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Kicking the Sky (2013)

– tekijä: Anthony De Sa

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
9941221,425 (3.79)37
In 1977 a shoeshine boy, Emanuel Jacques, is brutally raped and murdered in Toronto. In the aftermath of the crime, twelve-year-old Antonio Rebelo and his rapscallion friends explore their Portuguese neighborhood's dark garages and labyrinthine back alleys. The boys develop a curious relationship with a charismatic, modern-day Fagin who is master over an amoral world of hustlers, thieves, and drug dealers. As the media unravels the truth behind the shoeshine-boy murder, Antonio starts to see his family--and his neighborhood--as never before. He becomes aware of the dashed hopes of immigrants, of the influence of faith and the role of church, and of the frightening reality that no one is really taking care of him. So intent are his parents and his neighbors on keeping the old traditions alive that they act as if they still live in a small Portuguese village, not in a big city that puts their kids in the kind of danger they would not dare imagine. Antonio learns about bravery and cowardice, life and death, and the heart's capacity for both love and unrelenting hatred in this stunning coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of a true crime that shook the city.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 42) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
Kicking the Sky by Anthony De Sa is the story of Antonio, a 12 year old boy growing up in the tight-knit Portuguese community in Toronto in the summer of 1977. It describes the impact of the real-life kidnapping and sexually-motivated murder of Emanuel Jaques on Antonio and his community. The characters were well-developed, though they sometimes seemed much older than 11 or 12. As a book that deals with child abuse, homophobia, and racism, it was unettling in places, but overall, a worthwhile read. ( )
  SmangosBubbles | Jan 5, 2019 |
Many adults can look back remember that moment in their childhood when innocence was lost. I grew up roaming the streets, empty fields and parks of my suburban neighbourhood, unsupervised and relatively fearless, Aside from the occasional bullies who might claim our "fort" we had few worries. Two things changed all of that for me 1) my younger sister had an encounter with a flasher, and 2) in the Fall of 1970 the radical separatist FLQ group, at the time considered terrorists, carried out a string of kidnappings and a murder. For me, at age 8, the most memorable result of this was the cancellation of Halloween. It was not safe to let children out to Trick or Treat!! My view of my world as a safe and carefree place was changed forever. Those were my "Loss of Innocence Moments".

Kicking the Sky tells the story of Antonio, a young boy living in a Portuguese enclave in downtown Toronto. The community at the time was about 100,000 strong and comprised of mostly first generation immigrants. The parents worked hard, long hours and the children were often unattended. Like many first generation families there were conflicts between the parents, trying to cling to the traditions of the small villages of the old country, and the children, torn between the old world and their new, modern Canadian country.

Toronto in the 70's was a fairly staid city with strong Protestant values, despite it's many immigrant communities. Commercial enterprises were closed on Sundays, bars and clubs closed at 1 a.m at the very latest ...it was considered a safe, rather dull, business obsessed city. Tourists visiting Toronto were invariably amazed with how utterly clean the streets were; sadly that was the strongest impression the city had on it's visitors.

In the summer of 1977 the kidnapping and sexually based killing of a young Portuguese boy who had been working on the street with his brothers, shining shoes, shocked the city. Mothers throughout the city pulled in the reins on their children. There was fear, there were awkward conversations between parents and children, there were rumours, there was anger and there was misguided retribution. For an entire generation this murder was their "Loss of Innocence Moment". To this day, on anniversaries, newspaper articles will revisit the tragic event and the impact it had on the city of Toronto.

This book tells the story of how the murder affected Antonio, and from his perspective, his community. His immediate community includes his parents, both of whom are working, his teenage sister, his "almost aunt", his two best friends; Manny and Ricky, Agnes the hot girl across the street, James, the newcomer living in a garage off the alley, and various others on the street and in the alleyways. Not all is well on Palmerston Ave, in fact, no one is doing well in this book. The degree of dysfunction and sordid situations in the book have angered many readers, especially since this is not how the book is marketed. The anger is understandable. Readers deserve some warning; if you have been a victim of abuse this book may be too painful for you to read. However, with the knowledge that this is a difficult, often disturbing book, it is quite an engrossing read. De Sa holds nothing back in his portrayal of the Portuguese community at that moment in time. He shows us the good, the bad, the funny and the devastatingly sad. He has angered many, as he must have known he would. No one wants their dirty laundry aired for all to see. Good for him for telling his story, his way. His main characters are complex, multi-dimensional, engaging and memorable. The writing is strong, almost poetic. Words are not wasted.

Ultimately this is a coming of age story, a difficult, sad, beautiful and yet hopeful one. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
(Fiction, Literary, Canadian)

In Toronto Ontario, in 1977, 11-year-old shoeshine boy Manuel Jacques was abducted, sexually abused and murdered.

Through the eyes of fictional 11-year-old Antonio Rebelo, in a time when children took their bikes and played for hours in the alleys behind their homes—a freedom we have difficulty imagining now—this novel examines that horrible real-life news event.

It’s heart-breaking and very human.

4 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Feb 8, 2018 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
I read Barnacle Love by Anthony De Sa several years ago, before I was familiar with the genre of CanLit. I thought it was really unique to see Canada through the eyes of a first-generation Canadian, showing the difficulties of the language barrier and conflicting feelings the characters had regarding their heritage.

Anthony De Sa is an incredibly talented writer who is able to really capture his characters. Kicking the Sky is a coming-of-age story, of both a boy and a city. Narrated by 12-year-old Antonio, the story takes place in Toronto in the summer of 1977 shortly after a shoeshine boy named Emanuel Jaques was lured into an apartment above a body-rub parlor where three men tortured, raped, and then murdered him. Antonio and his friends have always roamed their neighbourhood, but following the murder of the shoeshine boy, their world changes—their families and neighbours are greatly impacted and terrified for the safety of their children. Yet, as young boys, they are intrigued and drawn toward the excitement and terror of the downtown porn theatres and love shops.

De Sa, writing from a place he knows well (he was roughly the same age and living in Toronto in 1977), captures Antonio perfectly. Although it opens with the murder of Emanuel, this is not a mystery novel. Kicking the Sky is a bildungsroman through and through. The story captures not just what Antonio is feeling, seeing, and hearing, but what he is trying to understand about the world and society around him. De Sa delivers this tale with deft skill, crafting an almost poetic narrative throughout the novel. ( )
  monnibo | Aug 30, 2015 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
Not to my personal liking. The beginning was very slow to me and topics weren't of any interest to me. I never made it past 150 pages.
  kittylee66 | Mar 1, 2015 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 42) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Anthony De Sa’s story collection, 2008’s Barnacle Love, was shortlisted for both the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Toronto Book Award. The author’s long-awaited first novel is a powerful follow-up to this impressive debut. [...] At least initially, Kicking the Sky does not boast the kind of amped-up drama that its background context might lead readers to expect. However, the confident narrative voice guides the reader into increasingly dark territory, and the Bildungsroman gradually morphs into full-fledged horror.
 
Anthony De Sa may be the most impressive two-book-oeuvre writer in Canada. His first, the story collection Barnacle Love, published in 2008, was a memorable evocation of life in Toronto’s Portuguese community, and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Toronto Book Award. If De Sa’s second book, the novel Kicking the Sky, had been on this year’s Giller long list, which was announced Monday (it isn’t), I wouldn’t have been surprised. If it isn’t on the Toronto Book Award list, I’ll be shocked. De Sa, who is described on the book’s cover as a librarian-teacher in Toronto, has given us a beguiling coming-of-age story – harked back to an event that shocked the country and had massive repercussions – and at the same time managed to beautifully capture a community and an era.
 
As we move though our lives, morphing from child to youth to grown-up, our immediate surroundings seem to change dramatically, too. And so the deep woods bisected by the dreamy river where we once pretended to be part of Robin Hood’s band eventually become just a patch of bush with a tiny creek.

For someone well into adulthood, the laneways and scrappy back garages of inner-city Toronto are utilitarian places of storage and transit, part of the world of workaday concerns. But one of the many pleasures of Toronto writer Anthony De Sa’s lively debut novel, Kicking the Sky, is how it evokes the city’s murky alleys the way an adolescent might perceive them — as places of escape from parental oversight, of derring-do and camaraderie. De Sa, author of the Giller-nominated 2008 short story collection Barnacle Love, seems to really understand the promise and danger these hidden alcoves hold for kids.
 
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For my wife, Stephanie, and for our wonderful boys—Julian, Oliver, and Simon
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The old school bus screeched to a stop. It always arrived at the same time, just after I'd gone to bed. It parked in from on Senhora Gloria's bungalow across the street. Senhora Gloria was the neighborhood gossip who saw and heard everything. She knew the details of all out lives, and what she didn't know, she made up. She'd gossip with anyone who had big ears and was willing to listen.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

-

In 1977 a shoeshine boy, Emanuel Jacques, is brutally raped and murdered in Toronto. In the aftermath of the crime, twelve-year-old Antonio Rebelo and his rapscallion friends explore their Portuguese neighborhood's dark garages and labyrinthine back alleys. The boys develop a curious relationship with a charismatic, modern-day Fagin who is master over an amoral world of hustlers, thieves, and drug dealers. As the media unravels the truth behind the shoeshine-boy murder, Antonio starts to see his family--and his neighborhood--as never before. He becomes aware of the dashed hopes of immigrants, of the influence of faith and the role of church, and of the frightening reality that no one is really taking care of him. So intent are his parents and his neighbors on keeping the old traditions alive that they act as if they still live in a small Portuguese village, not in a big city that puts their kids in the kind of danger they would not dare imagine. Antonio learns about bravery and cowardice, life and death, and the heart's capacity for both love and unrelenting hatred in this stunning coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of a true crime that shook the city.

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