Cham Paperback – 10 Jul 2008
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Jonathan Trigell's writing soars when describing the sublime mountain scenery and the rushing, redemptive exhilaration of skiing... But he's equally at ease conveying the murky moral ambiguity of Itchy's life...Exposing the darkness at the heart of a white world, Trigell's second novel is tense with foreboding: a clever, contemporary cliff hanger. (Metro)
Does for extreme winter sports what Alex Garland's The Beach did for backpacking. (Financial Times)
A book worth experiencing (NewBooksMag 2008-07-01)
Trigell's writing has the ability to reach down into the depths of people's souls and discover their murkiest secrets. At times, Cham is challenging, explicit and uncomfortable. (Marion Johnson Aesthetica magazine 2008-07-01)
Conveys the intoxicating nature of powder skiing, the awesome beauty of the mountains (Financial Times)
About the Author
Jonathan Trigell was born in Welwyn in 1974. In 2002 he completed an MA in creative writing at Manchester University. He has been a TV extra, an outdoor pursuits instructor and a ski rep. His first novel, Boy A, won the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for best work in the Commonwealth by an author under 35, and the Waverton Good Read Award, also for best first novel of 2004. Boy A is now a major feature film starring Andrew Garfield and Peter Mullan.
Top Customer Reviews
At first hand Cham is a novel about Itchy, who works seasonally at French ski resort Chamonix, the location where Jonathan Trigell himself happens to live. In the holiday town, which has a certain cache of cool, tourists come and go, whilst those who work the season stay.
But in this town, a place of thrills and enjoyment, a rapist stalks the international revellers, who is he, and who should be scared?
It would be a mistake to think that this novel is either about Chamonix, or skiing, though both appear in part as background, so if you go to Chamonix and love it or if you're going to Chamonix and are looking for a touristy book, this is not that book. With that, I'm not saying that you shouldn't read Cham, you should, you should just adjust your expectations of it.
This novel is about Itchy and the psychology of Itchy, who himself is running scared from his past. A fan of Byron and Shelley who popularised Chamonix in their era, Itchy is an interesting study. He comes across as a disgusting person, an advantage taking egotist and this opinion of him increases in the reader the more you learn. The lifestyle he lives at Chamonix is very much like that of 'a lad in university', all drunkenness, and pleasure and shagging about.
If this was the sum of the novels parts it might be a fair assessment to call it shallow, but it's not.Read more ›
It is about the life of the seasonnaire, and those who have 'done a season' will love it! If you have never doe a season, then I'm not sure you would really understand the book at all.
The book is a little padded, and I totally skipped some chapters, but the story itself was a thrill to read. Thanks Mr Trigell. It was nice to be understood as a seasonnaire!
The author has spent a decade in the Alps working right across the ski industry and his experience shines through. He writes with an authority and relish that brings life on the slopes to the reader. Descriptive passages of snow and scenery are superbly rendered, “powder’ is afterall what it’s about – “It comes so infrequently, lasts unsullied by the sun, unblasted by wind, untracked by people for such a brief instant, that it is purity and transience and pleasure distilled”.
The author is clear that the Chamonix he depicts is very real in many aspects, but for the purpose of the noir undertone, he has used a little writer’s license. He depicts Cham Sud as the ghetto where the workers live, who service the engine that is Chamonix in the Winter. It is a run down area and beneath it is a large, decrepit car park, where a series of rapes take place.
Itchy is the main character who is motivated to track down the rapist, and discovers a lair – a kind of underground cave in the car park, from where he can monitor comings and goings, hoping to catch the rapist red-handed. This might seem odd (which indeed it is) but it is a device that allows the author to digress – the author is at pains to introduce the reader to the works of an exclusive group, living in or around the Villa Diodati on the shores of Lake Geneva in 1816. Byron, together with John Polidori, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley, spent much time in each other’s company and it was here that the story of Frankenstein found its beginnings. Frankenstein, too, lived in a cave, up in the mountains around Chamonix.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most ski novels are written by people that haven't spent much more than a few holidays in the alps,Trigell`s book is as realistic as any you will find, as a former ski bum I... Read morePublished 14 months ago by bookwormz
The main character (who goes by the fabulous name of Itchy!) guides us through some turbulent snow-covered mountain terrain, crevasses and smooth stretches, as in life.Published on 6 Feb. 2014 by babzy
An enjoyable read which has clearly come from someone who has been touched by the mountains. Good story line with some interesting plots twist and an unexpected ending. Read morePublished on 28 Sept. 2013 by Josephine Barrett
I will come back to this, it didn't float my boat or skis. I found it hard to concentrate on the book and this may be the one time I wish I was reading a paper back version.Published on 17 Mar. 2013 by FortyNine and Seven Eighths
Jonathan Trigell certainly knows how to combine aspects of everyday life in the French Alps for the '25 year old ski-bum' and then he puts it into his outstanding writing style,... Read morePublished on 1 May 2012 by Tiens
Personally I thought this was rubbish and I gave up less than half way through it, turgid I think describes itPublished on 21 April 2012 by Amazon Customer
Well this was not my kind of thing at all. I found it extremely long winded. And the added classical passages..... what was all that about. I found it very slow going. Read morePublished on 25 Mar. 2012 by dale marshall
Complete and utter drivel. Appears to have been written in the knowledge that the title alone would sell the book. Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2012 by NM