Review: The December Man

Title: The December Man
Author: Colleen Murphy
Date: 2007
Genre: Play

I am still trying to figure out why I reserved this from the library. I have no memory of requesting neither does my husband. I figured there must be a reason so I read the short book.

If you are unfamiliar with the events that happened on Dec. 6, 1989, a crazed gunman Marc Lepine massacred 14 female engineering students at Montreal’s École Polytechnique. I hate even mentioning his name! He shouldn’t get any more fame and that the women he killed should be more known.

The story is about a fictional student, a man who was in the room with mass murderer Marc Lépine and survived. Before he opened fire on them, Lepine freed the male students in the class.

She tells the story backwards, beginning where her main character, Jean, ends up 15 years later. Jean (Rylan Wilkie) is a shy boy from a working class family. His mother Kathleen (Nancy Beatty) cleans houses for wealthy families and his father Benoit (Brian Dooley) is a factory worker.

In the first scene Benoit and Kathleen are committing suicide. Each subsequent scene moves closer to that fateful day when Jean escapes the massacre and to the climax of the play. Jean and his parents are understandably elated he has been spared but the audience can’t share in their happiness because we already know this moment of joy will turn to unbearable grief.

Her play, The December Man, won the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award for drama. looks at the story of a fictional student, a man who was in the room with mass murderer Marc Lépine and survived.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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