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The Fearsome Particles
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The Fearsome Particles

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  107 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Trevor Cole’s bestselling debut novel garnered rave reviews and comparisons to Truman Capote and Kingsley Amis. Now the Governor General’s Award finalist is back with The Fearsome Particles, a brilliantly observed comic tragedy about the widening cracks in a family’s picture-perfect veneer.

Gerald Woodlore, a window screen executive, wakes one morning to find, to his utter
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by McClelland & Stewart
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Hope Makes Love: that's the book to read by Trevor Cole. First one I read by him. Breathtaking. The characters were so alive, so individual, so piercing in their struggles, I loved them. The ending was outstanding, his characteristic "simple yet impactful" shone and the plotting beat, the crescendo, the come down, all brilliant, never hesitated.

Fearsome Particles, the only other book in his oeuvre that looked like my fruity full-bodied glass of red, was... readable. I read the whole thing, but
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I picked up The Fearsome Particles because I loved Cole's subsequent book, Practical Jean. In The Fearsome Particles we get foreshadowing of Cole's fine ability to tease sadness and psychological trauma from mundane comedic events—especially in the first third of the book. It is tempting to rest only on the hilarity of the funny scenes themselves—a Machiavellian cat and a central female character's neglect of her toenails provide gut-wrenching out-loud laughing—but they are never "just" funny. T ...more
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
so disappointed! I really wanted to like this book. I liked the writing style and was hopeful at the beginning. But as a read further I quickly lost interest in the dismal problems of the 3 characters in this family. Really, Dad's problem with his window screen company and the mother's house staging business just didn't captivate my interest. I could see the potential about a family facing mental health issues. the book just didn't do a good job at relating this or making me buy into it all.
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. I don't know how an author can be simultaneously so funny and not lose sight of the tragic story behind. Just as I posted mid-way that I was giggling my head off, the story broke my heart. And never put it back together.
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Gerald Woodlore and his wife Vickie have lived very ordered lives controlling everything and making everything run smoothly. They wanted no surprises, no ripples in their world. Even with each other they maintained a steady equilibrium and steady routine. Their son surprises them and heads off to Afghanistan for a year to handle water supply at a Canadian base there. This is puzzling to his parents but they accept this aberration and assume when he gets back life will return to its pre-ordained ...more
Daniel Kukwa
A very fast read, but a very frustrating one. The PTSD-due-to-Afghanistan plot is easily the most interesting thing on much so that I became irrtated having to branch off to the other two, less interesting plot lines. While the characters all rang true, only Kyle's story had me completely gripped. On top of this, the open-ended conclusion to the family sitatuion is just a bit too open-ended for my taste. Sometimes I can end a novel absolutely delirious with the feeling of "you can't s ...more
Oct 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Well, watching paint dry would be better than this doozer of a snoozer! I didn't like any of the main characters and found I got angry at how stupid they were. It was like a Will Farrell movie trying to be deep. Slapstick comedy trying to be intellectual. Zero sympathy for any of them.

This book was caca in my opinion.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Trevor Cole has become one of my favourite authors. Always funny and brilliant in how he captures our humanity. This look at how we try to control the uncontrollable had me both laughing out loud and rereading some of his phrases and passages in appreciation.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another very quirky novel by Trevor Cole. He has a wonderful way of building suspense and intrique in the story and a very concise way with words.
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the writing style but the story line was really quite sad and I found that I couldn't connect with any of the characters which is important to me in a novel.
Sep 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Trevor Cole is a fantastic, funny writer. As the back jacket cover says "brilliant comic tragedy".
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Trevor Cole (born Trevor William Cole on February 15, 1960) is a Canadian novelist and journalist. His first two novels, Norman Bray in the Performance of his Life (2004) and The Fearsome Particles (2006), were nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.