TERRY FALLIS WEDNESDAY 15 APRIL AT THE CHARLES W STOCKEY CENTRE
TERRY FALLIS WILL OPEN PARRY SOUND BOOKS ANNUAL READING SERIES NEXT WEDNESDAY 15 APRIL AT 7:30 PM - DON'T MISS IT!
WE WILL HAVE BOXES AND BOXES OF PRE-PUBLICATION EDITIONS OF BOOKS FOR YOU - FREE AS ALWAYS!!
This old world can be a very funny place sometimes. I started to read No Relation by Terry Falis, his most recent novel, which he will read from when he appears at the Stockey Centre on 15 April. The premise of the novel is the difficulties encountered by those who have famous names, the constant jokes and disbelief they must tolerate or go mad. Our protagonist in this novel is Earnest Hemmingway, though he spells his name differently from the famous author it hardly matters.
I immediately thought of a customer who frequents my store in the summer and often uses a credit card – the name on the card is Brian Mulroney. Not the former Prime Minster I assure you. I always felt sorry for the guy.
Earnest Hemmingway, in spite of his name, is a fairly regular 40 year old guy. He works for an advertising agency, has a live in girlfriend. He lives in Brooklyn. He is also the heir to the family business, a prosperous manufacturer of men’s underwear. A company his sister is much more suited to managing than Earnest is – even though their father refuses to talk about it.
Things change the day Earnest arrives at work to find he is “just” let go after 15 years, then returning home in the middle of the day confronts his girlfriend in the process of moving out – all this the day after losing his wallet on the subway.
It does not take him long to admit to himself he was bored with both the job and the relationship. Freedom. Now he has a good separation package and no distractions at home – so, he can write the novel he feels he’s always been meant to write.
Only, he can’t write. With the ghost of the famous novelist Ernest Hemingway looking over his shoulder he has “writer’s block”. In the meantime he has an idea that others with famous names must face the same frustrations in their daily lives as he does, and he decides to form a sort of self help group for those blessed – or cursed – with a famous name.
Earnest also decides to embark on a journey of discovery – following in the footsteps of the famous author to Toronto, Paris, Spain, Key West, and Idaho with an assortment of his new friends along for various legs of the voyage, each with their own individual agenda. Meanwhile the family business is in jeopardy and demanding that Earnest become involved.
Imagine my surprise when I finish reading No Relation, to find in the afterword that Terry Fallis has written “The seed for this novel was sown at a chance encounter many years ago with a talented lawyer whose name was, and still is, Brian Mulroney – no, not that Brian Mulroney. This particular lawyer has never run for political office and I suspect never will. He may have been the first person I’ve met afflicted with what I call in this novel, “NameFame”. I figure I owe a debt of gratitude.” No kidding.
Terry Fallis was awarded the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for his first novel The Best Laid Plans, which went on to win the 2011 Canada Reads competition as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade”. The High Road, published in 2010 was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for humour, as was his third novel Up and Down, published in 2012.
So, you know you are in for a very entertaining evening when Terry Fallis opens the Parry Sound Books Annual Reading Series on Wednesday 15 April at the Stockey Centre.