What to read in Montreal set in or about Montreal?
September 10, 2015 12:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for books about Canada, specifically Montreal, and also books set in Montreal. What would you recommend?

I love reading books set in a spot or about a spot when I'm vacationing there. Three Musketeers in Paris, Roma in Rome, The Good Earth in China were all great. So now that I'm going to Montreal, I'd like to do the same while there -- reading something during downtimes set in the city I'm visiting, set in the cities heyday. Since this is a downtime sort of read, I'd like it to focus on the entertainment aspect over the educational aspect, but suggestions of either are fine.

I got great answers the last time I asked something like this but for Italy here, so I have great faith in you guys.
posted by garlic to Travel & Transportation around Montreal, QC (22 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler. The movie's pretty good too!
posted by HarrysDad at 1:03 PM on September 10, 2015 [12 favorites]


Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel.
posted by 2or3things at 1:21 PM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill.
posted by toby_ann at 1:22 PM on September 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


I quite enjoyed Hugh MacLennan's The Watch That Ends The Night, but I can't say if you would find it entertaining!
posted by kidbritish at 1:23 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


well.... In Infinite Jest, there is a terrific subplot about les Assassins des Fauteuils Rollents, a Québécois separatist group. Worth the price of admission.
posted by janey47 at 1:29 PM on September 10, 2015


Not a book but the 2001 movie, The Score with Robert De Niro and Edward Norton was set and filmed in Montreal.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:32 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's a comics collection, but much of Peep Show by Joe Matt takes place in Montreal.
posted by holborne at 1:32 PM on September 10, 2015


Some Michel Tremblay (in translation) seems like an obvious choice. The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant is the most famous (and very good).
posted by irrelephant at 1:58 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I read The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz last time I was in Montreal and I thought it was a good choice.
posted by Jeanne at 2:02 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really enjoyed Kicking Tomorrow, by Daniel Richler (Mordecai's son!)
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:07 PM on September 10, 2015


A good number of Mavis Gallant's excellent short stories are set in Montreal. Those collected as Montreal Stories are probably a safe bet!
posted by erlking at 2:14 PM on September 10, 2015


Le Matou by Yves Beauchemin (link to the the movie version since it has a better description) It's been a while since I read it but I believe it's set in Montreal. Has been accused of being xenophobic.
posted by canoehead at 2:35 PM on September 10, 2015


“The Girls Who Saw Everything” (aka “The Last Days Of The Lacuna Cabal”) by MeFi's Own™ Sean Dixon has an extreme book club re-enact The Epic of Gilgamesh in Montreal.

It is epic.
posted by scruss at 3:03 PM on September 10, 2015


Leonard Cohen; Beautiful Losers would probably be my first pick.
posted by kmennie at 3:36 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Tin Flute
posted by bluefrog at 4:15 PM on September 10, 2015


The Hockey Sweater!
posted by Poldo at 7:00 PM on September 10, 2015


The Hockey Sweater is a classic but it's not set in Montreal.

Others have listed classic Montreal tales. I would add Aurora Montrealis by Monique Proulx.

And for that retro hardboiled vibe, The Body on Mount Royal, The Crime on Cote des Neiges and Murder Over Dorval by David Montrose.
posted by zadcat at 7:26 PM on September 10, 2015


The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, also by Heather O'Neill, is great too.
posted by dysh at 8:10 PM on September 10, 2015


Nikolski

Arrhythmia


+1 to The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
posted by winterportage at 8:50 AM on September 11, 2015


Not a book, but Bon Cop, Bad Cop is a lot of fun. There's a great scene wherein the Québecois cop tries to teach the cop from Ontario how to swear like the Québecois.

It also features the most Montréaler line ever spoken: Ah, c’est ma journée off, le!
posted by sincarne at 11:40 AM on September 11, 2015


Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall. It's excellent.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:51 AM on September 11, 2015


Mystics of Mile End, by Sigal Samuel. It's already available in Canada.
posted by Salamandrous at 7:52 PM on September 13, 2015


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