The Only Café Summary Æ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free


  • Hardcover
  • 432
  • The Only Café
  • Linden MacIntyre
  • English
  • 16 September 2017
  • 9780345812063

10 thoughts on “The Only Café

  1. says:

    Okay so this wasn't my favourite MacIntyre It happens right? With his most recent before The Only Cafe Punishment I raced through it glued to the pages left begging for The Only Cafe? Meh I felt sometimes like I was on a hamster wheel going round and round the wheel with the same thing seeming to happen over and over again Whereas normally I'm having a hard time peeling my eyes away from MacIntyre's stories this one I struggled to pick it up I just wasn't compelled to reach for it Unusual yes I just found this one was fairly simplistically written and heavy heavy on dialogue The mystery aspect to it was fairly easy to figure out as well I'm not worried I'm certain he'll come back with another one that will knock my socks off Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending the ARC Appreciated as always


  2. says:

    The Only Café was uiet He stood at the bar ordered a beer watched the door He wasn't sure what brought him back Perhaps the wall of memory 1982 perhaps the suspicion that the fat stranger Ari might know something from behind that – so far – impenetrable wall There was no sign of him A grey haired man came into the store the other day looking for a book on the Cold War era Soviet Union; a particular book written by a man who had been his colleague back in the day at CSIS the Canadian spy agency After helping him locate that book and having been intrigued by this man's apparent knowledge base I leveled a mock conspiratorial look at him and asked if he figured the world was becoming safer or scarier Without missing a beat he replied dead serious “The world has never been scarier than it is right now If you only knew” Well I guess I asked for that but I was rather hoping a nostalgia for his presumed old cloak and dagger days would have prejudiced him in favour of an improving worldview In my day we hid our phones in our shoes not our pockets and the bad guys didn't brag about their intentions on Facebook The Only Café written by career journalist Linden MacIntyre seems an effort to part the curtain a bit; to show that the things that seem scary to us today have been bubbling away for decades; the world is neither safer nor scarier there's just a different lead story in the headlines By trying to translate actual events into literature I found the first half of this book to be unnecessarily obfuscatory but by the end I was glad I stuck with it this book has some important things to say and ultimately it says them well This is the last time you're going to ask me a uestion like that You know exactly what to do Was that what Brawley said? Or were they words from another time another place? Or do time and place make any difference to destiny? The Only Café opens in 2012 with the reading of a will After having been missing and presumed dead for five years some remains of Pierre Cormier have been found; his estate can finally be settled Cormier's young adult son Cyril is present – seeking closure – and when the lawyer mentions that his father had wanted a roast of sorts to be held at the unheard of Only Café Cyril decides to look into the place maybe it's time for him to finally get to know the father who had left him and his mother so many years before We soon learn that Cyril is interning at a network news agency obviously the CBC with superstar anchor “Lloyd Manville” and by coincidence he starts researching events that took place during his father's never discussed childhood in Lebanon The story then shifts to Pierre's perspective in the months leading up to his disappearance and when events in his present begin to remind him of things that happened during the Lebanese Civil War of the 1980s Pierre experiences a muddling of memory that is so confusing to him that it's confusing to the reader as well and I didn't understand why MacIntyre decided to layer on career difficulty a health scare a new marriage and trying to have a baby all of this extraneous experience added nothing to Pierre's core struggle between his past and present and just further muddied the point of it all The past is never dead as long as there is memory Memory is the afterlife both heaven and hell The narrative continues to switch between Cyril's present Pierre's last days and Pierre's Lebanese past and what it reveals about historical events was an education for me I had never heard of the massacre at Sabra and Shatila in 1982 which MacIntyre apparently reported on as a journalist and its inclusion here is gritty and realistic and as an act of commemoration feels vital and overdue In this line of work there's no distinction between what's historical and what's contemporary Because Cyril is learning to be a journalist – while attempting to track down clues about his father's past – the historical information that he discovers is added organically to the narrative And because he is working with other journalists who are trying to dig up a story about the radicalisation of youth in Toronto mosues there's a very natural line drawn between the events of the past and the present; the format works really well to show the bigger picture It was especially apt to have so much discussed in the network meetings; to see how news is selected and shaped The only way to know what's happening is to be part of it The Only Café has the tension of a mystery – Just what happened to Pierre? How does Ari come into it? Will Cyril ever find the truth? Or is he putting himself in danger? – but some of the personal storylines drain the energy from this tension In addition to Pierre's mounting personal troubles I didn't see the point in Cyril's hesitant lovelife or his friend Leo's freuent appearances or Cyril's mother's limp depiction It felt a bit deliberate to include a young Muslim an aging Israeli a retired Canadian Forces soldier an RCMP officer Yes we get the whole picture but I was aware of the artist's hand leading me to what he wanted me to see I have enjoyed MacIntyre's books set in Cape Breton so I did like that Pierre and then Cyril spent some time there but as they don't improve the overall thesis these parts felt like atmosphere for its own sake I was amused to learn that the Only Café actually exists on the Danforth in Toronto yet that leaves me confused as to why it's featured by name Here's the bottom line I did find much confusing as I presume I was meant to but I'm glad I finished this book While it doesn't work perfectly for me as a novel The Only Café has much to offer the reader and I suspect it will feature on the literary awards lists later in the year


  3. says:

    First a confession I struggle to be too critical about a book since I fully realize I could not write a book myself Seems a bit unfair to be too critical of someone else’s craft when I have no skill myselfLinden MacIntyre’s first calling is a journalist It shows in this book Much happens and then is repeated Not much effective description little depth of character a perhaps too convoluted plot that has too many loops for a roller coaster and an ending that leaves you out in the rain with the protagonist with as much satisfaction as thin gruelI finished this book only because it was a read for a book club If I was not in the book club I would have instituted my 50 page rule and called it uits


  4. says:

    Didn't enjoy this muchIt was overladen with so much historical and Middle Eastern political detail I could never keep track of who was who or who was doing what to who Or what it meantAnd then there was an unresolved ending and I'm not a fan of thoseSo basically I found it a slog to an ending that didn't tell you what happened or what was going to happen to the main character


  5. says:

    This is a thick read You can't put it down for long because it jumps between timelines and POVs Given the political climate and world events this is so poignant now


  6. says:

    Very compelling page turning read especially given the current political climate in the Middle East Hard to put down Highly recommended


  7. says:

    Whether or not 'tis in the mind nobler to disclose But disclosure is rarely noble Disclosure is transactional Disclosure is a ruse to create trust The best interrogators were the ones who were capable of manufactured empathy These lines occur half way down a page in a paragraph that is part of a narrative one of our main characters Pierre is thinking in This paragraph made me wonder whether Linden MacIntyre was in fact Lebanese and had lived or lives in Lebanon for it is these lines in this paragraph that encompass the whole of the way Lebanon works For the most part it is exactly as he has written disclosure is transactional This was a brutally honest book about Lebanon the war crimes that occurred during the civil war not the least of which was Sabra and Shatila and the people who perpetrated them The story of Pierre is complex tragic and multidimensional just like everyone who lived through that civil war Our pasts are never black or white good or bad There are so many grey areas so many decisions made under tremendous stress and that is how Pierre is presented in all of his complexity He joins the Kataeb almost by accident and the slaughter of his family is an impetus that aids in his descent into hell He comes to Canada and tries to put it all behind him but it isn't necessarily behind him it is just buried very deeply in him His secrets permeate every page of this book and every character is affected by actions they don't necessarily know happened His first wife 2nd wife his son his employer Each in their own way suffers in some way from his background but it is a sense of pieces missing and disuiet that really linger over the narrative as a whole This is purposefully done because we are only getting Pierre's past in bits and pieces It is as those pieces are revealed that you realize where this disuiet and sense of missing pieces is coming from It is Pierre's disuiet It is his family's disuiet It is the missing pieces and lack of accountability of the war It is the missing pieces and no names named in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people It is the missing accountability; the known war criminals walking free and clear Linden MacIntyre is a multi award winning journalist who knows the civil war in Lebanon intimately and the way he was woven it into the narrative of this story is a master stroke He has made Pierre's fictional life the life of all of the people who fought on various sides of the war and he straddles the line of blame oh so carefully that you would truly think he resides in the collective wilfull amnesia infecting the entire population of Lebanon regarding the civil war Pierre is only one character in the book but he dominates every page whether or not he appears The other characters are just as beautifully constructed but they are simply planets in the orbit of the sun that is Pierre Perhaps the most annoying character is Cyril Pierre's son Perhaps I find him annoying because I want him to fill in the blanks faster than he is When he says he has never heard of HK I practically wanted to slap him silly and ask him HOW HOW HAVE YOU NOT HEARD OF HK???? Then I remember that Cyril is a fictional character and in reality unless you know the Lebanese civil war well Elie Hobeika HK was one of the many war criminals who escaped justice until he was blown to bits by a car bomb no loss to humanity there This is a book that deserves to be savoured and I did just that I took almost a month to read it for two reasons 1 I am intimately familiar with the past Pierre is hiding and it is just as painful to read it in a fictional account as it is to read it in history 2 This writer deserves time not a rushed readingNo matter how eager you are to know what happens next take your time and read slowly The nuances on the page matter The sense of disuiet the sense of missing pieces matter This is a read and re read and savour


  8. says:

    Received advance copy Excellent A son tries to put to put together the puzzle surrounding his father's disappearance and later deathas he puts the pieces togethermany disturbing events happena combination of fiction and historical events of the Middle EastHighly recommended


  9. says:

    A good read for those unaware of the events in Palestine Israel in the 1980s and the effects on those who emigrated as a result Part spy novel and part coming of age I found it an easy read but not engrossing It felt very much “Canadian” in perspective Not highly recommended but a simple read


  10. says:

    35 stars I enjoyed Punishment and The Bishop's Man very much and was enthused to learn that Linden MacIntyre had a new novel just published The major focus of the book was the Lebanese Civil war and the massacres which ensued The story based on historic facts may be confusing to many readers as it was to me This may have been deliberate The events themselves were confusing with numerous factions involved and with many overt and covert actions and interference by the PLO and Israel among others Mistrust and shifting alliances within Lebanon is noted adding to the complicated narrative In 1982 Pierre came to Canada as a Lebanese refugee He settled in Cape Breton and later Toronto finding success as a cooperate lawyer for an mining operation in Indonesia He was terminated as a scapegoat after some trouble at the mine site He was in Cape Breton on a boat which exploded and after some five years a bone fragment and a bracelet surfaces His son Cyril is interning as a journalist The reporters are working on a story about the radicalization of youths in mosues and he joins the team He had been estranged from his father and is trying to discover Pierre's past in Lebanon In his father's will is a reuest for a wake at The Only Cafe and that Ari a man unknown to the family is to officiate Cyril meets the mysterious Ari possibly a past Israeli agent who seems to have some complicated ties to Pierre in Lebanon and also in Canada There is also suspicion that Ari may be involved somehow in connection to the radicalization of Moslem youths in the story being investigated by the reporters In search for clues about his father's death Cyril returns to Cape Breton Was his father murdered and was his death connected to what Cyril is discovering about his father's shaded and secretive past in Lebanon? What does Ari know if anything? Cyril talks to family police CSIS agent and one of Pierre's old Cape Breton friends in trying to get a picture of his father's past in Lebanon and how he died in Cape Breton Just who is Ari and what truths is he hiding? It was suggested to Cyril that in investigations establishing a timeline was important The book was convoluted moving back and forth from Toronto Cape Breton and Lebanon and jumping from Cyril's present to Pierre's past in Lebanon in the 1970's and early 80's and then to Pierre in Toronto and in Cape Breton just before his death Rather confusing Chapter headings would be helpful as it was not always apparent at the beginning of the chapter who the subject was or the time and setting Cyril's relationship with his ex girlfriend was a distraction and I wanted to know about his friends and colleagues at his workplace The ending of the book leaves some uestions unresolved but this is a fitting conclusion as some secrets and events from the past can never be fully known in the present


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The Only Café

Linden MacIntyre Û 2 Characters

Scotiabank Giller prize–winner Linden MacIntyre delivers a page turning thought provoking novel about an enigmatic man haunted by a troubled past in his native Lebanon and the Canadian born son who tries to solve the mystery of his father's lifePierre Cormier had secrets Though he married twice became a high flying lawyer and a father he didn't let anyone really know him And he was especially silent about what had happened to him in Lebanon the country he fled during civil war to come to Canada as a refugee When in the midst of a corporate scandal he went missing after his boa The Only Café was uiet He stood at the bar ordered a beer watched the door He wasn't sure what brought him back Perhaps the wall of memory 1982 perhaps the suspicion that the fat stranger Ari might know something from behind that – so far – impenetrable wall There was no sign of him A grey haired man came into the store the other day looking for a book on the Cold War era Soviet Union; a particular book written by a man who had been his colleague back in the day at CSIS the Canadian spy agency After helping him locate that book and having been intrigued by this man's apparent knowledge base I leveled a mock conspiratorial look at him and asked if he figured the world was becoming safer or scarier Without missing a beat he replied dead serious “The world has never been scarier than it is right now If you only knew” Well I guess I asked for that but I was rather hoping a nostalgia for his presumed old cloak and dagger days would have prejudiced him in favour of an improving worldview In my day we hid our phones in our shoes not our pockets and the bad guys didn't brag about their intentions on Facebook The Only Café written by career journalist Linden MacIntyre seems an effort to part the curtain a bit; to show that the things that seem scary to us today have been bubbling away for decades; the world is neither safer nor scarier there's just a different lead story in the headlines By trying to translate actual events into literature I found the first half of this book to be unnecessarily obfuscatory but by the end I was glad I stuck with it this book has some important things to say and ultimately it says them well This is the last time you're going to ask me a uestion like that You know exactly what to do Was that what Brawley said Or were they words from another time another place Or do time and place make any difference to destiny The Only Café opens in 2012 with the reading of a will After having been missing and presumed dead for five years some remains of Pierre Cormier have been found; his estate can finally be settled Cormier's young adult son Cyril is present – seeking closure – and when the lawyer mentions that his father had wanted a roast of sorts to be held at the unheard of Only Café Cyril decides to look into the place maybe it's time for him to finally get to know the father who had left him and his mother so many years before We soon learn that Cyril is interning at a network news agency obviously the CBC with superstar anchor “Lloyd Manville” and by coincidence he starts researching events that took place during his father's never discussed childhood in Lebanon The story then shifts to Pierre's perspective in the months leading up to his disappearance and when events in his present begin to remind him of things that happened during the Lebanese Civil War of the 1980s Pierre experiences a muddling of memory that is so confusing to him that it's confusing to the reader as well and I didn't understand why MacIntyre decided to layer on career difficulty a health scare a new marriage and trying to have a baby all of this extraneous experience added nothing to Pierre's core struggle between his past and present and just further muddied the point of it all The past is never dead as long as there is memory Memory is the afterlife both heaven and hell The narrative continues to switch between Cyril's present Pierre's last days and Pierre's Lebanese past and what it reveals about historical events was an education for me I had never heard of the massacre at Sabra and Shatila in 1982 which MacIntyre apparently reported on as a journalist and its inclusion here is gritty and realistic and as an act of commemoration feels vital and overdue In this line of work there's no distinction between what's historical and what's contemporary Because Cyril is learning to be a journalist – while attempting to track down clues about his father's past – the historical information that he discovers is added organically to the narrative And because he is working with other journalists who are trying to dig up a story about the radicalisation of youth in Toronto mosues there's a very natural line drawn between the events of the past and the present; the format works really well to show the bigger picture It was especially apt to have so much discussed in the network meetings; to see how news is selected and shaped The only way to know what's happening is to be part of it The Only Café has the tension of a mystery – Just what happened to Pierre How does Ari come into it Will Cyril ever find the truth Or is he putting himself in danger – but some of the personal storylines drain the energy from this tension In addition to Pierre's mounting personal troubles I didn't see the point in Cyril's hesitant lovelife or his friend Leo's freuent appearances or Cyril's mother's limp depiction It felt a bit deliberate to include a young Muslim an aging Israeli a retired Canadian Forces soldier an RCMP officer Yes we get the whole picture but I was aware of the artist's hand leading me to what he wanted me to see I have enjoyed MacIntyre's books set in Cape Breton so I did like that Pierre and then Cyril spent some time there but as they don't improve the overall thesis these parts felt like atmosphere for its own sake I was amused to learn that the Only Café actually exists on the Danforth in Toronto yet that leaves me confused as to why it's featured by name Here's the bottom line I did find much confusing as I presume I was meant to but I'm glad I finished this book While it doesn't work perfectly for me as a novel The Only Café has much to offer the reader and I suspect it will feature on the literary awards lists later in the year

Read & download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Û Linden MacIntyre

T exploded his teenaged son Cyril didn't know how to mourn him But five years later a single bone and a distinctive gold chain are recovered and Pierre is at last declared dead Which changes everythingAt the reading of the will it turns out that instead of a funeral Pierre wanted a roast at a bar no one knew he freuented The Only Café in Toronto's east end He'd even left a guest list that included one mysterious name Ari Cyril now working as an intern for a major national newsroom and assisting on reporting a story on homegrown terrorism tracks down Ari at the bar and finds out Didn't enjoy this muchIt was overladen with so much historical and Middle Eastern political detail I could never keep track of who was who or who was doing what to who Or what it meantAnd then there was an unresolved ending and I'm not a fan of thoseSo basically I found it a slog to an ending that didn't tell you what happened or what was going to happen to the main character

Summary The Only Café

That he is an Israeli who knew his father in Lebanon in the '80s Who is Ari What can he reveal about what happened to Pierre in Lebanon Is Pierre really dead Can Ari even be trusted Soon Cyril's personal investigation is entangled in the larger news story all of it twining into a fabric of lies and deception that stretches from contemporary Toronto back to the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon in September 1982 The Only Café is both a moving mystery and an illuminating exploration of how the traumatic past if left unexamined shadows every moment of the present A good read for those unaware of the events in Palestine Israel in the 1980s and the effects on those who emigrated as a result Part spy novel and part coming of age I found it an easy read but not engrossing It felt very much “Canadian” in perspective Not highly recommended but a simple read


About the Author: Linden MacIntyre

Linden MacIntyre is the co host of the fifth estate and the winner of nine Gemini Awards for broadcast journalism His most recent book a boyhood memoir called Causeway A Passage from Innocence won both the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non Fiction and the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non Fiction