(From the publisher):
is a rowdy yet elegant tour de force.
Set in Southern Ontario in the late nineteenth century, at a time when the passenger pigeon is fading fast and the machine age is coming into its own, it chronicles the fortunes of settler Robert Fraser, a man obsessed with the desire for power and control. Driven by the idea of inventing a perpetual motion machine which will run on the same energy that moves the planets, he neglects and destroys not only his family but the nature around him, until finally his overbearing rationality becomes a kind of tragic lunacy.
this is the story of a place and its sometimes grotesque inhabitants and of an age when faith in material progress is undermined by the lingering beliefs in the magical, the portentous and the superstiiions which underlie Ontario's Methodist fašade.
Details, from the astonishing slaughter of wild pigeons to Toronto whorehouses and public hangings, are sharply observed; but despite its use of history, Perpetual Motion is far from the standard "historical novel." It draws its energy from such vernacular traditions as the tall tale, the rural kitchen-table anecdote, the bawdy joke and the ghost story.
Original title: Perpetual Motion
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction
Fiction→ Historical→ North America→ Canada: After 1867