The Only Café

The Only Café

Linden MacIntyre / Jun 06, 2020

The Only Caf Scotiabank Giller prize winner Linden MacIntyre delivers a page turning thought provoking novel about an enigmatic man haunted by a troubled past in his native Lebanon and the Canadian born son who t

  • Title: The Only Café
  • Author: Linden MacIntyre
  • ISBN: 9780345812063
  • Page: 252
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Scotiabank Giller prize winner Linden MacIntyre delivers a page turning, thought provoking novel about an enigmatic man haunted by a troubled past in his native Lebanon and the Canadian born son who tries to solve the mystery of his father s life.Pierre Cormier had secrets Though he married twice, became a high flying lawyer and a father, he didn t let anyone really knowScotiabank Giller prize winner Linden MacIntyre delivers a page turning, thought provoking novel about an enigmatic man haunted by a troubled past in his native Lebanon and the Canadian born son who tries to solve the mystery of his father s life.Pierre Cormier had secrets Though he married twice, became a high flying lawyer and a father, he didn t let anyone really know him And he was especially silent about what had happened to him in Lebanon, the country he fled during civil war to come to Canada as a refugee When, in the midst of a corporate scandal, he went missing after his boat exploded, his teenaged son Cyril didn t know how to mourn him But five years later, a single bone and a distinctive gold chain are recovered, and Pierre is at last declared dead Which changes everything.At the reading of the will, it turns out that instead of a funeral, Pierre wanted a roast at a bar no one knew he frequented The Only Caf in Toronto s east end He d even left a guest list that included one mysterious name Ari Cyril, now working as an intern for a major national newsroom and assisting on reporting a story on homegrown terrorism, tracks down Ari at the bar, and finds out that he is an Israeli who knew his father in Lebanon in the 80s Who is Ari What can he reveal about what happened to Pierre in Lebanon Is Pierre really dead Can Ari even be trusted Soon Cyril s personal investigation is entangled in the larger news story, all of it twining into a fabric of lies and deception that stretches from contemporary Toronto back to the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon in September 1982.The Only Caf is both a moving mystery and an illuminating exploration of how the traumatic past, if left unexamined, shadows every moment of the present.

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      Posted by:Linden MacIntyre
      Published :2019-07-09T20:46:30+00:00

    About "Linden MacIntyre"

      • 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.


    1. Okay, so this wasn't my favourite MacIntyre. It happens right? With his most recent before The Only Cafe - Punishment - I raced through it, glued to the pages, left begging for more. The Only Cafe? Meh, I felt sometimes like I was on a hamster wheel, going round and round the wheel with the same thing seeming to happen over and over again. Whereas normally I'm having a hard time peeling my eyes away from MacIntyre's stories, this one I struggled to pick it up. I just wasn't compelled to reach fo [...]

    2. The Only Café was quiet. He stood at the bar, ordered a beer, watched the door. He wasn't sure what brought him back. Perhaps the wall of memory, 1982, perhaps the suspicion that the fat stranger, Ari, might know something from behind that – so far – impenetrable wall. There was no sign of him.A grey-haired man came into the store the other day, looking for a book on the Cold War-era Soviet Union; a particular book written by a man who had been his colleague back in the day at CSIS (the Can [...]

    3. Very compelling, page-turning read, especially given the current political climate in the Middle East. Hard to put down. Highly recommended.

    4. Received advance copy! Excellent! A son tries to put to put together the puzzle surrounding his father's disappearance and later death. he puts the pieces together.ny disturbing events happena combination of fiction and historical events of the Middle EastHighly recommended!

    5. A good read for those unaware of the events in Palestine / Israel in the 1980s and the effects on those who emigrated as a result. Part spy novel and part coming of age, I found it an easy read but not engrossing. It felt very much “Canadian” in perspective. Not highly recommended but a simple read.

    6. This is a thick read. You can't put it down for long because it jumps between timelines and POVs. Given the political climate and world events, this is so poignant now.

    7. Thanks to NetGalley for an opportunity to preview this book. A family mystery from Toronto to Cape Breton to Lebanon. A great read. Recommended.

    8. "Whether or not 'tis in the mind nobler to disclose. But disclosure is rarely noble. Disclosure is transactional. Disclosure is a ruse to create trust. The best interrogators were the ones who were capable of manufactured empathy". These lines occur half way down a page in a paragraph that is part of a narrative one of our main characters, Pierre, is thinking in. This paragraph made me wonder whether Linden MacIntyre was in fact Lebanese and had lived or lives in Lebanon for it is these lines in [...]

    9. 3.5 stars. I enjoyed Punishment and The Bishop's Man very much, and was enthused to learn that Linden MacIntyre had a new novel just published. The major focus of the book was the Lebanese Civil war and the massacres which ensued. The story based on historic facts may be confusing to many readers, as it was to me. This may have been deliberate. The events themselves were confusing with numerous factions involved, and with many overt and covert actions and interference by the PLO and Israel among [...]

    10. Pierre Cormier, a Lebanese native who immigrated to in Nova Scotia in 1982 disappeared, presumed dead  5 years ago when his boat exploded. He was finally declared dead and his son, Cyril, starts to unravel the secrets that his father kept about his past.  His father wanted his life celebrated with a roast at an out of the way pub called The Only Cafe. The only non-familiar name on the provided guest list is Ari, a regular at the pub. As Cyril begins to delve into the past of the man he never k [...]

    11. True rating - 4.5 stars. Thank you ! I was so happy that I won an ARC of this book because I have always meant to try one of Linden MacIntyre's novels but have never gotten around to it. I'm now definitely a fan! MacIntyre's writing style drew me right in and made me feel like I was actually there in the middle of the story, helping Cyril to figure out the mysteries of his father's past in war torn Lebanon. I knew absolutely nothing about the history of Lebanon before starting this book, and as [...]

    12. Please read all of my reviews at ultraviolentlit!Cyril Cormier grew up in Toronto with a Lebanese refugee father and a mother from Cape Breton. They divorced when Cyril was young, and he didn’t see much of his father Pierre, who was a successful corporate lawyer with a new, younger wife and infant son. During an international scandal at the mining company where he worked, Pierre went missing under suspicious circumstances – there was an explosion on the boat he was living on, and his body wa [...]

    13. I enjoy Linden MacIntryre’s books and respect his journalistic career. This book was heavy, engrossing, complicated and interesting. Closer to 4.5. Secrets in case you didn’t know can bring a person down.

    14. GNab I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Linden MacIntyre, and Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for sharing your hard work with me.This is a very intense read, based on truths buried in rhetoric in a Middle East westerners cannot know nor understand. Linden MacIntyre comes very close to making it real for us. This is a book I would read again after a period of digestion, and would share with my loved ones. Again, thank you.

    15. Linden MacIntyre doesn't write great literature; sometimes he tells a good story. He's a journalist at heart, and it shows. Which means, in terms of literariness of the work, short sentences, descriptive, sometimes missing a verb, cinematic, dramatic, breathless. His books, this one especially, are topical, and read as if they were written in haste, words flying off the author's typing fingers, rather than carefully calibrated and weighed. Which means, all the characters talk the same way, there [...]

    16. Didn't enjoy this much.It was overladen with so much historical and Middle Eastern political detail I could never keep track of who was who, or who was doing what to who. Or what it meant.And then there was an unresolved ending, and I'm not a fan of those.So basically I found it a slog to an ending that didn't tell you what happened or what was going to happen to the main character.

    17. Pierre Cormier had been a Phalangist militiaman during the Lebanese Civil War before arriving in Canada as a refugee. Twenty-five years later at The Only Café in Toronto, Pierre met Ari, a mysterious man who had worked in intelligence for the Israeli Defense Forces and was, Pierre believed, in Lebanon during the civil war and involved in the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre. Then, after a major scandal involving the mining corporation for which he worked as a lawyer, Pierre disappeared, presumab [...]

    18. “The Only Café” which I won through Giveaways is a provocative mystery that begins with the intriguing reading of Pierre Cormier’s will in 2012 five years after his sailboat exploded. Instead of a funeral Pierre wants a “roast” at a local bar in Toronto’s east end, the guests on a list given to his son include an enigmatic stranger called Ari. Estranged from his father, a Lebanese refuge who changed his name to fit into Canadian society Cyril Cormier’s curiosity is piqued. Workin [...]

    19. I have been itching to read this book every since it was released. The premise sounded intriguing, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on a book that explored the impact of war in the Middle East. I loved that this book was based on true historical events and found myself wanting to learn more / researching many of the events described. I struggled however, to really get into this book. The pace, tone and style had me frustrated. So much of the dialogue was filler - - it didn't really serve a pu [...]

    20. In Linden MacIntyre’s intriguing, sometimes confusing, and often suspenseful novel The Only Café, it is 2012 and 24-year-old Cyril Cormier’s father Pierre has finally been declared deceased five years after his disappearance. Pierre, of Lebanese extraction, whose name when he emigrated to Canada was Haddad, presumably died when his small pleasure boat exploded off the coast of Cape Breton, the result of a faulty propane tank, though the body was never found. Cyril, an aspiring journalist li [...]

    21. The Only Café Linden MacIntyre says that his latest novel The Only Café is a work of faction, that is, fiction based on real events or facts.The title itself connotes a journey of mystery into a Middle-Eastern world, namely Lebanon in 1982 and its civil war that never seemed to end.This is a tough assignment but MacIntyre, 74, the award-winning author and broadcast journalist pulls it off with his accustomed savoir-faire of battle zones and his CBC Fifth Estate investigative experience.Fiction [...]

    22. So, Linden MacIntyre is hit and miss for me. Sometimes I love his work, sometimes it leaves me cold. This was somewhere in between. I was really excited when I read the general plot: Cyril Cormier, a young journalist at a public broadcaster, gets caught up in a story that reaches from Lebanon and Israel to the East Coast of Canada. As he investigates, it becomes clear that the story has both personal and political ramifications.At the same time, Cyril must deal with the possible end of a long te [...]

    23. The Only Café is a plot-driven novel that scrutinizes the enigmatic character, Pierre Cormier, and his silent and secretive past—a past, which incurs his involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacre of September 1982 during the Lebanon civil war.With his company amidst a political controversy and the news of his health deteriorating, he leaves behind his ex-wife, his pregnant wife, and his grown son, Cyril, to find solace in the solitude of a boat drifting off the shores of Cape Breton, orig [...]

    24. An excellent novel about a true horrible event-the massacre of 2000 Palestinian civilians including women& children-in the Lebanese refugee camps of Sabra & Shatila-by the Christian Phalange-perhaps in retaliation for earlier massacres by Palestinians of Christian civilians & the murder of the Christian president Bachir Gemayel. All of this occurred during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, & evidently with their permission, if not with their active role, under the leadersh [...]

    25. I'm a big fan of Linden MacIntyre and was very much looking forward to reading his newest book, The Only Cafe. Set in Toronto, it follows the life of a Lebanese refugee, Pierre Cormier (nee Haddad) who came to Canada in the early 80's and was able to create a new life for himself becoming a lawyer for a large corporation involved in mining projects around the world. Throughout the novel, Pierre has disturbing flashbacks of his time involved in the Lebanese militia in the 70's and 80's, secrets t [...]

    26. I received a copy of The Only Cafe by Linden MacIntyre compliments of the Firstreads giveaway and appreciated the opportunity.This story shares the mysteries of Pierre Cormier, whose disappearance and assumed death remains a mystery full of many unanswered questions. This haunts his son Cyril who was both estranged and unaware of his father's past. Cormier was a refugee to Canada, having fled Lebanon in the 80's. Cyril's internship at a news agency has him connected to leads about home grown te [...]

    27. Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for the advance copy!Cyril Cormier is an intern just getting started in journalism. He gets pulled into working on a story about the civil war in Lebanon and in the process learns more about his estranged father, missing and presumed dead, than he ever learned from the man himself.This wasn't my favourite novel. It's a long read, the point of view jumps around between characters and timelines and I found the pacing to be off.It took a long time for me to [...]

    28. Pierre Cormier is a Canadian businessman, originally from Lebanon. The Only Cafe is the story of his life. The book opens with the confirmation of his death. Five years earlier, the boat he was on exploded, but there was never a body. Pierre leaves an unusual will, requesting that a "roast" be held in his honour. The event should take place in "The Only Cafe" a rundown bar and coffee house somewhere in the east end of Toronto. The host is named as some guy called Ari, supposedly an old friend of [...]

    29. Hats off to Linden MacIntyre for a complex and compelling novel set in Toronto but with history in the Middle East. Drawing on his career with the CBC as a journalist, MacIntyre reflects on the complicated and explosive region where the right and just side depends on politics, geography, religion and tribal affiliations.Cyril Cormier is a young intern in a TV newsroom whose estranged father's remains have just been positively identified. Pierre Cormier (ne Haddad) was a mysterious man who came t [...]

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