Roughneck

Roughneck

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
7
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"Derek Ouelette's glory days are behind him. His hockey career ended a decade earlier in a violent incident on ice, and since then he's been living off his reputation in the remote northern community where he grew up, drinking too much and fighting anyone who crosses him. But he never counts on his long-lost sister, Beth, showing up one day out of the blue, back in town and on the run from an abusive boyfriend. Looking to hide out for a while, the two siblings hunker down in a secluded hunting camp deep in the local woods. It is there that they attempt to find a way to reconnect with each other and the painful secrets of their past even as Beth's ex draws closer, threatening to pull both Derek and Beth back into a world of self-destruction that they are fighting tooth and nail to leave behind" -- provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Gallery 13, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc.,, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781501160998
1501160990
Characteristics: 1 volume (approximately 270 pages) : chiefly color illustrations ; 27 cm

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k
kwsmith
Oct 01, 2017

An old and broken hockey player reunites with his troubled sister in the far Canadian north. Like most of Lemire's work, this is a highly emotional story about love, regret, and dealing with the long-buried demons of the past.

KHCPL_Doug Jul 31, 2017

I heard about this book through a podcast. and they raved about it. While I didn't find it as fantastic as they did, I liked it. I thought it started out really strong, but then became a little stale and predictable. But, even with that, the strength of the book, which lies in the art, is undeniably great. This is one of those rare graphic novels that reads like watching a movie. The subtle panels of life, the splash of color that means "pay attention, this is different." But what really got to me was how his subtle touches--the "crunch, crunch, crunch" of footsteps on snow, and the use of hot air exiting the body, made me feel the cold and feel the place. And the place in this book is as much a character as any of the human protagonists. While the story may end up being a little old and ordinary, the style and art is anything but. It is what makes this book a standout graphic novel, and well worth reading.

m
mclarjh
Jul 15, 2017

Hate filled story, unlikable characters. Repetitive, hackneyed.

AL_JOSHUAS Jul 12, 2017

An unflinching and real look at two siblings dealing with their rough family past together. Lemire does a fantastic job of telling his story with both dialog and wordless panels.

SCL_Justin Jul 11, 2017

Like his classic Essex County, Roughneck is a story featuring a hockey player. Derek Ouellette had a stint with the Rangers where he was a violent goon, and now he lives in a small town in northern Ontario working at a diner and beating people up. When his sister comes to town to get away from a terrible boyfriend things change. Sort of.

What I love about this book is its handling of violence. It's not a hugely complicated story, but the resolution shows exactly the kind of earned change I want to see in fiction.

The toughest thing about this book is that Jeff Lemire is a white guy telling stories about indigenous people. On that topic he's said, “For me, these were a way to educate myself, that’s what it comes down to. And I hope my experiences up there allowed me to create something and reflect what I saw and show other people.”

That makes sense to me, but like Lemire I need to work out my thoughts in writing and I'm not from a community that has my story told for me, so I'm kind of primed to be sympathetic. I understand that it's crappy to have white dudes in all these spaces. Don't read white people's writing about indigenous people: read (and pay) indigenous people telling their own stories.

But I like this specific story, even if it's a symptom of greater terribleness in the world.

v
vfryzek
Jul 05, 2017

Wow.
First off this is a Graphic Novel. Don't let that stop you.
Great Story telling.
Lemire is a master of his craft.
I find it shines most in the little things he does in the pacing of the story that really bring out the tension.
Like the other review said very Canadian. Don't let that stop you.
This is really good.

samcmar Jun 24, 2017

This book is very Canadian in terms of its themes and content. Washed up hockey player, small towns (and small town drug problems), hidden secrets, and a lot of beauty. Lemire is a fantastic storyteller and he doesn't shy away from showing some of the rougher issues present in small town Ontario. His artwork and use of colour is still just as beautiful as his prior works. This one left me pretty emotional when I finished it.

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