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For discussion of themes and topics.

The book can be found here: https://www.gayauthors.org/story/dodger/thecockneycanuck

After 47 chapters and lots of drama I think it's time this story has a discussion topic where readers can interact with the author and each other. There are certainly plenty of situations, characters and emotions to bring up, and of course most of all Robbie the Cockney Canuck.

Dodger has kindly given me permission to start this thread and has promised to be part of the discussion, so now is your chance to ask questions and make comments. I'm sure we'll have fun.

Edited by Timothy M.
Fixing tags for Tim
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Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to voice their opinions here. The story seems to have a core group of followers and a few fellow Canadians. I have always been a little wary about using to

Thank you so much for your interest in the story. I don't mind sharing this information and answering any questions. I have always stated that I'm not Robbie and it's not supposed to be my story. Howe

Well, since none of the writers or editors wants to answer this one, I guess it’s left to a non-writer/non-editor (again).  ;–)   I think that it’s probably different with each writer/editor

Oh wow I can't believe there wasn't a thread for The ockney Canuck yet!!

 

This is such a great story, people if you haven't read it yet do it!

 

Dodger really has a way that I feel like I know Robbie now :)

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Oh wow I can't believe there wasn't a thread for The ockney Canuck yet!!

 

This is such a great story, people if you haven't read it yet do it!

 

Dodger really has a way that I feel like I know Robbie now :)

Thank you so much Clochette for your kind words

 

Je suis heureux que vous appréciez l'histoire.

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Hello GA community, at the recommendation of Dodger I would like to start a discussion with whoever is interested about some topics that are raised in Dodger's story. After having read multiple very good and not-so-good LGBT fiction and non-fiction, we can see that there are recurring themes and topics of course. One of those that I think was very well tackled by Dodger was the search of identity and the coming of age aspect of our beloved main character. I found Dodger's take on the confused bisexuality of Robbie to be very interesting. Also, although it seemed confusing at first glance, I liked the decisions that Robbie took throughout the story. In my opinion, it really portrayed what a confused and, lets say it, sad and lost teenager could have made. Anyway, I hope I was not too boring with that post and that it will spark a discussion on this piece of writing which I enjoy very much. Take care everybody!  :*)

 

Oh and on a side note it is always nice to see my country depicted in LGBT writing.

Edited by serko
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On 9/27/2016 at 4:49 AM, serko said:

In my opinion, it really portrayed what a confused and, lets say it, sad and lost teenager could have made.

Oh and on a side note it is always nice to see my country depicted in LGBT writing.

Yeah, I can understand the country thing - but are you a Brit or a Canadian?

I agree about Robbie. He's confused as well as emotionally fragile. While I get very frustrated with him - which I often express in long :angry: rants, I enjoy the story, because it's believable that Robbie acts the way he does. I also like that he actually realizes when he's made bad choices and he wants to do better. Like his most recent realization about treating Rory badly and not being a good friend.

In spite of my ranting I sort of like Robbie, or at least I care about him and feel sorry for him and want him to find happiness. I wouldn't feel this way if Dodger hadn't done such a good job writing the story. He keeps Robbie balancing on the edge; whenever I think Robbie will do something so stupid there's no way back, Dodger somehow redeems him, has Robbie speak or act in a way (ususally towards Nathan) which has me forgiving him and hoping he'll finally get his act together. 

Another reason I want to give Robbie the benefit of the doubt is the fact his behavior isn't always his fault. He's surrounded by people who treats him quite badly or at least don't make an effort to understand him, including his new family. I'm not surprised Robbie doesn't trust them at all, although I wish he would make Daniel the exception. I really dislike Nicola - but I'm having such fun ranting about her, I'm quite glad she's a bitch. :lol:

Edited by Timothy M.
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I'm canadian sorry for not clearing that up. I agree with you on the "realness" of Robbie's portayal. I'd even go as far as depict Nathan as being correctly portrayed in the sense of Robbie's perspective. What I mean is that even though he seems to be an angelic boy who is perfect in all and everything, we have to remember that this story is mostly told through Robbie's eyes and that it really is how a closeted teenage boy might perceive his "first" crush to be like.

 

Also this perception extends to the rest of the family which we still have,as Robbie does, much left to learn about. I would love to go on on these ideas but I am writing this on my phone after a long day so I will be correcting typos later on and expending on my thoughts too.

 

I'd also like to know your opinion on Robbie's perception of other characters such as Fran and her family as well as the role that Tom still has or hasn't to play in the unfolding of Robbie's life. I think that we haven't seen much of Tom lately for a reason yet I can't seem to wrap my head around a valid reason apart from the ''we grew apart'' or the distance factor.

Edited by Serko
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I think I will be popping in here a bit :)

 

The initial draw to the story was the title itself. Also being Canadian, I saw Canuck and also remember Cockney from some Mike Aram stories, and was intrigued from Chapter 1. The greatest thing about the story isn't the title, but the great writing the the feel of the characters actually being 15. Kudos to Dodger for making this story readable and most important, believable.

 

Another lure is the setting. Cobourg is the town that my Dad grew up in and although I haven't visited there in 25 years, it is neat to read a story that is set in a town I've been too.

 

Personally I'm liking the dynamics of Robbie. At 15 he is showing a lot of maturity in identifying his sexuality but to get there he went and checked out how things are with the other side of the fence too. Is it right what he did/use Fran for, no, is it normal? I would say all first sexual experiences involve a degree of using the other person sadly. How many people can honestly say they are still together with the first person they ever had an intimate relationship with. The other thing is that Robbie shows his vulnerable side too, when he near broke done in tears when he heard Nathan's mother was named Elizabeth, it still shows that he has a lot of emotion going on to deal with.

 

As far as the rest of the family, Robbie grew up as an only child. Nicola has me laughing at how she can get Robbie wound up. She is doing exactly what older sisters are meant to do, irritate the shit out of you :P Daniel appears to be like the brother you never had, and all of a sudden have him. His support and acceptance of Robbie has made him feel a real part of the family, school, well everything! Amy is the doting little sister that doesn't know or care about all the other 'grown up' topics. Her love for Nathan is proof of that.

 

Sue, she is coming along. I'm sure she realizes she has molded her own kids as they grew up, or they influenced her on how they like to be treated, touched, supported etc. Robbie is a stranger and doesn't have the years of upbringing from her so she needs to learn her limits and try to understand what make Robbie tick. Don't get me wrong, his little getting drunk with Fran and spending the night was a punishable offense. Any who don't think Robbie deserved what he got or felt they should have gone easier on him since losing his mom, don't have the grasp of what the word parent means.

 

Don, really, he is the mystery man of this story right now. I wonder if Dodger has directed us away from him as that is the best way to describe his relationship with Don. If we, as Dodger, didn't know Don that well, but see him as the head of the house and the decision maker he would default to thinking Don wouldn't be accepting of Robbie being gay. We really won't know how he will be until the big reveal but I'm guess we are being led down the path of what Dodger/Robbie felt before that point of time.

 

Since I mixed up the character of Dodger and Robbie there, that makes me wonder, how much of this story is fiction and how much is reality :P . I don't need or expect Dodger to answer this as I'm sure it is deeply personal. Just the feeling of reality makes it seem like it might be weighed more on the actual personal experience of the scenes playing out before us.

 

Anywho, you have a dedicated reader here and really enjoying the story.

 

Thanks for sharing !!!

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I was not expecting you to pitch in Dodger but I sure am glad you did. Regarding the slang aspect of your story I personally think it is well balanced. Having too much Cockney slang, although it would probably add to realism, would most probably hinder the story's flow and pace. Regarding the Canadian slang, as a French Canadian I still have a lot to learn about Anglo slang (I'm glad I get to learn some as I am reading such a good story hehe). Once again having slang in dialogue helps give this a real feel to characters and stories.

 

Finally it is nice to know that this is mostly a work of fiction since I had hoped poor Dodger didn't have to go through everything Robbie has and had to in his life.

 

I wanted to know everybody's opinion on the possible inclusion of Francophone culture aspects in his story. I am not suggesting it but merely hypothesising that it may happen because of the closeness (and sometimes distance) that is perceived and portrayed between those two "solitudes" as we like to call it here.

 

Once again thank you for responding and for your awesome story Dodger. As we say over here, Merci ben gros :).

Edited by Serko
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I wanted to know everybody's opinion on the possible inclusion of Francophone culture aspects in his story. I am not suggesting it but merely hypothesising that it may happen because of the closeness (and sometimes distance) that is perceived and portrayed between those two "solitudes" as we like to call it here.

 

Once again thank you for responding abd for your awesome story Dodger. As we say over here, Merci ben gros :).

Lol Thinking about french canadian make me laugh - as it's always the case when we -French - hear it 0:)

I guess French canadian and French are kinda like Cockney and Canuck in the story: we need subtitles! :gikkle:

 

Putting French canadian in the story could be a possibility but wouldn't so much different languages drive our poor Robbie crazy when he already has enough to deal with? And it'd probably mean having to introduce a new character as Rory is English, the family is Canadian and the rest so far seems Canadian too 

Maybe *Nathan could happen be a big fan of Celine Dion... :lol:

Edited by clochette
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Lol Thinking about french canadian make me laugh - as it's always the case when we -French - hear it 0:)

I guess French canadian and French are kinda like Cockney and Canuck in the story: we need subtitles! :gikkle:

 

Putting French canadian in the story could be a possibility but wouldn't so much different languages drive our poor Robbie crazy when he already has enough to deal with? And it'd probably mean having to introduce a new character as Rory is English, the family is Canadian and the rest so far seems Canadian too 

Maybe *Nathan could happen be a big fan of Celine Dion... :lol:

 

Oh no, puleeeze! :rolleyes::) I have cousins in Quebec who are bilingual and even though I have no problems with french French, hearing them chattering in quebecois is difficult to follow! Mind, if Robbie has been to school in London he should be used to people speaking in other languages!

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I remember watching my first few episodes of Eastenders back in the '80s when the San José PBS station started running them. It took a while before I was able to understand most of what they were saying with their Cockey accents. And even then there were times when I was confused. I can remember the Dot Cotton AIDS-phobia story arc. Eventually, I stopped watching the show because of a work schedule change and I only read about Pauline Fowler's death/Wendy Richard's retirement from the show and her eventual real-life passing online as they happened.

 

(Wendy Richard was the main reason I started watching the show. I remembered seeing her as Miss Brahms in Are You Being Served. Similarly, All Creatures Great and Small's Peter Davison was the reason I started watching Dr Who on that same San José station – I still like his Doctor better than Tom Baker's incarnation.)

Edited by droughtquake
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So it was good to catch up to Robbie and his life again :)

 

The first thing I want to mention, my own memory that was evoked when reading this chapter. I still remember as I was coming out and telling people about myself, the relief it was to be finally able to look at guys unashamed after. Something that maybe is small, but very liberating in itself.

 

To tell the truth, I don't believe that Robbie and Nathan can keep it away from anyone on their current path. The fact that Ginny figured it out wasn't that big of a shocker, but I'm sure Daniel has already put 2 and 2 together. Maybe Robbie is right in saying that Daniel won't say anything until he is 100% sure, but it must be close to that. Like come on, Nathan and Ginny both showing up out of the blue at the beach? The to have Nathan and Robbie spend most of their time together? :P

 

Thanks for sharing Dodger and looking forward to seeing who finds out next, Nathan's parents or Daniel or the entire school.

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Sooo, regarding the latest chapter - I'm not entirely surprised she defended him at school. We know she certainly has strong opinions so in some people that translates into a strong sense of justice as well. She may pick on Robbie but she probably wouldn't stand to see him (or any member of her family) bullied when he clearly didn't deserve it. Plus, it would just be way too simple from a storytelling perspective if his bitchy older cousin was his enemy at home AND school.

That being said - girl's got issues (of course, so does Robbie but we knew that). Something clearly irritates her about Robbie's secrecy - could just be she's a Type-A personality and loves being in control. Knowledge IS power after all so something Robbie clearly wants to hide is something she very much wants to know - whatever it is. Otherwise I'm confused why she can't let it go. Her actions at school are somewhat redeeming but only in that they show people are more complicated than they first appear.

 

While it's different from siblings, I do know something about other kids questioning you about your private life.  Like Robbie, I felt (and to an extent still do) that I owed no one any information I wasn't willing to give, especially regarding my sexual orientation. I too, thought I was wayyyy smarter than I really was (possibly still the case but I wouldn't know about that...).  I suspect I'd have reacted quite similarly here - for god's sake woman, let it go.  On the other hand, she's essentially got it figured out so if we're trying to assume relatively good intentions on her part, it could be she really is concerned for him having such a secret relationship (those tend to be warning signs, even if not in this case) and has a funny way of showing it.

 

I'm a little envious of Robbie, maybe it's cause I'm an only child but I can't imagine my parents letting me get away with that much secrecy even if I had a couple of siblings haha. Then again, maybe Don and Susan don't usually allow that and that's what's pissing off Nicola, who views it as yet another special privilege that Robbie only gets probing questions when they would have demanded answers from her or Daniel.

 

Speaking of the parents, while I sympathize with Robbie in that Don didn't chastise Nicola for invading his privacy, I think he's trying to stay out of the particulars of the dispute and just get them to stop shouting at each other.  It's not fun living with two people who are prone to periodically exploding into violent rows and never knowing what's going to set them off.  It's a goddamn headache.  That being said, I suspect a part of him (and Susan for that matter) wouldn't quite complain if their daughter happened to find out just what it is Robbie's hiding.  They're only human after all.  I suspect that Don's comment about not trying to fit in may have been referring to Robbie's sudden secrecy (of course, personally I'm all for it - you go, Robbie!)

 

One thing that has me wondering is could the root of this rivalry be her relationship with Robbie's mother? In the first or second chapter she tells him that they were close. Not entirely sure how it would affect things but their shared love of his mother is a connection that I haven't seen mentioned here yet.

Edited by Israfil
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So a couple of questions popped into my mind after this chapter. 

 

First off was the fact that that Nicola appeared to just being a royal pain in the ass this chapter. She was having it out with Daniel when the chapter was starting out. Then she moved onto Robbie. Heck, even Sue called her attitude bitchy. But it evolves to this passage:

 

 

 

“I know about you Robbie,” she hissed, “I know your dirty little secret.”

“YOU DON’T KNOW FUCK!”

“Wanna bet, DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY IT OUT LOUD?” Her shouting got Sue’s attention, who yelled at us from the top of the stairs, but I ignored her as the red mist descended.

“SAY WHAT? You’re just trying to cause trouble for me. If you want to tell tales then go ahead and tell them, see if I care.”

“You’ll be sorry,” she said, through gritted teeth.

“You two stop it please,” said Sue, but once again her pleas fell on death ears.

“Don’t make me laugh,” I said, “I’m not scared of you.” I was certain that I could see steam coming from her ears, as she narrowed her eyes at me, and clenched her fists. It looked as if she was about to lose it and my instincts told me to back off, but the devil in me told me to push her even further. “You’re a fucking bitch.”

“Don’t push your luck,” she sneered as she put her face up to mine.

 

Does she know? Or is she totally off base? Does she know about Tom and Robbie?  So many possibilities. 

 

The next  thing is the taller guy pushing him down and calling him fag. Is his little secret not as safe as he thought?  What first popped into my mind was the possibility of Fran mentioning it to her older brother Philippe on the disappearance of Robbie and him being closer in age to the Grade 12'er. If that is the case I don't think he would have outed Robbie on purpose. The more possible idea was Alex. Robbie has more or less shunned him and maybe seeing Robbie with Nathan pissed him off. Alex played on the basketball team, probably as a junior. Could Alex have outed him to all the basketball players?

 

Thanks for the chapter Dodger. Still waiting to see how Daniel will take the news that he is sharing a bedroom with a gay brother who is dating his best friend ?   :P

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 Still waiting to see how Daniel will take the news that he is sharing a bedroom with a gay brother who is dating his best friend ?   :P

 

I think Daniel will be cool about it, but I'm so much looking forward to the reaction of Nicola and her parents. :D

Edited by Timothy M.
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That's nice, but what about Daniel?  ;-)

Who is David anyway?

 

LOL, it's too early in the morning, and I had just been commenting on skinnydragon's David in The Valedictorian. :facepalm:

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  • 3 weeks later...
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So Robbie and Nathan might have their first 'alone time' coming up :D

 

I'm more worried about Robbie's profession of love to Nathan in front of the Drama class. I seriously don't see it being long before Nicola and Daniel hear the grapevine or Don hears from the principal. Maybe it would be better for Robbie if he came clean with the family before they hear second or third hand. But then again, Robbie seems to attract drama, and I don't mean the club at school :P

 

Still wondering about the bully that knocked him to the ground. I got a feeling it isn't the last we see of him. I forgot about Nicola's old BF seeing him at the movie but not sure if he would be the source of the bully.

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I loved the line about going out to celebrate Robbie not being stupid anymore :gikkle: It was also great to see that maybe Robbie saw that not only was he part of the family but he was also fitting in perfectly with them. Daniel getting in trouble, Nicola fighting with Daniel and even Amy and Sue showing faults, they are one big happy family.

 

I was surprised that Robbie never was encountered with any rumours from the night before with the Drama club.

 

Lastly, the innuendo between Robbie and Nathan was hilarious. I'm surprised that they both would be able to get on their bikes right away after that conversation. Thank god for good ole Mrs. Pringle.

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AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH you are killing me man!!!!

 

When I read Red Pyjamas I was ready :)

 

Nathan not only threw Robbie but me too for a loop with the practicing with his sister :o I totally forgot about the poker thing and that being a first for him too :P

 

Looking forward to both Robbie and Nathan to get the much needed relief that you are preventing them from getting :gikkle:

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