Cover Image: Days by Moonlight

Days by Moonlight

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is the first book I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it.  Even though it is part of a series it can be read as a stand alone.  On the surface it is a road trip in search of a lost poet and rare plants.  It was a quick enjoyable read through a magical landscape.  I hope to go back and read more by this author and in this series.  Enjoy this allegorical road trip
Was this review helpful?
Great characters, compelling plot, amazing setting. Will definitely recommend this book. Can't wait for the public to discover it!
Was this review helpful?
Let me be honest, the story is interesting and I like the writing style on this one but I think this book is just not for me. It's just as I read the book I am not drawn into it nor pick up the flow and rhythm. And I feel really bad for giving it only two stars because really this book deserves more. I also wonder why am I find it challenging to read this one while others enjoy it so much. I would pass this book to people for them to read and maybe give myself a second chance to read this again in the future.
Was this review helpful?
3.5/5 Stars

"Days By Moonlight" is book 4 in Andre Alexis' Quincunx series and the first one that I've read. 

This is a story about a professor and a botanist going on a tour of small towns in rural Ontario to investigate a recluse poet for the purpose of writing a biography. Along the tour, they encounter all kinds of people with stories about the poet but also about the town itself. Each town had its own unique folklorish story, which made me excited for each new town they entered.

The story was charming and lovely but also had its dark moments that revealed that there is more under the surface than first appears.

Alexis is deft with his use of satire in some key moments (i.e. farce and parody). I was impressed. 

I received a digital review copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review (however, I ended up listening to the finished copy via audiobook available through my local library on Overdrive).
Was this review helpful?
Great story...the protagonist's frame of mind was constructive and I enjoyed his developing character throughout the plot. The author's strong words were exceptionally alluring.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book of tall tales with an overarching road trip theme. The story unfolds in one Canadian town after another as the main characters attempt to track down a mysteriously vanished, well-known poet by interviewing people who are reported to have known him. At first, things are just a little quirky, but each town along the route contains residents and customs that are more bizarre than the last. 

It's an imaginative, well-written, fairly fun read, I'm wavering between 3 and 4 wasn't Kindle-ready so having to read it on my computer probably took some of the enjoyment out of it for me.
Was this review helpful?
There's a lot going on in this book. In a nutshell,  the story follows botanist Alfred Homer and Professor Morgan Bruno on a road trip through Southern Ontario. Bruno seeks relatives and friends of mysteriously vanished poet John Skennen, intending to interview them for a book he is writing. Homer is grateful for the distraction from the one-year anniversary of his parents' death and the fresher grief of his fiancé's decision to leave him. Besides, he has heard that Feversham, the last town on their itinerary, has a field of Oniaten grandiflora on its outskirts, and he wants to see it for himself. 

Along the way, they encounter increasingly absurd and surreal circumstances and characters. Through house burnings meant to celebrate pioneer spirit, uncomfortable Indigenous parades, a sex museum, and a town where it is illegal for black people to speak aloud, Alexis plumbs the depths of Canadian identity, racial injustice and prejudice. Through stories told to the main characters-- stories of witches, lycanthropy, ghosts, a demon pig, and miracles-- Alexis explores themes of grief, unrequited love, and religious faith. 

This book, like its main characters, roves. It has a relaxed, pastoral pace, the pace of rural conversation, but covers a great deal of ground and is constantly moving. It is quietly absurd, rich with thought-provoking satire. I enjoyed the botanical sketches throughout the novel. They serve as a sort of reminder of Homer's tenuous anchor to home amid surreal events.

This book serves perfectly well as a stand-alone novel, but is part of a larger whole, being book four in the author's Quincunx Cycle. I would recommend this book to those looking for a humorous yet cerebral read, touching on painfully important topics. I give this book 3.5 stars. 

Thank you to Coach House Books and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
"Having experienced what I did, it seemed to me that religion - its language, biblical advice, sacred ritual, and so on - was insignificant to the universe. I now felt that the universe is and that one is and that sermons, prayers, and vows were all an outdated way of pointing to the depths you could not reach."

An unsettling and intriguing piece of fiction; Alexis provides the essence of the novel through noting that ""Days by Moonlight" is not a work of realism. It’s not a work that uses the imagination to show the real, but one that uses the real to show the imagination”.
Was this review helpful?
I am a fan of Alexis having thoroughly enjoyed Pastoral and Asylum. I am reminded of the fine novelist Caryl Phillips who views life from the perspective of an emigrant and thus illuminates customs, beliefs and behaviors of the native born - in this case Canadians - with clarity and great wit.
Was this review helpful?
"Days by Moonlight" by André Alexis.

My first time reading that author.  

4 stars.
Well written, interesting, entertaining, not boring.  I really liked it!  It's easy to read, enjoyable, funny, weird, I really liked the narration, the style, the story, the dialogue.  A nice road trip.  
Also liked the drawings. 

Thank you NetGalley and Coach House Books for the ARC of this book.  This is my honest review.  All opinions are my own!
Was this review helpful?
I'm still not quite sure what to make of this book. I think that I'll need to process it for awhile yet.

Days by Moonlight is about Alfred Homer, who is nursing a broken heart. On the anniversary of his parents' death, he agrees to go on a road trip with his father's dear friend, Professor Bruno. The goal for Professor Bruno is to learn more about the poet, John Skennen, whereas Alfie is more concerned with finding plants of interest. The story begins slowly but then leads us on a fantastical road trip that takes them on a tour of various Ontario towns with some rather odd traditions. These traditions include house burnings, indigenous justice parades, and people of colour using only sign language to speak during the day. Finally, we reach a town where Alfred has a strange awakening and is changed forever. 

This novel snuck up on me. I’ve loved Andre Alexis’ other books and was unsure about this one when I started. By the end, it had me in its clutches and I felt terrible for doubting Alexis for even a moment. The author injected surprising and entertaining references to flatulence and a remark about Macedonian farting, in particular. 

Thanks to NetGalley, Coach House Books, and the author for a chance to read and review an advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
I was not able to download this book. The protected PDFs never work for me, so I'm skipping it. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Was this review helpful?
*thank you to Netgalley, André Alexis and Coach House Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

2.5 stars.

Ohh I do feel bad for giving this such a rating on the lower end of the scale. It's not that it's a badly written story or a story that I believe is truly uninteresting. It was simply just not for me. I didn't feel connected with the story and that made it a challenge to get into. I can see that it is enjoyed by quite alot of people which is also why I think it's just me. I would pass this along to others to read though and would like to thank the author again for allowing me the chance to read this.
Was this review helpful?
Days by Moonlight is an odd, clever critique of Canadian identity, presented as a road trip through southern Ontario. Sometimes confusing, otherwise laugh out loud funny, this strange little novel is yet another demonstration of Alexis' skill and diversity as a writer.
Was this review helpful?
Days by Moonlight, a fantastical journey through the underworld of southern Ontario, follows two companions on their journey to discover the fate of the poet John Skennen.  Professor Morgan Bruno is a fumbling academic driven by research on his favorite poet.  His assistant, Alfred Homer, has suffered great loss recently and needs the distraction of this trip.  Inadvertently the two enter an incredible, almost mystical world in Days by Moonlight, the fourth novel in Alexis’s quincunx 5 that in his words “is one project that is taking forever”.

Alfred Homer has lost his parents recently and now his girlfriend has left. He is convinced to travel with a family friend on a research field trip.  Alfred being a botanist is told there will be time to collect and catalogue plants along the way but he has little time for that.  The two friends visit family and friends of John Skeenen and learn all sorts of hidden facts about the poet and what happened to him.  In the meantime, they are touched by the broader issues of religion, poverty, racism, and sexuality in Canada.  How they handle what they witness reveals the true person within the two travellers.  One thing for certain is that they are both changed forever.

Alexis has an easy flowing way of telling a story.  The novel is simple and almost whimsical at times, but its intention is quite profound as it makes references to very serious ongoing issues in Canada (and globally).

The novel is part of five novels that will be interlocked (quincunx 5).  “Pastoral” was the first followed by “Fifteen Dogs”, “Hidden Keys” and now “Days by Moonlight”.  The fifth is yet to come.  Of course the only way to judge the work as a whole will be to read all five, which I fully intend to do as soon as they are available.

I highly recommend this book for a number of reasons.  Firstly it is an entertaining story that stands alone.  Secondly, in a unique manner, it brings to light a number of serious issues that Canadians should not and cannot deny.  And lastly, for those that like the literary form a quincunx is a collection of 5 novels that employ forgotten or abandoned literary forms to create contemporary stories.  Who would want to miss that? I give it a 5 on 5.  

I want to thank NetGalley and Coach House Books for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
Was this review helpful?
In Days by Moonlight, readers are treated to the story of an unusual road trip abound southern Ontario, as told from the perspective of the book’s easy-going main character, Alfred Homer. The narrator makes several references to the trip as a journey into the underworld, and as you get into the meat of the novel, it becomes clear that this underworld is one of Canadian identity. 

Alexis touches on religion, economics, racism, and even Canadian sexuality in a way that is mostly comical and satirical, but also endearing on occasion. It’s difficult to classify Days by Moonlight into a particular genre, but it is definitely a critique of Canadian identity that I won’t soon forget. I adore Alexis’ dreamlike writing style and I look forward to reading more of his books.

Thank you to NetGalley and Coach House Books for the ARC. I thought it was great!
Was this review helpful?
I was already filled with adoration for this book when I landed on a section that references Andre Alexis' Pastoral, and then I fell even harder for the book. Once again writing the author within his own story gives a nice sensation similar to brain freeze after eating too much ice cream too fast. There also seemed to be a relation to his work Beauty and Sadness here. 

This is the fourth in the quincunx that I have read but it is the fifth in the quincunx according to the author. If you find this statement confusing then it is likely that the work of Mr. Alexis is not for you. Of course I could be wrong, and I often am. 

Had you asked me any time before starting this book if I would ever read a passage written by Andre Alexis that deals solely with farting and flatulence, I would have laughed in your face. Well color me surprised to find such a passage in this book. I shall also report that said passage had me roaring with laughter. 

Everything about this story is so engaging and easy to read. There are many literary references that any avid reader will notice and enjoy. 

The problem with the quincunx for me is that I selfishly want more out of every book. More about the story itself, more about the lead and/or supporting characters. But each one is a work of art that stands on it's own. 

In short: I found this book fascinating, just as I have found every work by Andre Alexis. However, this book in particular seemed to have a more personal feel, lots of dashes of reality twining in with the sumptuous fiction. This is not a travelogue but the book takes the reader on a wild ride along with the main characters. After reading works by Andre Alexis I sometimes find it hard to go back to other works of fiction. It is as if the writing produces subtle changes in the reader that subsist after reading. Just a kink in your reality. 

Thanks to Coach House books and NetGalley for this chance to read an advance copy.
Was this review helpful?