Mount Pleasant by Don Gillmor

Mount Pleasant

In middle age, debt has become the most significant relationship in Harry Salter's life. He was born to wealthy parents in leafy and privileged Rosedale, at a time when the city was still defined by its WASP elite. But nothing in life has turned out the way Harry was led to expect. He's unsure of his place in society, his marriage is crumbling, his son is bordering on estranged, and on top of it all his father is dying.As he sits at his father's ...

Details Mount Pleasant

TitleMount Pleasant
Release DateMar 26th, 2013
PublisherRandom House Canada
GenreFiction, Cultural, Canada

Reviews Mount Pleasant

  • Sarah
    Very boring. I think the main problem with this book is that the stakes just weren't high enough to make for a compelling plot. Son of extremely wealthy parents chooses career path that doesn't pay as well (journalism/academia as opposed to investment banking), lives the way he was brought up rather than in his means, gets into debt, relies on an inheritance that isn't there, then easily gets out of debt by selling his expensive house and reverti...
  • Bkwormmegs
    I loved reading about my neighborhoods - Toronto is my hometown - and Gilmour can be a strong writer when not hammering home the "humming" metaphor around his debt. However I had trouble sympathizing, identifying or caring about pretty much every character in the book....Gilmore is sometimes prescient, but there are too many asides that seem pointless, and the plotting seemed uneven.
  • Cheryl
    A zippy read (therefore a good Booker contender according to Stella's jury from a couple of years ago). Funny too, with some good zinger lines. The story was pepped up with a world-weary cynicism. I hugely enjoyed the funny and withering character details and observations of relationships -- they reminded me of Margaret Atwood, and that combined with the subject matter of overwhelming family debt, made me wonder if Atwood's book Payback: Debt and...
  • Sue
    I won a copy of "Mount Pleasant" by Don Gillmor through the Goodreads Giveway Contest.I loved it. It was a well written novel.When I first received the book, it was the title that stood out for me.Being a resident of Toronto,the area of Mount Pleasant and Rosedale,an elite "wasp" area, conjured up some pleasant memories.The setting for the novel takes place in Toronto, and the author is a resident of Toronto.Harry Salter was born to wealthy paren...
  • Eugene Savoy
    This book is too long - nothing happens in the middle 150 pages, and the author's points become repetitive. It would have been better as a novella.It also has an unevenness of tone. The first chapter promises a certain sense of humour and zip, but by the third chapter the book becomes dark and angry. For every phrase or paragraph that was amusing and thought-provoking there were many more that were quite frankly vulgar and bitter in tone.And how ...
  • Jenny
    I really like books that are “local” and was pleasantly surprised to see that Mount Pleasant by Don Gillmor is set in Toronto. Harry is a middle-aged man whose life is falling apart. His marriage is hanging by a thread, and his large debt is a constant buzz in the back of his mind. His father’s death brings the promise of millions, but Harry’s actual inheritance is only $4200. He sets out on a mission to find out where all of his father...
  • Jenny
    I am really taken aback by all the favourable reviews of this book, on this site and elsewhere. I'd like to chalk it up to the fact that not many people have read and reviewed this new release so far. I was interested to pick it up after reading about its topical plot and its setting (Toronto), and reassured by the many laudatory comments about this author's non-fiction works (none of which I have read). What a disappointment. I didn't even mind ...
  • Jo-Anne Teal
    As a Vancouverite, hopefully I'll be forgiven for thinking that it would take place in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Mt. Pleasant rather than the Toronto neighbourhood of Mt. Pleasant. Ah well, that mistake allowed me to find a very enjoyable read.\First, it must be noted that Gillmor is an excellent writer. The tone moves seamlessly from bleak to funny, from sombre to light-hearted, from suspense-filled to slow-building. The book is well crafte...
  • Margarita
    As a Torontonian, what appealed most about this novel was the familiarity of the reference points – i.e. sports teams, restaurants, landmarks. It has an intriguing concept – The idea that future generations run up unmanageable debt and are then forced to rely on the legacies of prior generations to pay it off. What happens though when the presumed legacy isn’t there? Gillmor does a great job of capturing this feeling of desperation. What do...
  • Gillian Deacon
    How can a book about debt, death, divorce and society on the brink of a moral cliff be hilarious? In the hands of a brilliant writer like Don Gillmor, it is not only possible, it is such an enjoyable ride. This book is a dark comedy and yet so smart, richly-observed and wise that it gives you lots to think about after you've stopped laughing. As a Torontonian (and a WASP) I got such a kick out of the author's skewering of middle and upper-middle ...
  • Johanna
    If you are a homeowner in Toronto who worries how on earth you'll ever fund your retirement, you will absolutely love this book. All others may wonder what the fuss is about. Gillmor does a masterful job of fleshing out the hypocrisy that defines so many of us: we pledge solidarity with the poor and downtrodden, while inwardly seething that our middle-class entitlements are slipping away from us. The characters are so real that they inspire frust...
  • Mark Victor Young
    It had its moments. I laughed a few times, but then began the long, slow slide into bitterness. Not saying it's not justified, just not very uplifting. Which I know is not the author's job, my personal upliftment, but maybe I was all stocked up on bitterness here in Canada, mid-January and whatever. Timing, is what I'm saying. Could've been four stars if I'd been sipping Mai Tais by some pool. Or not.
  • Ruthie
    It was hard to care about anything that happened in this book since all of the characters were so unlikeable. The "mystery" was not mysterious and there was o sense of urgency, the plot plodded, and the ended wrapped up all neat and tidy - ugh.
  • Rarecat
    Mount Pleasant by Don Gilmour May 11, 2017An insightful look into the world of the not so successful offsprings of the once rich families in an affluent Toronto neighbourhood - Rosedale. Mount Pleasant is the leafy cemetery where they were buried, here a symbol of death and bygone wealth. Harry Salter returned to the cemetery time and again to reflect on his ancestors’ wealth and his lack thereof. An interesting satirical piece of particular re...
  • Kate McDougall Sackler
    The jacket of this book describes it as “a hilarious page-turner”, and it makes me wonder...did we read the same book? Perhaps I am not in the target audience for this book as it seems to be geared towards men age 50-75, or people who dabble in the stock market. For me, this book was depressing and boring with little to no character development and women viewed as sex objects. Give this a pass.
  • Katherine Pederson
    A good readable book.
  • Andrea P.
    This review was originally published on Cozy Up With A Good ReadI always love finding books that take place in Toronto, I find they are few and far between, and this one had a specific focus, that of the more well-off area of Rosedale and it's surroundings. While I found this book interesting, I had a few problems keeping my attention on what was happening. I'm a huge fan of books that deal with family and working through issues they have, but I ...
  • Charles
    I really liked this novel which criticizes the absorption of society with wealth, property, & position but with humour, though the overall tone is dispiriting. Harry Salter is a WASP from a privileged background living in upper crust Rosedale in Toronto, who after losing his job in public broadcasting, becomes an untenured low paid professor, while his wife, having taken early retirement as a librarian has no income, and they are deeply in debt &...
  • Kathryn
    I think I should have read this book at a different time of year. Somehow it didn't fit in with the heat of summer. Regardless, I found this book very interesting. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it - more than it intrigued me while I was reading it. It's the story of a man who is depending on his father's wealth to bail him out of a substantial debt that is a result of a life of indulgence and sense of entitlement. But the meaning of the word debt shif...
  • Mike Bull
    This book is about debt. It's especially for those of us in middle age who tend to worry about these things from time to time.The first person narrative by Harry Salter is funny throughout. Middle aged and married, teaching post-secondary education after a journalism career, Harry expects a large inheritance from his retired financial wizard father, but in the event ends up with only a few thousand.Along with his father's third wife who is now a ...
  • Todd
    I wavered between 3 and 4 stores on this book but ended up with the lower rating since I found the book could have been so much more. There are parts that are very funny, there are parts that seem extremely insightful and there are parts describing Toronto and it's history which made me think I didn't want to put the book down. However, I could put it down and by the end I just felt a little frustrated that the novel could have been so much more....
  • Anne
    Don Gillmor hilariously excoriates WASPy Toronto in this pretty funny satire about current Canadian middle/upper class society and its complex and unhappy relationship with debt and money. Harry Salter's financier father dies and Harry doesn't get his expected inheritance -the one he has been counting on to save him from penury and allow him to maintain the kind of life he's always taken for granted. Harry sets out on a quest to find out the trut...
  • Jennifer
    Mount Pleasant is a grand old cemetery, occupying prime real estate in the city of Toronto. It's a beautiful place and every time I walk through it, I am intrigued by the lives and stories that have ended there. I enjoyed this book a lot. my one quibble: the ending wasn't very strong for me - it all seemed too tidy and convenient, which was a shame after all the energy, angst and intrigue Gillmor built up in the earlier chapters. I appreciated re...
  • Shonna Froebel
    This novel centers around the middle-aged Harry Salter, a non-tenured university professor with a mountain of debt. Harry has been expecting to inherit from his wealthy father, but when his father dies most of the money is gone and Harry gets only $4200. Harry is desperate enough that he can't accept this, and he tries to figure out what happened to the money.Besides this more revelations await Harry and he begins to realize how disengaged his li...
  • Alyson
    As with economies, relationships and people are neither static nor what they might always have seemed to be. This is what is examined through the main character of Don Gillmor's engaging Mount Pleasant. Harry Salter's extreme anxiety over the mounting pressure of both middle age and, in his case, its accompanying debt is the main story line of this very Toronto novel. Shock and disappointment at not having his financial expectations met after the...
  • Ryerson University Library and Archives
    I'm always drawn to books that take place in Toronto - so naturally, the title caught my eye. I wasn't familiar with the author, but found the book very readable, and solidly entertaining. If you like authors who write from a distinctly male point of view (and I do), then Mount Pleasant will be a good selection for your next read. The novel tackles issues around money, and what happens when you have less of if than you'd like. The main characters...
  • Amardip
    There were a lot of aspects of this book that I enjoyed. I live in Toronto so enjoyed the familiarity of the setting. There are some funny scenes - the encounters with the homeless guy and the kitchen designer come to mind. I liked the social commentary with respect to people and their money and the commentary on the financial markets.There isn't much of a plot which would be fine if the characters were layered and interesting. However, most of t...
  • Kris
    A fiercely contemporary, sardonic tale of society and the tenuous lives we construct on the foundations of economy. Gillmor's writing is smart, artistic and thought-provoking as he takes a magnifying glass to the threads of love, family, society and happiness from the perspective of modern materialism. This book won't hold up over time, but as a book for today it is a thought-provoking, sobering commentary on the shallowness of our existence, and...
  • Jan
    Quite stressful in its way, possibly due to the fact it cuts so close to home in this world of rampant spending and self-deluded thinking. If you can get past the obsessive ruminations of the narrator and protagonist, Harry, you're in for a treat, and a warning-- Harry carries his debt load like an albatross wound tightly around his neck that he (and we) cannot escape. Mr. Gillmor has written a cautionary tale for our times, and most fun or all, ...