Reviews

The Sleeping Car Porter, by Suzette Mayr

kayleypew's review

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challenging dark sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.0

addicted_two_words's review

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reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

sjklass's review against another edition

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informative sad medium-paced
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.5

Nameless, even in the title of this novel, R T Baxter is on-duty virtually 24 hours a day on a 1930’s cross Canada train journey. Nodding off standing up, so exhausted from unending menial work and lack of sleep Baxter takes to holding up his eyelids with his thumbs and eventually experiences hallucinations. Expected to be both ever-available to passengers every whim and yet simultaneously invisible to their transgressions, Baxter is constantly fearful of receiving demerits that could get him fired. It’s all so sad for a closeted gay man who just wants to earn enough for tuition to attend dentistry school. 

Except that this novel is sometimes so damn funny. Baxter’s observations of the quirky, asinine, annoying passengers whom he, in his mind, gives nicknames like Blancmange. Mango. Spider. Pulp and Paper. Punch and Judy. give this otherwise somber novel some levity. 

2022’s Giller Prize Winner gives voice to and highlights the working conditions of black train porters in Canada.

biblio_annie's review

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hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

The book is mainly driven by the main character's desire to save enough money to attend dentistry school. His focus on this goal and his interest in the field of dentistry make for some lovely imagery throughout the book. The narration is strongly characterised by his perception of people via their teeth.

kswan77's review

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challenging emotional informative mysterious sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes

3.75

ericadamore's review against another edition

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challenging reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

bibliomania_express's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional informative reflective tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

cyaos's review

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challenging sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.75

meganbelisle's review

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emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

akb1012's review

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reflective slow-paced

3.25