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I Never Liked You by Chester Brown

After having read Chester Brown’s fabulous biography of Louis Riel, I thought I should read more of his work. My choices at the Toronto Public Library was limited to his autobiographical I Never Liked You. The book is about growing up in the suburbs, bullied, unsure of yourself and how to approach women.

I read this book on a beach on Toronto Island on a sunny Saturday, and I finished the book too quickly. Brown’s adolescence is dramatized and draws the reader in, as he gets bullied, deals with issues around love, whether familial love or romantic love. Brown faces the horrors of his mother’s mental health issues, and his desire to express his love for his mother.

I didn’t necessarily like the character Chester Brown, but I saw a lot of myself in him, which is probably why I didn’t like him. His story is not about his talents nor is it about his being anything special. It’s a story about an average boy growing up in suburban Montreal., but Brown’s narrative makes you want to know more. He’s good at what he does.

And now we wait until the release of his next book Paying For It, about his involvement in the sex trade industry, as a punter. Or maybe I purchase a copy of The Playboy.

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