Nikolski is the story of three people connected tenuously through a used bookstore in Montreal’s Little Italy, specifically through a curious history of pirates that passes through that bookstore. That little book is a gem; we are first introduced to it by Noah, a teenager born and raised on the road in Western Canada.
The day came when the maps were no longer enough to slake Noah’s curiosity, and he turned to the only tome in the family library: a battered book forgotten by Jonas when he had left in haste.
The book had followed an unimaginable trajectory. After several decades on the shelves of the library of the University of Liverpool, it had been stolen by a student, been passed from hand to hand, escaped two fires and then, left to its own devices, returned to the wild. It had crossed thousands of kilometres in various bags, travelled amid the cargo in damp crates, been thrown overboard but continued on its way in the acidic belly of a whale, before being spat out and retrieved by an illiterate deep-sea diver. Jonas Doucet finally won it in a poker game in a Tel Aviv bar one intemperate night. … It was called the Book with No Face, because its covers had been torn away since the dawn of time. It was a kind of anthology of sailors’ yarns, whose first page reproduced a map of the Caribbean that never ceased to amaze Noah. How could such a mass of water coexist with such a small amount of land? It resembled a negative of the map of Saskatchewan, where there was a lake for every island, and oceans of grain intead of the sea.
The book will disappear and reappear in new hands until our unnamed narrator examines it and realizes
Continue reading Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner