Book Review – The Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson

Summary

Ever since his girlfriend ended their relationship, Thomas Rosanoff’s life has been on a downward spiral. A gifted med student, he has spent his entire adulthood struggling to escape the legacy of his father, an esteemed psychiatrist who used him as a test subject when he was a boy. Thomas lived his entire young life as the “Boy in the Box,” watched by researchers behind two-way glass.

But now the tables have turned. Thomas is the researcher, and his subjects are three homeless men, all of whom claim to be messiahs—but no three people can be the one and only saviour of the world. Thomas is determined to “cure” the three men of their delusions, and in so doing save his career—and maybe even his love life. But when Thomas’s father intervenes in the experiment, events spin out of control, and Thomas must confront the voices he hears in the labyrinth of his own mind.

TheShoeOnTheRoof

Disclosure: I won this novel in a Goodreads giveaway. Copy was provided by the publisher.

The Shoe on the Roof, published October 17, 2017, is the newest novel by Will Ferguson, author of the Giller Prize winning novel 419. I’ve read a couple of Ferguson’s books before, though neither of the two were fiction. I really enjoyed his previous work, however, so I was immediately interested once I learned he had a new book coming out this year. Without actually looking much into the synopsis, my brain took the title and created vague notions of what to expect, all of which were not at all like the journey into love, neuroscience, and mental health that I embarked upon.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – 2017/12/13

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

Smoke&MirrorsI’ve only just started reading Smoke & Mirrors by Neil Gaiman. This is the first of his short story collections that I’ve gotten around to reading, despite the amount of his other work I have read before. I’ve only read the introduction so far, but as it turns out that made up about 30 pages of the book and he hid a story within it. Amusingly, he remarked before the start of the story that some people skip introductions, making it a treat for those who do not. Curiously, he also included background information on every story in the collection, which I feel would be more valuable at the end rather than the beginning. Perhaps there is a method to this I’ve yet to see.

Recently Finished

TheShoeOnTheRoofThe other day I finished reading The Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson, which I will post a review of soon. It’s a book I have needed some time to mentally digest. I’m appreciating it as a challenge to review in this respect, though I’m eager to get a review finished as soon as possible. The plot took a lot of twists and turns, some expected and others not so much, and I’m worried I’m not seeing the forest for the trees. I’m not sure if I’m giving it too much credit or not enough in my consideration of it.

Reading Next

StarshipTroopersCoverLikely the last novel I will get to this year will be Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein. It’s a book that’s been on my to-read shortlist all year — I’ve even had it under my “Reading Next” heading before — but I really want to make sure I get it done before the new year. The only thing that might hold this back is my desire for a week or so at the end of December to just set all books aside for a little breather. I’m planning to get through even more books in 2018, as well as refocusing myself in terms of other writing, so I could use a little time to just not worry about it all.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/12/06

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

TheShoeOnTheRoofRight now I’m reading The Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson, which is so far making for a rather interesting read. I didn’t know anything about it going in other than vague notions my mind had conjured based on the title. It’s not what I had conjured, which is a good thing. After a bad break up, a med student begins an experiment to cure three men of their delusions: each believes they are Jesus Christ. The writing has been insightful, funny, and gripping so far, though it is taking its time in ramping things up. It takes a rather poignant look at relationships too, and the narrator’s interaction with the reader is interesting in what Ferguson chooses to have revealed.

Recently Finished

DCRebirthI read DC Universe: Rebirth by Geoff Johns et al the other day, starting me off on my journey to the new series Doomsday Clock. I wish I knew more about the various DC characters within to have a better connection with the references in this book, but I still knew enough about the basic goings-on over the last several years to appreciate the gravity of the story. It also does a good job of contextualizing things so that less familiar readers are not completely lost as well. I especially appreciated the art work, which in certain cases mimicked the panel composition of Watchmen.

Reading Next

Smoke&MirrorsThe year is winding down, so I really have to think carefully about what I’m reading next. I’m a stickler for books not carrying over to a new year, so I have to make sure what I pick up will be finished in time. One book I want to push myself to read is Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman, a collection of short stories. It’s yet another book I wrote into a list on a scrap of paper late last year that I wanted to get through in 2017. Hopefully I can make good on at least one more on that list this month.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/11/29

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

Nothing at the moment, but that will change in the next couple of days!

Recently Finished

AhsokaMonday I finished reading Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston, a Star Wars novel about the popular character from the series The Clone Wars. Something this novel really had going for it was Johnston’s ability to capture the character’s voice. She was indistinguishable from her portrayal in the series. I wish it had been a little more focused in terms of story than it ended up getting, though as a book explicitly advertised as being for Young Adults I am more forgiving about this. I should have a full review posted before the end of the week.

Reading Next

DCRebirthI still have every intention of starting The Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson any day now, which I can hopefully get through during the first week or so of December. There are still a few books I want to try to get read before 2017 wraps up.

I also plan to read DC Universe: Rebirth by Geoff Johns et al, a large scale event story-line for the DC comic book universe. I don’t know a whole lot about it, but I do know that it starts to cross over with characters from Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, a graphic novel that until now stood on its own from any other superhero universe. This crossover has since turned into the new series Doomsday Clock, an official sequel to Watchmen, but I want to read the DC books that lead into it first.

WWW Wednesday – 2017/11/22

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

AhsokaI started reading Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston last night, a more YA Star Wars novel following the popular character Ahsoka from The Clone Wars, following her after the events of the series and the third prequel film. I’m only about 40 pages in, but so far Johnston has done a good job of capturing Ahsoka’s voice as a character. I don’t expect too much from this book plot-wise, but it should hopefully make for some good character moments. She was a prominent character in the series, so I want to get a deeper sense of her emotional state after Order 66 was executed.

Recently Finished

StarWarsFromACertainPointofViewI finally finished reading Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View over the weekend. A review will be forthcoming. What I will say now is I enjoyed the book a lot as a one-off concept, but I also found it a little too exhaustive. If they intend to do this again with the other films (I honestly hope not), I hope at least they trim the fat a little. Nevertheless, there were some great stories dwithin that did make it worthwhile.

EricI also read through Eric (or Faust Eric) by Terry Pratchett, the ninth Discworld novel. It didn’t take me long at all, as expected, and it made for an interesting diversion from his usual style with the series. It’s a much more concise romp complete with illustrations by Jack Kirby. From what I understand this was his original intention with the book, though there are versions without any. A review of this book shall be on the way as well, once I’ve finished up with the former.

Reading Next

TheShoeOnTheRoofOnce I’ve finished up with Ahsoka, which I’m optimistic will be soon if I apply myself properly, I will be moving on to The Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson, which got on my radar a short while ago. Recently, I was fortunate enough to have received a free copy from the publisher thanks to a Goodreads giveaway. I’ve read a couple of Ferguson’s books before, which I enjoyed a great deal. This will be my first time reading any of his fiction, so I’m excited to get started on it.

Book Review – How To Be A Canadian by Will Ferguson & Ian Ferguson

Summary from Goodreads

Being Canadian can be a chore, says Will Ferguson, but it can be a lot of fun, too. For this follow-up to his runaway bestseller Why I Hate Canadians, Ferguson, a Canuck himself, recruited his brother Ian to create this ultimate guide to the country’s cultural quirks, from diet and sex to sports and politics. The result is a nonstop comic ride through such topics as “Canadian Cuisine—and How to Avoid It,” “Regional Harmony (Who to Hate and Why),” and “How to Make Love Like a Canadian.”

howtobeacanadiancover

How To Be A Canadian by brothers Will Ferguson and Ian Ferguson is a humorous guide to adapting to Canadian culture. Unlike its predecessor, this book is much more tongue-in-cheek, the humour taking centre stage. Why I Hate Canadians was very funny, but it collected essays and anecdotes that used humour to explore and critique aspects of Canadian society. This book is a lighter approach, lampooning different facets of Canadiana, from language to leisure activities. Sometimes these vary depending where in Canada they cover, while others are shown as more inherent to the Canadian identity.Read More »

Top Five Books I Read in 2015

Just as I did last year, I am listing the top five favourite books that I read in 2015, in no particular order. This list is based more on personal favoritism, rather than my feelings of their absolute quality. This has been one of my best years for getting personal reading done, since for a long time what I did read was required for school. Some of these entries have been written about this past year already, while others I did not happen to write about upon completion.Read More »

Book Review – Why I Hate Canadians by Will Ferguson

Why I Hate Canadians

This past week I finished reading Why I Hate Canadians by Will Ferguson, a collection of essays and anecdotes published in 1997 about the author’s experiences as a Canadian, as well as Canadian culture and history more generally. As the title suggests, Ferguson takes a sarcastic and humorous approach, challenging a lot of the points we use to define ourselves as Canadians, often referencing history, contemporary culture, and politics. The print I read was the 10th anniversary edition, with a foreword from the author. It being nearly 20 years since the books original release, the foreword helped to but the book in context.Read More »