Firebrands

Marc Ménard

Peter McCambridge

April 2022

Philippe is a man of routine. He has a job, a wife, two kids, and an uneventful life in the suburbs of Montreal. His days as a student chasing neo-Nazis across Europe feels like a lifetime ago. Until Robert, a ghost from the past, turns up on his doorstep. A dangerous band of white supremacists is on the rise and Robert needs his help.

But what is the real danger––and how far is Philippe prepared to go?


 

Marc Ménard was born in Montreal, where he still lives today. Firebrands is his second novel, and his first to be published in English.

Originally from Ireland, Peter McCambridge holds a BA in modern languages from Cambridge University, England, and has lived in Quebec City since 2003. He runs Québec Reads and QC Fiction. His translations have been World Literature Today Notable Translations, longlisted for Canada Reads, and finalists for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Translation.

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Format: Trade paper

Size: 8 x 5 in.

Pages: 186

What they say
One Last Job
Sharon Morrisey, Montreal Review of Books

In Marc Ménard’s Firebrands, Philippe Bordeleau’s settled, humdrum professional and family life in Montreal is about to be thrown into “disorder and chaos” by his old friend, Robert Moranowitz, known as Mora. This is clear to him when he sees Mora outside his front door on an October morning of 2002.  ...

The questions the novel seeks to raise, although perhaps naïvely introduced, come through loud and clear. How far are we willing to go to stop threats posed by the far right? What kind of violence are we ready to inflict in so doing? Is violence an answer to violence in the first place? (On the topic of violence, I must include a trigger warning here. The novel does contain one shockingly disturbing scene.) And to return to Madeleine’s narrative presence, what about our willingness to take our heads out of the sand in the first place and do something about it? 

In the end, these questions transpire so strongly from the story that I am left to wonder if they weren’t what actually motivated Ménard to write the novel in the first place.
Read more.
March 2022, Montreal Review of Books

 


High praise!

“The story is very well put together, the writing is lively and precise—Marc Ménard has verve—and the characters are believable.”
––Michel Bélair, Le Devoir

“Somewhere between a coming-of-age story, a political suspense, and a piece of psychological fiction, Brasiers [Firebrands], the second novel by Québec author Marc Ménard, scoops us up in its clutches, the same clutches that encircle the main character, Philippe, the anti-hero of this dark and captivating novel.”
––Iris Gagnon-Paradis, La Presse+

“Marc Ménard’s Brasiers [Firebrands] is a novel that offers something different among the current crop of Quebec novels. It’s a thriller, but totally unlike the always popular crime novels. It’s about politics, but the politics of the extremes, which we hear little about in Quebec. The novel’s interest lies in the blend of realism and naivety it gives off. Extremist attempts to destabilize can seem exaggerated, but they do exist, as Europe knows first hand. By working them into the life of an unremarkable Quebecer, the author opens our eyes to a world as wild as it is little known.”
––Josée Boileau, Journal de Montréal

“Marc Menard leads us off on a wild ride, featuring well-rounded characters, revenge, violence, hatred, the extreme right, and more. Elements that help us understand the dark rise of neo-Nazism in Europe in the late ’80s. A well-written, captivating story.”
––Martine, blog, Les Milles et une pages

“Skillfully put together. The author keeps us on tenterhooks from start to finish.”
––Louis Gosselin, Cochaux Show

“Marc Ménard puts together a suspenseful thriller, driven by some frenzied writing and words that fall with the click of metal.”
––Éric Chouan, Mission encre noire

"Nicely executed, well-constructed, with a gripping plot. Relentless."
––Marie-Andrée Lamontagne, Parking Nomade


 
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