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10 thoughts on “Punishment

  1. says:

    Oh man Now what am I going to do? I'm finished and it was fan freaking tastic I'm no longer going to be able to reach for this book I finished it in a weekend Everything has been left neglected and I just sat glued to these pages You knew what couldwas happening but you had to you had to sit and watch it all unfold in pure MacIntyre greatness I'm his biggest fan For certain Excellent excellent read So many layers so many things to think about

  2. says:

    This past week the Canadian press and Canadian communities have been asking a lot of uestions about crime and punishment With the very public revelation of Jian Ghomeshi's criminal behaviour the public conversation includes calls for criminal prosecution all the while enacting a sort of collective trial sentencing and punishment in the press and social media While listening and reading stories of his violent and repugnant behaviour I was reading Linden MacIntyre's new book PunishmentPunishment is not about sexual and physical violence Nor is it about the CBC or the media though MacIntyre long worked for the CBC Instead it's a book about a former prison officer Tony Breau who gets involved is made to be involved in a small town murder investigation It's also about the conseuences of telling the truth the violence threats and shame that attach to those who speak out you can see then why it might be a book that resonated with what I was reading and hearing in the cultural conversation around violence against women So it's a novel that takes on the 'big' crime of murder but it's also a novel that explores the slippery boundary between what is considered criminal and the 'crimes' outside the criminal code betrayal in friendship adultery and the wilful withholding of truth from others Punishment offers readers as nuanced and complicated exploration of guilt punishment retribution and reconciliation Early on in the novel it explodes the idea that all those in prison are criminals and that all those on the 'outside' are innocent; the novel does not belabour this point it simply makes the observation that many crimes go unrecognized and unpunished and that many criminals are in prison for complicated reasons Much of the novel is concerned with how and if Tony can reconcile his past with his present his moral position with an unjust society his care for others with the certainty that the truth can be painful In a uintessentially Canadian literature way this struggle is worked out in the small and isolated community where the big bad criminals come from the United States and the city where outsiders are suspect and when guilt is both the prelude an apology and an unavoidable state of being What the novel does incredibly well and with a sort of bravery I think is to ask readers to consider just consider separating the crime from the criminal; the behaviour from the person It can be hard to empathize It can be hard to consider empathy When we are betrayed by lovers or friends when a singular crime is perpetrated against us or when we are wronged by systemic and entrenched systems the impulse is not to empathy The push is to retribution to punishment As if in the punishment itself we might understand the crime or feel differently about the criminal I am not making a novel argument in suggesting that there might be a difference between retributive and restorative justice Rather I'm making an argument that this novel shows with great care and nuance how these forms of justice differ and what is at stake for us as individuals and as communities in taking one approach or the other

  3. says:

    My future appeared to me as a landscape suddenly revealed by the cresting of a hill It wasn't grim but it was barren and it sprawled endlessly beyond the curve of the horizon It was a scalding moment delusions scoured from the surface of reality Solitude and celibacy I thought And I had to admit under the alcoholic anesthetic it didn't feel all that bad Even if I reframed the words made them say abandonment and isolation they still described a kind of freedom I remember stumbling to bed that night in that paradoxical state of peace that comes with knowing you have nothing left to lose Author Linden MacIntyre after a long and prominent career in Canadian broadcasting made a splash in 2009 with his novel The Bishop's Man In that book MacIntyre told the story of a fixer in the Catholic Church; a clerical representative of the Bishop for Cape Breton tasked with making recent sex abuse scandals disappear It was a timely and thoughtful examination of a decent man with the contrary goals of protecting the institution of the Church and doing right by the victims of abuse In a sense Punishment is another look at conflict of conscience but this time the institution under the microscope is the Canadian penal system and the victims are the convicts; and especially the career criminals who become scapegoats in the eyes of law enforcement and correctional officersAs Punishment begins Tony Breau has returned to the small community of St Ninian NS after a divorce and taking early retirement from his job at an Ontario penitentiary under unclear circumstances His final position at the prison was also unclear to me after a long career as a guard Breau took some night classes and became a case worker The first scene sees Breau happening upon a strange confluence of events His first love Caddy unseen or heard from for over thirty years is being consoled by family as local miscreant Dwayne Strickland someone who Breau knew intimately in the Ontario prison system is being arraigned for the murder of Caddy's granddaughter From here information is revealed scattershot Breau is a teenager with Caddy a guard with Strickland he's married he's waking up alone in a musty old farm house and very slowly the ties between all the characters are revealed Just as Breau seemed to be the only man within the prison system who truly believed in justice the only one who might breech the Blue Wall in the name of prisoners' rights he finds himself in the face of community vigilantism identifying with Strickland than with those who would condemn him without clear evidence Punishment is one of those frustrating books where mysteries are set up Why did Caddy break off communication? Why did Breau's marriage fall apart? Why was Breau forced to retire? and when characters start to talk about these events they break off in midsentence or refuse to answer any uestions or in the case of Breau take down the bottle of whisky to forget From their first meeting it seems obvious that Caddy and Breau will get back together but she doesn't answer the phone when he calls or he mopes around and decides not to drop in on her for weeks at a time or when one reaches out a hand the other pulls away This book is slooooooow and any mysteries are solved by the reader long before MacIntyre makes things plain Punishment is also frustrating in that everyone is black and white Prison guards and police officers portrayed as the most violent people in the system think that criminals are scum and even those who have served their time and have been released deserve anything that comes to them; an attack on an ex con simply a pre emptive strike before his next offense Standing alone between the two sides is Tony Breau trying to explain why evil is an adverb than an adjective and unafraid to buck the system in a totally passive I am but an unwilling agent who cant help but do the right thing kind of a way To ratchet up the theme the decline in the circumstances of Breau's life began on 911 and he becomes the only person in his community who opposes the invasion of Ira; believing it to be vigilantism than justice Familiar right?So to get back to The Bishop's Man There is obviously no excuse for priests sexually abusing children and those fixers who went around silencing witnesses and shuffling criminal priests off to unsuspecting communities were also participating in evil However and not to excuse their actions one can see how they misguidedly believed that what they were doing was for the greater good; that the institution of the Catholic Church was important than the ruination of individual lives and I sincerely hope that I'm making it clear that nothing excuses the priests or the fixers here In Punishment it would seem that MacIntyre is trying to make a similar point The institution of the penal system the solidarity and continuing authority of those who work inside prisons is thought to be important than the rights of or even the lives of the prisoners Systemic reform is resisted and those who won't toe the line become scapegoats But is this really the way it is? Are penitentiaries the modern social and cultural euivalents of a millenniums old church? They may be flawed but I honestly don't believe they're beyond reform The corrupt and self interested characters representing the law and order side in this book are so cartoonishly evil that I think MacIntyre really missed the boat on framing this story as a conflict of conscience; anyone should have behaved as Breau didSlow and meandering deliberately obscure and agenda driven this is not my favourite book by Linden MacIntyre

  4. says:

    MacIntyre at the top of his game This book was one of the best I've read in many a long year The book is set in a small maritime Canadian town in and around 2001 The story is about a 55 year old man by the name of Tony Breau who returns home to the town where he grew up after an absence of 4 decades Tony has suffered a lot of changes in his life He has left his job of thirty years because of an incident that happened at the prison he was working in and his wife of twenty years has left him Tony finds himself falling back into the community where he grew up and he reacuaints himself with old friends and acuaintances as well as old romantic interests The pull of the community is strong and the majority of the people welcome Tony back with open arms Then a tragedy occurs which brings an old acuaintance who happens to be a former inmate back into Tony's life Things get messier and messier as Tony is forced to reexamine his values his sense of justice and the conseuences of retaliation and vengeance We follow Tony as he wrestles with his conscience and while he tries to reconcile past actions and tries to assimilate present actions Everything he believes in and holds dear is brought into uestion The book rockets on at an incredible pace with so many twists turns and surprises that I couldn't put it down I read the book at a breakneck pace but now I'm at a loss because I've finished There is so much to think about and rehash in my mind after this one MacIntyre is a novelist of extraordinary skills and this book is one that I recommend most heartily It's totally awesome

  5. says:

    Linden MacIntyre is hit and miss for me I loved The Bishop's Man but only made it through a uarter of The Long Stretch before giving up This is a hit Anyone who's read MacIntyre's work will recognize Punishment the setting the light lilt in the dialogue the outsized characters But it's a recognition that thrills like going home for Christmas and knowing that your drunk unpredictable cousin will be thereTony Breau is a retired corrections officer He was living in Kingston before a traumatic potentially criminal incident forced him into retirement and his marriage fell apart Now he's home in St Ninian Unfortunately it isn't as peaceful as he anticipated An old lover Caddy rears her still beautiful head and their relationship is just as complicated as it always was Now though there's also the recent death of Caddy's grand daughter to deal with It looks like a straight forward case the girl was found dead in the living room of a known drug dealer and ex con named Dwayne Strickland The small town rallies around Caddy's family and demands justice Tony ends up in the middle of it all pulled by his attraction to Caddy and pushed by the murky history between himself and Strickland I won't say any about the plot I don't want to spoil it except to say this MacIntyre uses the infastructure of a mystery to set up an examination of justice vs punishment morality vs ethics The result is an engaging smart compulsive read

  6. says:

    A page turner with twists turns am I reading the same book everyone else is? 2 12 stars at best I read 200 pages and still didn't give a st about Tony or the town Go to the store pick up papers ignore the gossip drop by to visit go home walk the dog drink whiskey watch the weather go to bed start over the next day In the last 60 pages stuff unfolds but by then my heart is not in it I did not care

  7. says:

    I couldn't put this down It's a story of betrayal and small town corruption No good deed of the hero's seems to go unpunished Until the last page

  8. says:

    I love any book that makes reference to the East Coast and this is no different Set in Nova Scotia this is a thriller that will have you turning pages non stop near the end A few surprises in the last few pages as well

  9. says:

    It was a slow read for me at first and then the interest heightenedAlthough I did not learn anything new from it it did make me think about different personal situations the reality of them etcFor eg Caddy and Tony's relationshipin romantic novels they may have fallen into each other's arms etc In this novel it's not so simple A whole life happened before they saw each other again Lots of hurt feelings are still in the air and other issues in their own lives to resolveI liked the Nova Scotia landscape described and the life lived in these small Canadian towns

  10. says:

    Part of an interview by Atlantic Monthly of Linden MacIntyre November 2014The same moral imperatives and the same materialistic motivation applied to the large global situation in 2002 2003 in reality and the small microcosm situation that I imagined in a little place in the middle of nowhere where there’s this notion that by eliminating a negative presence in a community you have made the community safe and you have protected important values and principles Even if in doing so you have offended the most fundamental principles that keep the society safe and make it work properly which are the principles of justice and how sometimes an obsession with law and order causes us to become a little bit blind when it comes to the fundamental principles of justice itself And this is what happens in the book You have an emotional response to a situation you have it exploited by an individual with a very strong point of view you have a scapegoat and you have a disaster And you have all of that happening on a global scale at the same time It sort of came to me in a flash and I realized this is a book that I have to write down Or it’s going to drive me crazyReading this interview changed my perspective somewhat after the fact on Punishment the latest novel by Canadian author Linden MacIntyre His point of view and sincerity imbued the novel with a passion and energy which unfortunately I felt little of in the story itself The fly leaf guarantees a page turner It's not exactly riveting although the angst depression and sorrowful contemplation of buggered up lives did have me skimming and flipping those pages to find out where each new set of thoughts led our characters Sometimes in my haste the past and present were misidentified so that I did have to go back and read carefully to figure out when some rather hazy transitions occurred I really dislike muddle with POV setting and thought It is a depressing book; a young woman has been murdered has she? by an ex con he is one and the small Nova Scotia town hates that he came back to where he was adopted and raised Tony Breau former corrections officer has also returned to the home town marriage a bust and forced to retire due to circumstances which related to Strickland in prison Tony's high school sweetheart is the grandmother of the dead girl and the class bully no longer safe on the Boston police force is now running a BB with his wife The relationships are intense complicated and almost incestuous in their small town tribal nature One thing leads to another which leads to another which Personally I found myself unable to relate on any basis as the life tales intertwined repeated themselves and trudged on bleakly Linden MacIntyre is masterful with language But this book is S L O W going for one promised by the publishers to blindsideyou with twists and betrayals As for the ending no punch there either which watered down the metaphilosophy intended by this story and reduced the characters' dimension I feel that if the story is meant to deliver a powerful message a definitive ending is important However I am the reader Said Linden MacIntyre You know what somebody buys a book; it becomes their property The story becomes a story that they will figure out interpret and carry in their minds in a form that’s not always what I would have expected Or is not always what another reader would necessarily share In this particular book there are two aspects at the end that are left unresolved The unresolved part is what happens next to the two principal men in the book And life is like that I say Meh 35 starsLink to interview

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Punishment [PDF / EPUB] Punishment In Punishment his first novel since completing his Long Stretch trilogy Scotiabank Giller winner Linden MacIntyre brings us a powerful exploration of justice and vengeance and the peril that ensues wh In Punishment his first novel since completing his Long Stretch trilogy Scotiabank Giller winner Linden MacIntyre brings us a powerful exploration of justice and vengeance and the peril that ensues when passion replaces reason in a small town shaken by a tragic death Forced to retire early from his job as a corrections officer in Kingston Penitentiary Tony Breau has limped back to the village where he grew up to lick his wounds only to find that Dwayne Strickland a young con he’d had dealings with in prison is back there too–and once again in trouble Strickland has just been arrested following the suspicious death of a teenage girl the granddaughter of Caddy Stewart Tony’s first love Tony is soon caught in a fierce emotional struggle between the outcast Strickland and the still alluring Caddy And then another figure from Tony’s past the forceful Neil Archie MacDonald–just retired in murky circumstances from the Boston police force–stokes the community’s anger and suspicion and an irresistible demand for Punishment As Tony struggles to resist the vortex of vigilante action Punishment builds into a total page turner that blindsides you with twists and betrayals.

  • Hardcover
  • 432 pages
  • Punishment
  • Linden MacIntyre
  • English
  • 08 October 2014
  • 9780345813909

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.