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Mercury Under My Tongue: A Novel [Paperback]

By Sylvain Trudel & Sheila Fischman (Translator)
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Item description for Mercury Under My Tongue: A Novel by Sylvain Trudel & Sheila Fischman...

Seventeen-year-old bone cancer patient Frederick Langlois forges relationships with his counselor and other critically ill patients while staying in a hospital ward, struggling toward a final reckoning with himself and his family.

Publishers Description
Frederick Langlois could be that geeky 17-year-old found in every high school — the one who closely clutches his poem-filled notebook, who feels a bit too deeply, who's just a little too old for his years. But Frederick isn't in high school. He's in a hospital ward with other critically ill adolescents, dying of bone cancer. Mercury Under the Tongue chronicles his short stay there, from his distant but friendly relationship with his therapist through comic moments in the ward and his emergent friendships with other teenage patients. Some survive, others are lost, and at the end, Frederick must make a final reckoning with himself and his family, one that is at once dispassionate and deeply felt. Avoiding both misty stoicism and made-for-TV bathos, the book exposes the fallible body as the humanizing factor that grounds spirited adolescent talk, creating a believable, likable protagonist while weaving a compelling, lyrical story.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   159
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 4.75" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.32 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 28, 2008
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1933368969  
ISBN13  9781933368962  

Availability  0 units.

More About Sylvain Trudel & Sheila Fischman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! SYLVAIN TRUDEL is a novelist and author of several books for children. He is a nature-lover and a traveller, and his adventures have taken him to many parts of the world. His novels have won several literary prizes including the Canada-Switzerland prize.

Sylvain Trudel was born in 1963.

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Product Categories

1Books > Bargain Books > Literature & Fiction > Fiction
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary

Reviews - What do customers think about Mercury Under My Tongue: A Novel?

gripping, savage and honest  Apr 30, 2008
Mercury Under My Tongue is a short but powerful novel. Frederick is a terminally ill seventeen year old, and the cancer that poisons him, turning his hip into thin, near-transparent sliver of bone, serves as both adversary and muse.

Wiser, more worldly and educated than the typical seventeen year old, Frederick still has his moments of pure adolescence - whether that be sneaking glimpses down his therapist's shirt or begging for change to spend on the vending machines.

His running monologue rampages against God, but he is drawn to religious people. His poignant not-quite-romance with Marilou is heart wrenching. And his thoughts are often venomous, cursing the world and his place in it.

Not for the depressed, this is an engrossing story and a very believable look into the mind of someone who's life is being cut short without reason.
Courtesy of Teens Read Too  Apr 23, 2008
MERCURY UNDER MY TONGUE is not a book for the weak of heart. It is a powerful story told through they eyes of a seventeen-year-old boy dying of bone cancer. Frederick Langlois is in a Canadian hospital. He knows he is dying and is doing what he can to survive.

Frederick's family comes to visit, but he has little to say. Instead, he has thoughts inside his head of what he would prefer to say to them. He has gone so far as to write letters to each member of his family. His plan is to have one of the survivors on his floor mail them off on the one-year anniversary of his death.

His only solace is the poetry that he writes, but shares with no one except a fifteen-year-old leukemia patient, Marilou. The poetry shows another glimpse into Frederick's thoughts as he faces his final days.

Mr. Trudel writes a sad, moving story of a boy wanting more out of life than the hand he was dealt. Frederick shows anger, regret, love, joy, and, against his better judgment, acceptance, as his time draws nearer to the end. He rarely shares his pain of cancer with the reader, but there are snippets of the discomfort that he struggles with on a daily basis.

The story is translated from its original French but still flows beautifully and eloquently. If nothing else, Mr. Trudel's work will make you glad you are alive, and want to live the most in each day.

Reviewed by: Jaglvr

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