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Showing posts with label there's nothing harder than love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label there's nothing harder than love. Show all posts

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Review by Mel Bossa

Mount Royal: There's Nothing Harder Than Love
Basil Papademos
Tightrope Books, 2012

Montreal, late eighties, and Johnny is hooked on junk.
In the "Open city", he struggles to feed his habit alongside a cast of characters which act a bit like a fucked up Greek chorus, and all is pretty tolerable until Tony, their main pusher gets "relieved of his duties" for fronting too many times and coming up short, and good ol' Johnny is handed a pager by The Man and steps into Tony's shoes.

Thus begins a downward spiral for our hero, as he runs from whore, to girlfriend, to potential lover, to mama's boys, to paranoid conspiracy theorist transsexual, to dominatrix, to pretty boy gigolos, trying to keep everybody satisfied and high, and accomplishing this marvelous feet while keeping his own habit on the level.

These adventures of the damned take place in the claustrophobic neighborhood around the Main, in spots like La Cabane, The Bar Fly, The Bifteck, les Foufs, and around old Griffintown and the Milton district. For a Montrealer who still hangs around some of these places, it was simply fantastic to read about these iconic spots in all of their eighties' glory.

The writing is reminiscent of Henry Miller and has all of Burroughs wonderful wit and darkness, but the cool thing about Papademos' narrator, is that he isn't a writer or an artist, and so, there isn't a sense of an outsider looking into the peephole. We are in the room with these people and someone is looking at us. Not the other way around.
Adding to this, is the tone of the novel, which begins with a sort of frenzied despair, and slowly releases into a more melancholic, almost contemplative mood.

The novel ends with the Montreal Massacre, and I loved the way nothing but a few sentences were enough to give me chills.

Now, what about the MountRoyal in all this?
The Mountain is a character is this book. It acts as a temptress, a mother, a sister-in-arms, a vixen, a teacher, and for some, it is the Grim Reaper, come to claim her dues.

The language is sharp, the prose is at times richly poetic, the insights are great and right-on, and there is of course, just enough controversy and sex to quickened the blood.

It depicts a time when Montreal was indeed, an open city, when there was a sense of freedom here...
It really is a snapshot of a time and place worth remembering and this novel should and will take its place in the ranks of those important novels, alongside those books which chronicle the underbelly of cities.

Those books that show us the stained underwear under the million dollar dress.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tightrope Books presents Toronto & Montreal release parties!

you are invited to release parties for...

there's nothing harder than love

the new novel by Basil Papademos

Live show, followed by Q&A and book signing in...
WED. JUNE 06, 2012
783 College St.
Doors Open 7:30pm
MON. JUNE 25, 2012
87 Ste-Catherine Est
Doors Open 9:00pm
Pete's Candy Store, NYC
Boit 999, Athens
Ubud Literary Festival, Bali
Bangkok Lit Festival

Tightrope Books launches...
Mount Royal: there's nothing harder than love
by Basil Papademos
A hilarious ride through addiction, sex,
music, movies, madness and more.
If a book ever needed a parental warning sticker, this is it.

Release parties in Toronto and Montreal June 2012

William S. Burroughs described earlier writing by Papademos as “morally dangerous.” The novel is a wildly entertaining roller-coaster ride, which combines ferociously clever slapstick, frenetic satire, and scorching love scenes to expose a turbulent 1980s Montreal. Mount Royal follows petty thief, drug dealer, and ladies’ man, Johnny Carp, as he explores his sexuality and unearths political cover-ups. The book examines issues of sexual power and individual identity, and the effect of history on us all. Concluding with the 1989 Montreal Massacre, the novel is, at its core, a bittersweet romance–a love letter to a time and a place.

Basil Papademos is the author of the novel The Hook (Emergency Press). A former resident of both Toronto and Montreal, he currently lives in Bangkok.