not a memoir.
Anda
Le terrain, les personnages qui cherchent la terre perdue, le déracinement, l'identité (c'est quoi?), trois générations des femmes, chacune en train de s'éloigner pour se chercher, même avec le risque de ne se jamais retrouver.
Lonita Fraser
May 22, 2007 Lonita Fraser rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Never stop people from doing something simply because you feel they shouldn't be doing it; you could end up shrivelling a thriving soul that should have been left to its own devices.
Joanne
A beautifully poetic story in the style of WO Mitchell. Gabrielle Roy is always a pleasure to read but this is one of my favourites.
Wendi
This book was a nostalgic journey into childhood and landscape. Good writing.
Peter
Delightful...lyrical...in tune with the human condition......
Lesley
a treasure...
Ibis3
Aug 05, 2010 Ibis3 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
NCL.2006-10-01
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Gabrielle Roy was born in March 1909 in Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, the youngest of eleven children. Her mother and father, then, were relatively old at the time of her birth -- 42 and 59 respectively. Like Christine's father in Rue Deschambault (Street of Riches), Léon Roy worked as a colonisation officer for the Department of Immigration, a position he held between 1897 and 1915. His politically m ...more
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