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

Hardcover | March 18, 2016

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The boy stepped Outside, and he did not die. Will has never been Outside, at least not since he can remember. For most of his young life he has lived happily – and safely – Inside his small house with his mother, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who panics at the thought of opening the front door. But Will’s curiosity can’t be contained. Clad in a hockey helmet to protect himself from unknown dangers, he finally ventures Outside – and braces himself for disaster. What he finds instead will change everything.
Will embraces his newfound freedom and soon befriends Jonah, an artistic loner who introduces him to the high-flying thrills of skateboarding. But life Outside quickly grows complicated. When a local boy goes missing, Will is pulled further away from the confines of his closed-off world and thrust headfirst into the throes of early adulthood and the criminal underbelly of city life. All the while his mother must grapple with her greatest fear: will she be brave enough to save her son?  
In dazzling, kinetic prose, Michael Christie has written a beautifully tender and emotionally resonant story about family and friendship, overcoming our fears, and learning when to protect the ones we love and when to let them fall.
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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Title:If I Fall, If I DieFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.6 × 6.54 × 1.11 inPublished:March 18, 2016Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771023650

ISBN - 13:9780771023651

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Characters This was a quick read and I enjoyed the characters in the book.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from highlight of the season Witty, clever, and expressed with clarity. This is a very bright and refreshing book and I was sad to put it down.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I wish there was more on the agoraphobia askPect but either way this is a great read
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What is there to fear Diane Cardiel has agoraphobia, and hasn't been outside in years. She is subject to panic attacks and sees everything as dangerous. She has passed these fears along to her son Will who has also remained indoors for the past eight years. He decided for himself that it was easier to go along with staying inside than to go out and upset his mother. Now that he's twelve, he decides to go outside and investigate a bang/explosion at the front of his house. This leads to a meeting with a boy, Marcus, about the same age as himself, followed by a rash of excursions outside. After a short time, Will determines that it's time for him to attend school where he makes a friend, Josuah and he continues to inquire about the now missing Marcus. This has lead him to question all that his mother has told him. Since he's spent all his time alone or with his mother, he hasn't formed relationships with any others and has to figure out this new world by himself. To complicate matters, he also has to figure out the girl thing. Will has no idea who to trust and what to expect from the outside world. He doesn't know what is reasonable to try and what is too risky. Things that would normally be learned over years of trial and error, he has to learn in a crash course before he gets himself in too deeply or dangerously. Throughout the book, I was nagged by the question of the transfer of the mother's mental health issues being transferred or impressed up the child. How does one deal with such a situation. I was rooting for Diane, I was eager to learn whether the impact of Will's ventures outside would have an impact on her. The story is told from both their perspectives which I felt was a good approach. This is a situation that affects both of them, though in very different ways. It wasn't touched on much, but it was interesting to see how the outside responded to Diane's situation. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to more novels by debut author Michael Christie. If you enjoyed Room by Emma Donoghue you'll probably enjoy If I Fall, If I Die.
Date published: 2015-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If I Fall, If i Die Michael Christie's writing sings with his exquisite use of superb metaphors and brilliant similes. Loved it! Breathtaking! His unique style is a light show of words that is pure pleasure.
Date published: 2015-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read I found this book to be a bit long winded at the end but generally enjoyed the story. To see how the mother's agoraphobia developed and the impact this condition had one her young son and to see it from both points of view was interesting.
Date published: 2015-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling insight into mental illness. I loved the words the author used in her descriptions in this book, they were very vivid and at times amusing. Growing up with an agoraphobic mother, who later succumbed to alcoholism and mental illness I found I could really identify with Will's conflicting feelings for his mother. At times uncomfortable to read but also compelling. I feel the author really understood his subject matter and described the emotions involved very well.
Date published: 2015-02-17

Editorial Reviews

LONGLISTED 2015 – Scotiabank Giller PrizeA National Post Best Book — 2015Globe and Mail 100 — 2015“This is a bruiser of a tale, one you will feel in your shins and your solar plexus. Michael Christie is a virtuosic prose stylist and boy is he so very wise and so funny on families and friendships, fear and joy, and the physics of sky and pavement. If I Fall, If I Die is a death-defying coming of age story; it’s also as convincing a love story as I have ever read. And so beautifully told that you’ll want to pass it on immediately.”  --Karen Russell, author of Vampires in the Lemon Grove   “An astonishing piece of work. Christie combines lyrical prose and true-to-life characters--and skateboarding--to craft a remarkable tale of mothers and sons, and what it means to grow up. If I Fall, If I Die is gripping, heartbreaking, and wholly extraordinary.” --Philipp Meyer, author of The Son   “Reading If I Fall, If I Die is like hopping on a skateboard and grabbing hold of the bumper of an accelerating car. Christie’s prose pulls you on a ride through the winding streets of phobia, family, and friendship at such a clip you won’t dare let go.”  --David Gilbert, author of & Sons   “Rarely has the tender claustrophobia of the mother-son dynamic, the raw humanity of mental illness, or the delicate, dangerous process of growing up been rendered with such heart and sensitivity. If I Fall, If I Die mines the fundamental dilemmas of both childhood and parenthood to sublime effect. I can’t recall a funnier, truer, or more beautiful debut.” --Patrick DeWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers   “[A] deftly written first novel. . . . Christie’s fine novel is really a kind of spiritual cousin of Paul Harding’s Tinkers as a study of people who are in this world but not quite of it, whether ghosts from a grain-silo explosion or the people you see at the supermarket. Dark, threatening, dislocating and altogether brilliant.” --Kirkus Review (starred review)   “‘The Outside’ has never seemed as dangerous and as magical as in the debut novel by Christie about a boy who lives confined in his home with his agoraphobic mother. . . . [The novel’s] raw but clever commentary brims with a fierce poignancy that makes the book very difficult to put down.” --Publishers Weekly A National Post Best Book — 2015