NCL 26 – The Town Below by Roger Lemelin


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The Town Below by Roger Lemelin (New Canadian Library N26)Series One

From the Back Cover:

The Town Below is set in the working-class parish of St. Joseph in Quebec City’s lower town, which Lemelin brings to life with vivid irony and farcical humour. Narrow piety in both clergy and laity, fantastic scheming among local politicians, self-importance in social climbers, all are good-naturedly derided in a brilliantly comic assault upon provincialism and parochialism. An impassioned story of young love, jealousy, and ambition pursues its own course in this boisterously overgrown village uneasily taking its place in modern urban society. Lemelin’s sympathy with youth is at the heart of the book, as is his close understanding of working-class energy and poverty and pride. With The Town Below French-Canadian literature burst the confines of its old geographical frontiers and laid claim to a new, enlarged, and enlightened area of cultural responsibility.


The Town Below by Roger Lemelin (New Canadian Library N26)

Series Two

From the Back Cover:

This impressive novel, which caused a rage of controversy when it was first published, and which became an immediate best-seller, is set in the working-class parish of St. Joseph in Quebec City’s lower town. In a brilliantly comic assult upon provincialism and parochialism, narrow piety and political scheming, Lemelin brings the community to life with good-natured and vivid irony. An impassioned story of young love, jealousy, and ambition pursues its own course in this boisterously overgrown village, uneasily taking its place in modern urban society. Lemelin’s sympathy with youth is at the heart of the book, as is his close understanding of working-class energy, poverty and pride.


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