If I Fall, If I Die by Michael ChristieIf I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

If I Fall, If I Die

byMichael Christie

Paperback | September 15, 2015

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"A sweet coming-of-age story... but Christie goes further, adding to the mix a Hardy Boys-style mystery about bootlegged alcohol, pet wolves that never forget a human scent, and generally shady goings-on in abandoned grain elevators... Compelling." The Globe and Mail 

     Will has never been Outside, at least not that he can remember. For most of his young life he has lived happily Inside with his mother, Diane, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Then, one day, Will ventures Outside clad in a protective helmet and braces himself for danger. What he finds instead will set him on an unexpected journey of discovery.
     Will embraces the Outside and his newfound freedom with enthusiasm, and he eventually befriends Jonah, a quiet Native boy who introduces him to the most reckless and exhilarating activity he's ever seen: skateboarding. Even as Diane's fears intensify, Will finds his own fears fading and his body hardening with each new bruise, scrape, and fall. But life Outside quickly grows complicated, and Diane finds herself grappling with her greatest fear: will she be brave enough to save her son?
     Full of dazzling prose and irresistible characters, If I Fall, If I Die is a beautifully tender and unforgettable story.

About The Author

MICHAEL CHRISTIE's debut book of fiction, The Beggar's Garden, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, a finalist for the Writers' Trust Prize for Fiction, and won the Vancouver Book Award. Prior to earning an MFA from the University of British Columbia, he was a sponsored skateboarder and travelled throughout the world skatebo...
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Details & Specs

Title:If I Fall, If I DieFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.9 inPublished:September 15, 2015Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771022425

ISBN - 13:9780771022425

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Bookclub Guide

1. If I Fall, If I Die begins the first time Will ventures outside the house he shares with his mother, Diane. What are his impressions of The Outside, and did they surprise you in any way?2. For Diane, the world is divided between comfort and danger, Inside and Outside. Is Will’s perception the same? Does it change over time?3. Grain elevators, abandoned buildings, feral wolves, the rough chop of the bay. What aspect of Thunder Bay was most vivid to you, and why? 4. "Her job was still the same: To build them a world that death could never touch.” To what extent are Diane’s fears for Will justified? Can you relate to her attempts to control Will’s environment in order to keep him safe?5. Both Will and Diane view Will largely as Diane’s protector, despite the fact that he is her child. Does this nurturing quality in Will translate to how he treats the other characters in the novel? 6. Jonah and Will forge an unlikely but enduring friendship. What do you think they learn from each other?7. “Helmetless and unafraid, Will could dance, spin, slide backwards and do 360s on one foot.” What does skateboarding represent for Will, and what do you think it represents for Diane?  8. Will encounters and befriends many characters on the fringes of society, from Jonah to Titus.  Do you think he is more open, and less judgmental, because of his isolation from mainstream culture and its ingrained stereotypes?9. After a terrible tragedy in his past, Titus returns to Thunder Bay searching for redemption. Do you think he finds it?10. Several characters in the novel, including Diane and Titus, struggle with mental illness. How do they attempt to manage their lives around their fears and limitations? Are their relationships with the people around them affected?11. How does Will’s relationship with his mother grow and change over the course of the novel? Does Will’s movie represent a new chapter for the two of them?12. Will changes his life through, no pun intended, sheer force of will. Does Diane’s life change in tandem? What about her identity as a mother, or an artist?13. Parenting and fear, love and courage—of these, what do you think this novel is most about?

Editorial Reviews

"A sort of Alice in Wonderland in reverse, where a kid from a place where fantasy reigns clambers out of his rabbit hole and emerges, awestruck, into the real world.... [His] journey brings out the wondrous in the mundane, and the emotional adventure of abiding friendship." --Toronto Star"Beneath the lessons there's a symbolic wondrousness to this book, with its roaming wolves and its characters named Jonah, Titus, Gideon, Icarus. Christie may be mixing his metaphors here, but so what? The truth is that childhood is as deep and lasting as any mythology." --The New York Times