|Ravine, the (2008) [Novel]|
by Paul Quarrington
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(From the publisher):
Every childhood contains at least one "ravine"–one episode where the normal fabric of everyday life rips and the monsters come roaring out. But only Giller-nominated novelist Paul Quarrington could make that moment both profound and profoundly funny.
Phil McQuigge’s marriage is over, he has lost his job as the producer of a wildly successful TV series, and has also lost the star of that series, who died on the set under mysterious circumstances that seem to be all Phil’s fault.
So Phil, who self-medicates for guilt and despair with liberal quantities of alcohol and what remains of his wit, sets out on a redemptive quest. He has narrowed down the source of his mid-life freefall to the lingering consequences of an ugly incident that happened in a suburban ravine when he was a boy, on an afternoon of adventure with his little brother, Jay, and their hapless tagalong, Norman Kitchen. Phil decides that if he can only find and make amends to Norman Kitchen then just maybe the planets will once again align benevolently with his fate.
Paul Quarrington describes his tenth novel as what would happen if he had written Mystic River. He has a point: in his hands, comedy rides on top of a tragic undertow as the novel follows the surprising echoes of boyhood trauma in the lives of all three men. The extra surprise twist at the end? What Phil ends up having to atone for is not the sin he thinks he has committed.
Original title: The Ravine
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Midlife Crises, Journeys Of Discovery
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Literary Fiction/classics
- Selected for the longlist of the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize