The Bicycle Eater

By Larry Tremblay
Translated by Sheila Fischman

The Bicycle Eater
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Singularly obsessed with his all-consuming passion for Anna, the object of his adolescent desire, the photographer Christophe Langelier is beside himself. Ten years ago, he failed the test of eating a bicycle for her as proof of his love and devotion. Since then, he has created ... Read more


Overview

Singularly obsessed with his all-consuming passion for Anna, the object of his adolescent desire, the photographer Christophe Langelier is beside himself. Ten years ago, he failed the test of eating a bicycle for her as proof of his love and devotion. Since then, he has created a photographic catalogue of his only model, complete with a glossary, an ?Anna-lexique,” in which the darkness and the light of her idealized being have shaded his language, even as her ubiquitous image has crowded out his own identity.

Desperate to escape his unrequited love for Anna, Christophe flees to the Island of Women off the coast of Mexico. There, he sacrifices his former self and begins his transformation from a man possessed to a man confused.

The Bicycle Eater is a comic, surrealist novel of metamorphosis unleashed by hopeless desire, a riotous, colourful burlesque where nothing and no one remain what they seem.

Reviews

“The most memorable novel I’ve read lately … I found it an eerily seductive tale of desire and transformation. Tremblay’s magical language leads us through consumptive anguish, into surreal burlesque, onward to a fierce reality. ”
Christopher Willard, novelist and art critic (quoted in the Calgary Herald and Ottawa Citizen)

“A superb translation of Larry Tremblay’s wonderfully surreal 2002 novel. ”
Hour

“Larry Tremblay’s broad experience as a playwright is evident in The Bicycle Eater, a novel which breathes theatricality. Things and people are never quite what they seem in this gender-bending ride through the topsy-turvy tunnels of 27-year-old photographer Christophe Langelier’s obsession with Anna … This is also a good book for anyone who appreciates the surreal. There is something poetic about the way the narrative slips back and forth as easily as a dream, transcending the limits of linear thinking. Some of the monologues delivered by Tremblay’s quirky cast of characters have words flooding the page in a sparkling stream of consciousness, gushing with metaphysical musings. And what gorgeous images are rendered. ”
Montreal Review of Books

“The most memorable novel I’ve read lately … I found it an eerily seductive tale of desire and transformation. Tremblay’s magical language leads us through consumptive anguish, into surreal burlesque, onward to a fierce reality. ”
Christopher Willard, novelist and art critic (quoted in the Calgary Herald and Ottawa Citizen)

“Larry Tremblay’s broad experience as a playwright is evident in The Bicycle Eater, a novel which breathes theatricality. Things and people are never quite what they seem in this gender-bending ride through the topsy-turvy tunnels of 27-year-old photographer Christophe Langelier’s obsession with Anna … This is also a good book for anyone who appreciates the surreal. There is something poetic about the way the narrative slips back and forth as easily as a dream, transcending the limits of linear thinking. Some of the monologues delivered by Tremblay’s quirky cast of characters have words flooding the page in a sparkling stream of consciousness, gushing with metaphysical musings. And what gorgeous images are rendered. ”
Montreal Review of Books

“A superb translation of Larry Tremblay’s wonderfully surreal 2002 novel. ”
Hour

“Sheila Fischman demonstrates her skill and creativity in rendering this intense work, full of wordplay and inventiveness. Her translation consistently maintains the author’s distinctive humour and intellectual detachment. ”
2006 Governor General’s Literary Awards Jury

“Extravagance drives this book, and by sheer tenacity finally vaults it beyond the range of critical harping … Tremblay’s story unfolds in paroxysms of the improbable, straddling dreamland and reality. ”
Globe and Mail

“Extravagance drives this book, and by sheer tenacity finally vaults it beyond the range of critical harping … Tremblay’s story unfolds in paroxysms of the improbable, straddling dreamland and reality. ”
Globe and Mail

“Sheila Fischman demonstrates her skill and creativity in rendering this intense work, full of wordplay and inventiveness. Her translation consistently maintains the author’s distinctive humour and intellectual detachment. ”
2006 Governor General’s Literary Awards Jury

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