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Elle 2nd Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0864924926
ISBN-10: 0864924925
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The Underground Railroad
The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lascivious, bizarre, entertaining . . . Glover has a wonderful facility for imagery, language, farce, and the grotesque." — Quill & Quire (2012-11-30)

"[Elle is] a maginificent hail Mary of pure imagination . . . a ribald, raunchy wit with a talent for searing self-investigation . . . Glover's prose throughout, while being consistent in voice, is also a rich blend of elegance and punch, raw affect and slippery allusion." — Globe and Mail (2012-11-30)

Review

"A hybrid of Defoe, Marquez, Rabelais, and Cervantes, Elle is historical fiction at its most innovative, a seriously whimsical book full of arcane lore from the first days of the European settlement of the New World. Parts of this book are so funny they will make you laugh out loud. The language is at times so beautiful it will take away your breath. A remarkable wondrous experience awaits you." — Wayne Johnston --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Goose Lane Editions; 2 edition (September 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0864924925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0864924926
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,423,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Elle chronicles the unbelievable story of a French woman's first contact with the New World during Cartier's third and last attempt to colonize Canada. She's marooned on the desolate "Isle de Demons" on the coast of Newfoundland where a heartwrenching yet wondous experience awaits her.
I haven't been this engrossed by a book in ages. It's raw and richly imaginative, yet manages to provide a historical picture of what it must have been like to live in Canada in the 1540's. At times hilarious, and other times breathtakingly beautiful, this is the kind of book you won't want to put down until it's finished, and when it's finished you might just be inclined to read it again.
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Format: Paperback
I admire what Glover was trying to do with this book, but it just didn't quite work for me. His tale of a high-spirited, young French woman marooned off the coast of Québec sounded very promising, yet did not live up to my expectations.
Glover's characters are strongly developed, but he throws them into a meandering plot that is difficult to follow, and not all that interesting. While the conflicts encounterd by the female lead are difficult, and should be inspiring, her solutions and reactions provide little entertainment. The 'racy' sexual encounters of the title character add little to the actual story.
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Format: Paperback
I was very interested in reading Elle. It won Canada's Governor General's Award and had an interesting concept.

The heroine of the the story is a precocious young French woman voyaging to the New World in the 1500s. She's been sent to learn to temper her wild ways. She is ejected from the ship on the Isle of Devils which appears to be somewhere near Labrador (since there was Blanc Sablon reference and Blanc Sablon is in Labrador.) She has been ejected for her loose ways in ahving sex with a man who is part of the expedition.

She manages to survive the ordeal somewhat miraculously and becomes part of the country of Canada interacting with the natives.

This should have been interesting but I found the prose to be all over the place. The writer didn't seem to have a good idea as to where he was trying to go. I didn't find the lead very interesting. She liked sex and that seemed to be about all that was interesting about her.

The story told in the first person and as she is confused so is the story.

I wanted to like this but really strongly disliked it.

I don't recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Douglas Glover's ELLE is a tale of a young woman who was abandoned on an island in the mouth of the St. Lawrence river in 1542. Thoroughly researched, this story is based on the true tale of Marguerite de la Rocque. Elle (her name is never given in the novel) is deposited by her uncle with her lover and nursemaid. The reason for this rather cruel treatment is that he has discovered her with her lover and disapproves, to the extent that he sentences her to an almost certain death. But Elle doesn't die. She survives the deaths of her lover and nursemaid. She survives the oncoming winter which bring ice, snow and bears. She survives a clash of cultures, and...but I won't say more so as not to spoil this wonderful novel for you.

If you like tall tales, mesmerizing writing, and a spunky heroine whose voice possesses a sweet wryness, then this book is for you. It won the Governor General's Award for Fiction, and it is easy to see why. Five stars.
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