The Parabolist: A Novel

Category: Book
By (author): Ruddock, Nicholas
Subject:  FICTION / Canadian
  FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
Awards: Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel (2011) Short-listed
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Published: October 2010
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 8.00in x 4.95in x 1.00in
Our Price:
$ 19.95
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Parabolist: noun (1) one who speaks in parables. (2) a member of a splinter group of disaffected young poets in Mexico City c. 1975. (3) a practitioner of the art of concentrating multiple sources of energy into a single focus, illuminating or, if left unchecked, destroying everything in its path.

Part comedy, part mystery, The Parabolist is a novel about murder, sex, the medical establishment, poetry and vigilante justice on the streets of Toronto in 1975.

Told through interlacing narratives, the story funnels towards the eye of an unsolved crime: on a rainy summer night, a woman is raped and very nearly murdered, but for the intervention of two drunken vigilantes who kill her attacker before fleeing the scene. The only clue the police have about their identities is a slab of Crisco shortening found on the victim.

The unforgettable cast of characters includes a charismatic Mexican poet, a libido-driven first-year medical student, a runaway teen turned prostitute, a raven-haired beauty, a sinister psychiatrist, and a donated corpse that is dissected - from skin to muscle to bone - as layer by layer, the inscrutable mysteries of anatomy, love, literature and life are poignantly revealed.

This is a funny, satirical, searing, dangerous and tender story of earnest youth and their ardent desire for love, acceptance and fulfillment.

From the Hardcover edition.
Review Quote*"Comic and inventive."
- Edmonton Journal

"A playful, literary mystery."
- Winnipeg Free Press

"Wildly inventive."
- The Sun Times (Owen Sound)

"An inventive, poetic, and thoroughly wonderful book."
- Vincent Lam

"Dazzling . . . an exciting, compelling, and expertly layered mystery."
- Anthony De Sa

"[A] big-brained, warm-hearted debut."
- Kyo Maclear

Praise for Nicholas Ruddock:
"Ruddock has a refined ear for dialogue and a mischievous sense of humour. He also knows how to bring a story to a memorable conclusion."
- David Bezmozgis

"Nobody can mistake the ingenuity of Nicholas Ruddock…. Ruddock has talent to burn; he writes with verve and style."
- Madeleine Thien

"Accomplished, original, witty and wise…. A wonderful piece of writing."
- Helen Humphreys (on "The Housepainters")

From the Hardcover edition.
Biographical NoteNicholas Ruddock's writing has been published in The Dalhousie Review, The Antigonish Review, Fiddlehead, Prism International, Grain, sub-Terrain, Event, and Exile. His short story "How Eunice Got Her Baby" was published in the Journey Prize Anthology in 2007, and a short film adaptation, narrated by Gordon Pinsent, has been made by the Canadian Film Centre. Ruddock is a family physician. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

From the Hardcover edition.