Book Review: Baloney – ISBN 9781552453391

Book Review: Baloney – ISBN 9781552453391

Title: Baloney
Author: Maxime Raymond Bock
Translated by Pablo Strauss
ISBN: 9781552453391
Price: $18.95
Publisher: Coach House Books

Review by Job Patstone

Baloney, a short, snappy story that can be devoured in one sitting, takes readers on a journey through the life of Robert “Baloney” Lacerte, a Quebecer who imagines himself a poet.

Robert writes poems every day, about every subject and every stage of his life, but is he really a poet, or is he an imposter?

From working as a lumberjack to travelling the world after discovering he has cancer, Robert collects his years of poems and piles them up in his small apartment in Montréal. Eventually, the piles of papers take over his living room, leaving little place for visitors to sit.

Pablo Strauss’s able translation from the original French brings to life the characters’ colourful expressions. This is an easy, often very funny, read. Although there are occasional graphic descriptions of sex and death, they aren’t offensive, since the language is fitting for the main character.

In the end, without giving away the plot, Robert’s friend (the narrator) makes it quite clear that Robert was indeed a poet, but that all his work was most likely futile.

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About Author

Job Patstone

Job Patstone was born in Hamilton, ON. and has lived in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer AB. He is presently living in Quebec City, with his wife. He worked for Xerox for 26 years and was an ESL teacher for another ten.

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