Mama’s Boy Game Over—the third and final volume of David Goudreault’s wildly bestselling Mama’s Boy trilogy—is celebrating its official publication. Translated by JC Sutcliffe, Mama’s Boy Game Over is the thrilling conclusion to the award-winning, action-packed series, which also includes Mama’s Boy and Mama’s Boy Behind Bars (both also translated by JC Sutcliffe). The Huffington Post calls the first book a “tour de force,” and its follow-up, Mama’s Boy Behind Bars, “even better than Mama’s Boy: delicious observations, hard-hitting humour, a majestic style, and a sense of rhythm that will make many more experienced authors envious.” Mama’s Boy Game Over walks—or, rather, runs—in the spirited footsteps of its predecessors, kicking plenty of cans along the way.
As part of our celebration, we’re sharing an excerpt from the book, which you can read below. Stay tuned, as well, for an interview with David Goudreault as part of our In Conversation series. Enjoy!
Excerpt from Mama’s Boy Game Over
Being homeless in June is easier than being itinerant in December. Say what you like, but I reckon the vagabonds in Kuujjuaq are more deserving than the ones in Cancún. It’s not a career choice that appeals much to me personally, but for the purposes of my escape, I needed the right street sense, like that guy Kenya West. It was already inspiring a chorus: Cunning is dead in the street, fuck yeah, in the street you have to be crafty dead, braaaah, you will be dead, fuck yeah! Fuck yeah, that’s awesome urban poetry.
While I waited for the chance to turn my detailed observations into couplets, I was doing a bit of philosophizing. I thought about how you push your limits, you get pushed back, you get trampled on and misunderstood. You step even further back to make yourself believe it’s not that bad, and then, the real cherry on the shitcake, you get trampled on even more. As I was reflecting, I wandered somewhere near Ontario and 49 Papineau. This was the epicentre of crooks, masseuses, sellers, buyers, renters, suckers, and a whole bunch of other screwed-up, or maybe totally fucked, people.
I was eager to spend my first night outside actually outside. Shutting myself up in a shelter or a squat was out of the question. I’d been dreaming of walking on the sidewalk for so long that I wasn’t going to deny myself the pleasure. The streets were thronging with insignificant people, I wove in and out of them and did some reconnaissance: scouted out some depanneurs to rob, some spots for pissing. I was widening the perimeter, my calves were exhausted and my heels cracked, when I saw exactly what I needed to see.
When you’re not going anywhere, the important thing is to know when to stop. As I was following a nice round ass under the stretched nylon of deliciously tight leggings, the oasis appeared to me. An enormous library rose up in front of me, the national library of Quebec. It was written there in big bronze letters that had been paid for by taxpayers who would never set foot inside it: Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec. I was so choked up by the sight that I immediately abandoned the delights of gazing at muscular butts to go and press my nose up against the glass door of this literary haven. It was closed, but it would open in a few hours. And it would be here all week long. I’d found my hideout nook: curled up with a library book. Books, carrels to be alone in, books, toilets for taking drugs, female students to ogle, books, computers to track down my mother, archives, comic books, books, books, and more books, everything I needed. It was a sign! Life seemed so beautiful I didn’t even recognize it.
Order your copy of Mama’s Boy Gamer Over here.
David Goudreault is a Québécois novelist, poet, columnist, and social worker. He is the author of the bestselling La Bête trilogy, which includes La Bête à sa mère (Mama’s Boy, Book*hug, 2018), La Bête et sa cage (Mama’s Boy Behind Bars, Book*hug, 2019), and Abattre la bête (Mama’s Boy: Game Over, Book*hug, 2020). He has also published three poetry collections. His latest novel is Ta mort à moi. He was the first person from Québec to win the Poetry World Cup in Paris (2011), and he has also received many other awards, including the Médaille de l’Assemblée Nationale (2012), the Prix des Nouvelles Voix de la Littérature (2016), the Prix de la ville de Sherbrooke (2016), the Grand Prix Littéraire Archambault (2016), and the Prix Lèvres Urbaines (2017). His work has been published internationally in France and Mexico. Goudreault lives in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
JC Sutcliffe is a writer, translator, and editor who has lived in England, France, and Canada. She has reviewed books for the Times Literary Supplement, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among others. Her recent translations include Mama’s Boy and Mama’s Boy Behind Bars by David Goudreault, Document 1 by François Blais, and Worst Case, We Get Married by Sophie Bienvenu.