Tuesday, June 10, 2014

No Relation Book Launch

I attended the official launch for No Relation by Terry Fallis last night.

Sure, the book has been out since May and has climbed the charts on the Globe & Mail Bestseller list (no surprise there - it's a fantastic novel filled with both hilarious moments as well as poignant ones), but the evening was Terry celebrating his new novel with a group of friends, associates, family and colleagues.

Tim Fallis kicks off the evening, admitting he has "some relation" to his twin brother Terry
It was a packed house at Dora Keogh on Danforth; standing room only as we cheered and celebrated Terry's latest book. Book City, the very first bookstore to carry Terry's first novel The Best Laid Plans back when it was self-published and Terry was an unknown author, was on hand selling copies of Terry's novels as well as Douglas Gibson's Stories About Storytellers. (I'm proud to state that, while Book City was the first bookstore to carry it, I was the second bookseller to pick up his book and one that insisted we do a book launch for The Best Laid Plans at McMaster.)

Terry's twin brother Tim (who exudes the same charm and wit as his brother), kicked off the evening, congratulating and teasing his brother before introducing Douglas Gibson, Terry's editor and a master storyteller in his own right, who introduced Terry.

Doug Gibson talks about the joy of being Terry's editor and friend

Doug spoke about Terry's reputation among booksellers as a "nice guy" and, speaking with booksellers, you get a true sense that Terry is adored both near and far by booksellers and is an avid supporter of his friends in the bookish trade. He mentioned in his opening remarks last night that when a neighbourhood bookstore closes, it's not just the loss of a handful of jobs nor the inconvenience of not having a local bookshop to check out that occurs, it's that a piece of the very fabric of culture itself has been torn from that community.

Listening to Terry do a short reading from Chapter One of the novel made me want to read it again.I had read the advance reader's copy of the novel, but I want to enjoy the story once more and figure I'll go back and listen to the podcast of Terry reading the novel.

Reading the novel was great - but the humour was much stronger when delivered by Terry's fine reading of the piece. I'm looking forward to enjoying it again, this time through Terry's narration. (Yes, there's a podcast where you can listen to the entire book for free - Terry has done that with every one of his novels and I applaud Random House, his publisher, for allowing him to continue to use this vehicle as a promotional tool to help sell more copies of his book)

The novel is truly Terry at his finest form. I have adored all of his novels, and while I still have quite the fondness for Angus McLintock (brought to life wonderfully by Kenneth Welsh in the CBC MiniSeries based on Terry's first novel) this is my favourite novel so far.

Perhaps there's something about the way Terry addresses family in this novel that provides the ring of truth for people to embrace it.

The very first book launch for Terry's first book - back in Sept 2007 at the campus store formerly known as Titles (McMaster University Bookstore

In my review of the novel on Goodreads, I called the book witty, wry, cunning and clever and said that "the story combines silly humour, slapstick situations and unexpectedly touching moments with intriguing twists, knots and turns, creating a pleasurable, well-rounded and ultimately satisfying journey."

Join me and the smartest booksellers in the land in checking out this book which I highly recommend you add to your summer reading list.

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