Toxic mentor

Nathan Adler, 19, dreams of being a writer: “Writing for me was torture. Shortly after getting hold of a manuscript titled In the solitude of Terminal 3 in nebulous circumstances that led to the disappearance of Adam Benson, with whom he shares some common points, the anxious young man meets the fatal Margot Bujold.

Shortly after, the latter introduced him to the small band evolving around the writer Antoine Dulys who would become his mentor. From then on, nights of drinking and orgy ensue during which Nathan, who crunches drugs like candy, loses ground with reality. Who is this Adam Benson? Did he even exist? And who wrote this manuscript allowing Nathan to evolve in a parallel world where he reconnects with his late depressed mother? “What had happened? The night before was a black hole. A terrible anguish seized me by the throat and threw me into deep despair. “

From hallucinatory delusions to recurring nightmares, Éric Mathieu (Suicides in Eau-Claire, Le Goupil) draws the reader into the psyche of a fallible narrator haunted by traumatic episodes from his childhood and manipulated by beings as toxic as they are twisted. Faithful to himself, the novelist takes great pleasure in describing the fetid scents emanating from unsanitary places, the stench of bodily fluids of the day after waking, as well as faded complexions and excessively withered flesh. of excess and sleepless nights.

Camped in the 1980s, a decade of anxiety, in nocturnal Montreal and parallel Ottawa, In the solitude of Terminal 3 borrows without complex as much from Franz Kafka, William S. Burroughs and Hubert Aquin as from Maya Deren, David Cronenberg and David Lynch.

A rich program for anyone who likes dark dreamlike universes and murky atmospheres capable of arousing paranoia.

However, behind all the smoke screens, all the false leads and abrupt breaks in tones that he multiplies to the point of risking boring the reader, Éric Mathieu lucidly sketches the portrait of a youth in search of itself.

In the solitude of Terminal 3


Éric Mathieu, La Mèche, Montreal, 2021, 301 pages

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