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Glass Boys

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  56 reviews
With vivid and unflinching prose, Nicole Lundrigan has created a riveting and deeply human saga of the persistence of evil and the depths and limits of love.

When Roy Trench is killed in a drunken prank gone wrong, his brother Lewis sees blood on the hands of the man responsible: the abusive alcoholic, Eli Fagan. Though the courts rule the death an accident, the event opens
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Douglas McIntyre
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  232 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Zara Garcia-Alvarez of The Bibliotaphe Closet Blog
It was not only an honour to win and receive an advanced giveaway copy of the novel, Glass Boys by Nicole Lundrigan through Goodreads, but to read it as well.

As a reviewer, I feel much like the character Wilda Burry when, "[h] er head wavered slightly, [her] lids lowered, and she whispered, 'I don't even know how to begin.'"

Because really, this novel by Nicole Lundrigan is rich with storytelling and family history between the Trench and Fagan families, which at its heart is the core and drama of
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Michelle by: ovbc
Shelves: 2011
hmmmm - had mixed emotions about this book - may merit a higher ranking - will reflect on it a couple days. I think I liked the ending better than the ending of Night Circus; however, I will withhold any more comments until after book club.

Update: Great book club discussion. Nicole Lundrigan the author participated in our discussion which was phenominal.

The Glass Boys is a story of two families living in Newfoundland, but the story could have taken place in any small rural town. The boys in the
Ruth Seeley
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the third Nicole Lundrigan novel I've read and finally I 'get' the Newfoundland Gothic term so often applied to her work. This novel is extremely dark without being bleak. The title's symbolism is intriguingly and deftly woven throughout the strands of the book (it almost makes me want to do a paper on the significance of the title, especially the scene where Toby Trench tries to serve a drink to his brother and two glasses get stuck together). Strong and simultaneously fragile, useful a ...more
Diane S ☔
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Unflinching honest, with a vivid rawness, this is a story set in Newfoundland. A young boy, something in a jar and two brothers, one which ends up dead sets the stage for this atmospherically dark novel. The reader doesn't learn what was in the jar until further in the book as the story unravels with some brilliant prose, an honest treatment of a difficult subject. Light against darkness, a different set of brothers and a deep sense of foreboding, the reader is always aware that there is a recko ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mrs. Fagan sighed. Somehow, this house, rickety and full of whispers, had become a home for herself and her son. Even though he was fully grown, he lived with her still. In the room he had occupied since he was a boy. When her older daughter was grown, Mrs. Fagan had rooted her out, and she would do the same with the younger girl, as soon as possible. But Garrett would stay. Garrett was a good boy, strange, yes, different, yes, but he was a decent son. Maybe she hadn’t loved him enough, or prote ...more
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012
Glass Boys was a dark, gothic story. It's set in Newfoundland, Canada, I think in the 1970s. (I don't remember that any dates were mentioned but some of the cultural references made me think it was set in the 70s.) I wasn't familiar with how English is spoken in this region of Canada but I found the dialogue lovely to read. The characters say things like "tis" and "twas" and they put "s" on the end of a lot of words that I don't, like "you thinks you're something special" and "I wants them now". ...more
Heathercheryl Stevenson
I couldn't put the book down and will probably go back and re-read it at some point. There were some raw and disturbing threads but the book kept drawing me in. The author has an ability to write about male characters in a very convincing way. I enjoyed her development of the characters and the unfolding of the sometimes dark story. Most of all, I loved the setting in Newfoundland. My grandparents were from Newfoundland; I heard their dialect as I read Glass Boys, felt their surroundings and fel ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won a copy of Glass Boys from the author, and now that I've read it, I wonder what on earth took me so long. It is a sad, yet beautiful story, and it will haunt me for years to come.

The synopsis did little in the way of preparing me for what I was about to dive into. I wasn't expecting something so lyrical, nor something so dark. It begins with an accident. Or maybe more accurately, a mistake. It sets two families on a collision course that will take decades to untangle.

I can't rave enough a
Paige Bradish
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviwed
I received Glass Boys from the publisher for an honest review.

Glass Boys was absolutely nothing that I thought it would be. Yes it was deep I knew it’d be a little deep but I wasn’t sure what the actual premise of the book would be about and to tell you the truth after finishing the book I’m still not 100% sure what it was all about but I’m pretty sure part of it is supposed to teach you not to hold grudges and that it does very well.

There were so many characters in the book but that’s one of th
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: can-lit
* I give this book a 4.5/5 *

My favourite aspect of this novel was "hearing" that lilting Newfoundland accent once again. The dialogue (not something I usually comment on) was saturated with it, and I loved it.

This is a difficult novel to rate. While it is very well-written, it contains dark matter that is so vaguely hinted at on the book jacket that I missed it - and was thus unprepared. As the novel unfolds, the reader quickly realizes that something very bad - something amoral - is going to ha
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I picked up Glass Boys. I don't even know what led me to it or why I bought it - whatever it was, I'm glad I did. This novel was unique; it managed to be ridiculously dark yet somehow sweet at the same time.

Now that I've read the book, I don't really know how to talk about it. It was haunting; the characters are so honest and real. The author told the story from the perspective of many characters, sometimes switching several times within a chapter. This
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was very lucky to read an advance copy of Newfoundland author Nicole Lundrigan's new novel Glass Boys. This is a book that stays with you. Haunting, raw, uncanny almost - words that describe this very compelling voice. Though transplanted to Toronto now, Lundrigan clearly hasn't left The Rock too far behind. Her dialogue - between brothers, between reluctant lovers, between parents & children, between a boy and his own demons - is authentic and true and clips along in your own head as if y ...more
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canada, read-in-2013
I am really enjoying these East-coast Canadian authors lately, and this book is a real gem.

It's a story that spans through two generations in a small town in Newfoundland, and different perspectives from boyhood to adulthood. The story is dark, shocking, and tragic right from the start with many suspenseful moments that will keep you reading until the end.

I highly recommend it. I can't wait to read some of Lundrigan's other books!
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was the most difficult book I've ever read! The subject matter was tough, and having 2 young boys of my own, all the more difficult. So many times I said to myself, 'I won't read this anymore it's just too awful',but then found my eyes just scanning the next few pages to see what happens next. Several hours later, when I finished the book, I was so exhausted from crying. I'm giving this one a 5 star rating, since any book that can conjure up such emotion deserves it!
Austen Black
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I also got an advanced copy--book is due out in early September--and I couldn't put it down. Beautiful, haunting and suspenseful! Lundrigan is a very special writer and this is a powerful novel. (Just saw a fantastic review in Quill & Quire for this novel too!)
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. Well written, serious prose so well done. Proud the author is canadian and will read her other books.

Story of two families with many burdens to carry in their souls and the effect of these victim's scars on their life and the life of their childrens. Lewis and Roy, Eli and Garret Glass, Toby and Melvin and of course Wilda.
Aaron (Typographical Era)
At one point it was widely believed that each cell that makes up our bodies lived, died, and was replenished every seven years, essentially giving each of us a fresh start and a chance at living a new existence several times throughout the length of an average lifetime. Of course we now know that the cells in our bodies all have different life spans, and some, like our brain cells, never replenish at all.

Like it or not, who we are today is a direct result of the experiences we’ve lived through.
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a story coming out of Newfoundland. It is a well written story of deep human saga which is dark, raw and haunting. I thought of this book for many days after I finished the last page.

Throughout the book, I felt myself cheering when anything positive or uplifting may have happened to any of the characters, but sadly, there was little cheering. At the same time, I fell into despair at the seemingly hopeless lives of the characters and the dysfunction in the families that we learn to know.
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Newfoundland writers, novels about Newfoundland, it seems the only fiction that captures my attention at the moment.

Glass Boys is full and big, a rich story of two neighbouring families where life is hard and stuff happens because it's a hard life. At times I thought it was too much, events worked in by the author to fill out the story, but in the end it works. I know it does because of my reactions, which were very emotional. It felt sort of like Anne-Marie MacDonald's Fall on your Knees, brea
A night of drunkness, brings Lewis and his brother, Roy, in harm's way on the Fagan farm. The result, Roy's death is considered accidental. How will Lewis deal with this? Will he and the Fagan's ever be the same? Can love erase the marks of history imprinted on each of us? See where Lewis and his future meets to show how life has a funny way of showing itself. Enjoyed.
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cross-canada
I couldn't put this book down! The story moves between different time frames but never gives the feeling of being disjointed as sometimes happens when scenes move over a span of years. Lundrigan's story is raw but touching, a clever construction of characters who are all formed by their pasts. Highly recommended.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
A hauntingly vivid tale written in a Newfoundland accent, I found myself wishing for more lightness in this very dark book. The characters are all well written and very memorable.

This is a book that will stay with you long after you finish it. It’s a book I will probably read again.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves suspence, but be warned, this is definitely a hard read.
Aaron Shepard
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bleak, tense, poetic - she does a fantastic job of creating a moody atmosphere, a Newfoundland Gothic. I suspect the lyrical voice won't be to everyone's tastes, but those who identify with it will find themselves transported.
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
I got an advance copy of this book. It looked like it was going to be really good but it ended up not being as exciting as i thought. I jad a hars time getting through the novel amd it took me almost a month to finish because i just found it so utterly boring.
Lorraine Jackson
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very dark, but beautifully crafted.
Niki Mclaren
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadiana, favorites
What a wonderful, heartbreaking, haunting book about love, loss, and inner demons. So good that I am tempted to pick it back up and read it again.
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well written; disturbing subject matter.
Gwyn Treharne
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A really great novel. Complex characters who really had me rooting for them all along. Captivating narrative making it not easy to put down. Highly recomended!!!
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Pretty much anyone
Recommended to Paul by: Goodreads
Extremely well written with lots of emotion. Nicole Lundrigan had delivered another hit.

This book from Goodreads First Reads.
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
Okay, insert sound of breath being expelled forcefully from your gut. An anxious and disturbing read for certain. But a really very good one too.

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“Lundrigan’s skillfully balanced blend of psychological thriller and haunting coming-of-age story is infused with creepy, small-town atmospheric suspense. . . . [Her] writing is both elegant and darkly humorous, delivering bareknuckle social commentary that will appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn, Karin Fossum, and Laura Lippman.”
Booklist, Starred review

Nicole is the author of seven novels including
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