Sunday, 11 September 2011

Black Alley

Finished September 11
Black Alley by Mauricio Segura, translated from the French by Dawn M. Cornelio
This is a short intense novel set in the Côte-des-Neiges area of Montreal. Marcelo is the son of Chilean refugees and a quiet boy. Cleo is the new boy at school and is from Haiti. It is grade five for the two boys and they both run track. A bond is formed as they both make the top relay team for the school.
Years later there is a rivalry between two gangs, Latino Power and the Bad Boys with events and revenge escalating between the groups. The leaders of the two groups must decide whether the old childhood friendship will influence what happens next or race ties will triumph.
Set in a diverse multicultural community in a poor neighbourhood, this novel moves back and forth seamlessly between the two time periods, adding to the feeling of intensity. The use of language adds to the reality of the scenes. The way dialogue is used here is interesting with conversations moving in and out of each other.
This is an interesting novel, showing an environment unfamiliar to me, but relevant today to society as a whole. We see the struggle for acceptance that the youth have and how the different relationships influence them.
This is a good book to show the issues that are relevant on our streets today.


  1. Hi Shonna: Thanks for stopping by, I only plan to do one chair. This sound like a "real" story.

  2. Interesting comment about the use of dialogue: I'm curious!

  3. The way dialgoue is used is really cool. It took me a moment or two to figure out what was going on, and when I realized, I liked it.