This All Happened

by Michael Winter | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0887846610 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingPooker3wing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 10/21/2011
Buy from one of these Booksellers:
Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT | Bol.com
2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, October 21, 2011
Purchased from the Literacy Works used book sale. Now that I have it in my hot little hands I have the sneaking suspicion that I already have this book waiting for me on a shelf some where. Oh well, one for reading & one for releasing!

Journal Entry 2 by wingPooker3wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Why oh why have I not read Michael Winter before now? I've got no excuse. Before I read this book, I'd had five, yes five, unread Michael Winter books languishing on my shelves. In fact, I denied myself the purchase of Donna Whalen for that reason. No sense in having six unread books.

I'm not sure why I picked this book over his previously published short story collections, or for that matter why I chose to read Michael Winter at all just now. You'd think I'd have had enough of Newfoundland after just finishing 830 pages of Kenneth Harvey's Blackstrap Hawco. I suspect it was the cover picture that did it. The guy spying on the world through his binoculars. I do that everyday, ostensibly to look for birds in or around my backyard. But when there are no birds, I spy on everything else: the couple that walks along the other side of the river most days, stopping to sit on a bench, surveying the river, seldom talking - I like to imagine what's going on in their heads; the ice forming on the river now; the muddy lines on the trees that mark the height of the river at this past spring's flood; and bark, I love to look at bark.

Gabriel English, the "author" of this fictional memoir, spies on his surroundings through his binoculars too. They let you focus on what you want to see and block out, like blinders, what you don't. So I felt a bit of kinship with him in that.

Gabriel English is supposed to be writing a novel. Maybe he is but he seems unable to get down to the actual writing of it. He did manage to write a short story for the CBC short story contest during the course of this "one year in the life of" memoir only to be rejected. And again I felt a little kinship. Not that I have ever sent in a short story, but if I did, it would most certainly be rejected and I could relate to the rejection. But mostly he is writing little vignettes on a daily basis, a journal or diary of his daily life and ruminations. Most of those ruminations have to do with the disintegration of his relationship with Lydia Murphy. He's in love with her, or rather, he's in love with being in love with her. From page one, the reader has a pretty good idea that this relationship is not the true-love-once-in-a-lifetime-til-death-do-us-part sort. Even Gabriel knows. Here it is page 1, January 1 and Gabriel is already resentful that Lydia is laughing with another man, paying attention to someone other than him. He wants to punch the guy and he questions whether he can love a woman like that. But he wants to. Oh how he wants to.

The book is deceptively easy to read. Words flow unfaltering despite the absence of quotation marks in dialogue and apostrophes in contractions. They flow like a song, the particular song reflective of the mood and events reported. I'm sure if Gabriel was waltzing the words would flow in 3/4 time. I love writing like that.

I also liked the format of the book, 365 days, like those page-a-day calendars with inspirational thoughts, quotations, words of wisdom for each day of your life. I read with interest the entries for those days of significance to me: my birthday, wedding day, Christmas, kids' birthdays to see whether Gabriel had any significant words of wisdom for me. Admittedly, there were days that were less interesting and one wondered why bother with an entry at all, but those were rare. Some days were so filled with human frailty, especially toward the end when you've come to know Gabriel, Lydia, Maisie, Max, Alex and Oliver and the rest of his cronies well, that even though you knew how things would be, your heart aches anyway.

Funny as all hell to me was the day they all play badminton and Gabriel ends up in "emerge" after lurching for a birdie. I still cruelly snicker.

Like someone else on the Goodreads site, I too have written out whole passages from the book. Words that resonated with me, like Max's comment in November: "Some people never become themselves because they're afraid to be fools." Gabriel's in October: "We spend the afternoon gardening and it is easy and sad. We are kind to each other, but our hearts are heavy with rain." Sigh.

This will not be the last Michael Winter book I'll read.

Journal Entry 3 by wingPooker3wing at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Released 7 yrs ago (12/15/2011 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I'm taking this book to our meeting tonight. If no takers I'll leave it on the shelf in the loft.

To the finder of this book:
Welcome to the wonderful and wacky world of BookCrossing! Here you'll find a unique and worldwide community of book lovers sharing their books. This book is now yours! Read it, enjoy it. Keep it or pass it on to someone you know or even release it back into the wild as I did. If you make a journal entry (either anonymously or as a BookCrossing member) all previous readers of this book will be notified by e-mail and can follow this book on its travels. BookCrossing is free to join, completely confidential (you are known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your email address) and it's a whole lot of fun!

Journal Entry 4 by wingwinnipegobczwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, December 16, 2011
This book is currently sitting on the Winnipeg Official Bookcrossing Zone bookshelf in the loft of The Park Theatre & Movie Café, 698 Osborne Street, Winnipeg MB.

It is waiting there for a new reader to take home, read, and release back into the wild!


Winnipeg bookcrossers meet at my location on the second Wednesday of every month at 7pm to chat about books, swap great reads, and release on the OBCZ shelves. Please join us! We love to see new faces! You will enjoy the comfy atmosphere, the fabulous coffees and teas, and the yummy treats!

Journal Entry 5 by wingwinnipegobczwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, February 24, 2012
This book has left the OBCZ shelves. Hope to hear from it soon.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.