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This All Happened

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  154 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Told from the viewpoint of Gabriel English, This All Happened opens windows onto a richly textured, fast-pacedly filmic compilation of daily vignettes over one calendar year (if Fellini were a Newfoundlander...). Gabriel's passion for Lydia Murphy leads him into paroxysms of jealousy-but he never abandons his shrewdly witty perspective on the vagaries of modern love. Concr ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by House of Anansi Press
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Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"At August", I wrote: "I am enthralled." (in currently-reading)

I have since finished reading. I wanted to reread the book all over again straight away. Instead, I copied entire portions, by hand, just to get a sense of what it would feel like to write like this!

Needless to say, I highly recommend reading this book,published back in 2000!!!
Corinne Wasilewski
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ian Carpenter
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this and I almost don't know why. It is such a seemingly simple book but the slow build up is deeply affecting. Winter's conjuring of his faux-fictional memoir's protagonist's jealousy and obsession is brutal in its subtlety. And his love-interest's casual, ALMOST unintentional torture of him is maddening. I loved this (and for so many more reasons).
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada, fiction
Why oh why have I not read Michael Winter before now? I've got no excuse. Before I read this book, I'd had five, yes five, unread Michael Winter books languishing on my shelves. In fact, I denied myself the purchase of Donna Whalen for that reason. No sense in having six unread books.

I'm not sure why I picked this book over his previously published short story collections, or for that matter why I chose to read Michael Winter at all just now. You'd think I'd have had enough of Newfoundland after
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this continuation of the life and times of Gabriel the bumbling, beautiful and charming Newf chasing his dreams and girlfriend with almost equal measure. His writing is like how cowboy coffee tastes when you spike it with Irish Cream and sit on Canadian Shield overlooking motor-boat free water and smelling cedar and tamarack at the same time. Splendid!
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I loved the introspection of the novel, his life advice & thoughts. But I hated the two main characters. Lydia is a bitch. Gabe is a controlling prick.
This book is about strange, dysfunctional people who cannot seem to grasp that they are consistently engaged in destructive, broken, and abusive relationships. It is one incredibly long livejournal blog entry spanning a year of Michael Winter's (more or less) real life, and I don't really know why I read it the whole way through.

Gabe's character is fictional in the same way, I assume, that Henry Chinaski is fictional. I can appreciate Gabe at times as I see a lot of myself in my early 20s in him
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was I really tossed this book in June?
I suppose I was. By a friend, in passing. A poetic friend who liked this sort of prose.

What a deep and wonderful book this is! It tells the year day by day of writer Gabriel English as he lives, exists, in St. Johns.
It's a fantastic read. A dreamy entry for each day of the year. Vibrant friends with their own unique voices.
It is not exactly the kind of book I would choose to read. It's not poetry that you immediately recognize. But it is! So much more.

Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
“When you describe an experience, what you are recounting is your memory of the act, not the act itself. Experiencing a moment is an inarticulate act. There are no words. It is in the sensory world. To recall it and to put words to it is to illustrate how one remembers the past, rather than actually experiencing the past. Keep this in mind as you read to words of others as they remember an incident.”

“Catholics rehearse their stories. They tell stories over and over. The same story, torquing it a
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a journal of a young writer who lives in St. John's. It chronicles Gabriel's daily life as he practises his craft and hangs out with his close circle of friends. It reads effortlessly and endearingly as if he aimlessly jotted things down, a format that conceals the effort that goes into such fine writing.

Gabriel emerges with all his flaws, although surely he is not as bad as his hypercritical girlfriend Lydia seems to think.

Part of the joy is the discovery of daily life for a 20-so
Dec 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
i enjoyed this book. although i found the style and main character to be very very similar to the main character/style in the Big Why. still the descriptions were excellent as was the characterization. the pace was ok, but like with the Big Why, the pace wasn't the best thing about the novel. and that's fine. but Winter's books wouldn't appeal to people who enjoy page turner type novels. i like those occasionally but his tranquil and reflective style suits me fine, especially in the bleak mid wi ...more
Buried In Print
Nov 10, 2010 added it
Shelves: canlit
This review was deleted following Amazon's purchase of GoodReads.

The review can still be viewed via LibraryThing, where my profile can be found here.

I'm also in the process of building a database at Booklikes, where I can be found here.

If you read/liked/clicked through to see this review here on GR, many thanks.
The 49th Shelf
Aug 11, 2011 added it
Shelves: fiction
One of the books that made Alison Pick want to be a writer. Read Alison Pick's book list: Books that made me realize I needed to be a writer.
it's good...the voice confused me sometimes because he seemed so unsure. now, given that this was written like journal entries, I'm sure it was intentional, but as someone who is unsure in real life, it is a little jarring to read a whole novel written in that fashion.
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read this book because it's highly recommended. Sure, Winter captures insight here and there, but overall nothing much here entertained or moved me. And writers who write about writers (okay, not quite all the characters are writers or other creative types)? Enough, already!
Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is St. John's Newfoundland, as seenly partly by a dispassionate camera eye and partly by a sensitive soul who moves between the poles of joy/love, agony, and ennui. Not a page-turner, in terms of plot, but the writing is strong and the characters are vibrant.
Emily Pomeroy
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
I had never read anything by Michael Winter before but read a short story of his which led me to this book. A story about an ordinary life and the experiences, hesitancies, love that we can relate to...only by a man! Really liked the landscape description too.
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Again, Winter's sentences are simple poetics.
Beautiful slice of life book with some lovely turns of phrases. I've underlined several passages in this novel that have rang true for me, or just hit me right in the heart. Great humour as well.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Some good lines in the book but altogether not very gripping.
Nov 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book because it takes place in st. john's (where I am from)
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Jun 03, 2007
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Mar 18, 2016
Danila Botha
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Oct 25, 2017
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Sep 17, 2010
rated it it was ok
Jan 25, 2015
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Nov 19, 2014
Joanna Smith
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Apr 10, 2012
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Author of five books: The Architects Are Here, The Big Why, This All Happened, One Last Good Look, Creaking in their Skins. His novel, The Death of Donna Whalen, is slated for publication in 2010.
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