The Shoe on the Roof by Will FergusonThe Shoe on the Roof by Will Ferguson

The Shoe on the Roof

byWill Ferguson

Hardcover | October 17, 2017

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Imagine...meeting someone with the same name, the same history, the same family, the same identity as you. Now, imagine meeting another person making the same exact claim. What would that do to you?

From the Giller Prize–winning novelist of 419 comes the startling, funny, and heartbreaking story of a psychological experiment gone wrong.

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.

The Shoe on the Roof is an explosively imaginative tour de force, a novel that questions our definitions of sanity and madness, while exploring the magical reality that lies just beyond the world of scientific fact.
Title:The Shoe on the RoofFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:October 17, 2017Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501173553

ISBN - 13:9781501173554

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The BEST Will Ferguson novel This man is funny as h*ll in all of his earlier books about travel and life in Canada, but you cannot imagine how amazing his serious novels are - WOW! I did not think I would love one more than 419, but this one tops it. Themes of family, religion, beliefs, and mental illness are handled with a deft and sensitive touch, and the characters just draw you effortlessly into the story. Do not miss this book - it is fantastic.
Date published: 2018-08-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! A look at faith and mental illness. This book ad an interesting premise and hooked me from the beginning.
Date published: 2018-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book--Great author Love Will Ferguson, and this is one of my favourites of his novels
Date published: 2018-01-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok caught my attention almost immediately and I could not put it down. Great read
Date published: 2017-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Story moves along at a quick pace. Very interesting and smartly written.
Date published: 2017-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love i love the flow of the story
Date published: 2017-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING BOOK....YOU MUST READ IT!!! I LOVED this book. The author is an INTELLIGENT writer who puts incredible depth into his story. All of the characters were so alive, so real! THANK YOU Will Ferguson for the fantastic read. Your book held my attention from the beginning until the end. I hope that this book becomes a MOVIE.
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Bravo! Will Ferguson has another deeply thoughtful yet fast-paced and exciting story. The Shoe on the Roof explores faith, neuroscience, psychological treatment and ethics, and mental illness. While displaying an impressive knowledge of these subject, the author asks some hard questions with his story, all while keeping you reading and fascinated with the characters and their storyline. Bravo, another winning book from this talented author!
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW. This is the first I have read by Will Ferguson, and to be very honest I wasn't completely sold by the description. The book itself though? A-MAZ-ING. I absolutely adored this insightful adventure! I will be playing catch up on more by this author for sure. Thank you to Simon and Schuster & Indigo for providing this ARC and introducing me to another great read!
Date published: 2017-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An AMAZING New Read for your Autumn Must Read Pile I was just unbelievably lucky to have been sent an ARC of this book ahead of its publication date in October. Besides being super excited because this is #canlit & the author is from my home province (whooo hooo Alberta!!!), I was also super intrigued by the premise of the story. After his girlfriend ends their relationship, Thomas, a gifted led student, finds his life on a downward spiral. Thomas spent his childhood as a long-term test subject of his father, an esteemed psychiatrist, and has since dedicated his own studies to the brain. Taking on a research project of his own, he brings together 3 homeless men all claiming to be messiahs, who Thomas hopes to cure - and in doing so, perhaps winning back his ex. I would be lying if I said this book didn't surprise the hell out of me right from the beginning. The premise of using science to cure religious faith as the foundation of a fictional story, while making the characters relatable, likeable and hilarious is no small feat, but one that Will Ferguson does seemingly with ease. This book made me laugh out loud, and had me thinking. It is riveting, and I could not put it down - devoured in one sitting. On sale October 17th - make sure you get yourself a copy of this and jump it to the top of your #tbrpile - the PERFECT autumn read!
Date published: 2017-09-23

Read from the Book

PART ONE: The Wine, the Blood, and the Sea   Chapter One             The one Almighty Fact about love affairs is that they end. How they end and why, although of crucial interest—indeed, agony—to the participants, is less important than that they end. Marriages might linger like a chest cold, and there are friendships that plod along simply because we forget to cancel the subscription. But when love affairs collapse, they do so suddenly: they drop like swollen mangoes, they shatter like saucers, they drown in the undertow, they fall apart like a wasp’s nest in winter. They end.      Thomas knew this, and yet . . .      There is a story, often told, possibly apocryphal, certainly apropos, of a seasoned skydiver who, in what can only be described as a monumental lapse of judgment, forgot to strap on his parachute before flinging himself from a plane. As one might imagine, he went through all five stages of Kübler-Ross in quick order, shock, denial, anger, dismay, until, in accepting his fate, he chose to embrace it. The skydiver spread his arms, turned pirouettes and somersaults while he tumbled, performing acrobatic death-defying feats all the way down.      But none of that makes the landing any softer.      Thomas was in his late twenties when he hit the ground. He’d begun his swan dive without realizing it, in an artist’s loft in Boston’s West End on a sleepy cirrus Sunday. A muted morning. The curtains were moving; he remembers that, the ripples of cream-coloured cloth: long inhalations, slow exhalations. Sunlight on the floor. A messy room (not his), lined with equally messy canvases. Oil paintings mostly: thickly textured renderings of angular faces spattered with stars. An overstuffed laundry hamper in one corner was spilling clothes like the world’s worst piñata. Bricks-and-board bookshelves, overdue art volumes splayed every which way. A telescope by the window, leaning on drunken legs, squinting upward into nothingness. Wine bottles on the windowsills, multicoloured candle wax dripping down the sides—still de rigueur among the university set. Wind and curtain and canvas. And now, this: the sound of church bells.      Amy, scrambling out of her dishevelled bed. Amy, dashing about, baffled by the very concept of time. She was always late, which was not remarkable in itself, but she was always surprised she was late, and Thomas found this both annoying and oddly endearing. She seemed to think that time was liquid, a substance that filled the available forms it was poured into, when in fact it sliced the air with a metronymic predictability.      Moments before, Thomas and Amy had been playing doctor, a favourite game of theirs, with Amy astride his lap, dressed in a man’s shirt—not his. (Where did it come from, this oversized shirt? Why did she have it? Was it a souvenir of other phosphorous love affairs? Best not to think about it.) She wore it loosely, like a pajama top, misbuttoned, un-ironed.      He remembers the loose cotton. The warmth of her.      Amy, laughing. “Stop it.”      It would be the last happy conversation they would ever have.      “Stop what?”      “Stop that.”      Thomas is in a white lab coat with boxers pooled around his ankles. He slides a stethoscope down the inside of her shirt, and then slowwwwly across her chest. Pretends to listen.      Amy, voice hushed. “What is it, doc? Somethin’ bad? You can tell me, I can take it.”      Thomas frowns. A practiced frown. A medical frown. Listens more attentively. “Can’t seem . . . to find . . . a heartbeat.”      He was scarcely a year older than Amy, but looked ten years younger, as though his face had never grown up, as though it were still trapped in the first flush of postpubescence. It’s something she’d often commented on, how young he looked. Later, she would notice how old he had become.      So there they are, the two of them: Amy, with a raven’s wing of hair fanning across her shoulder; Thomas in his Sunday-morning stubble. Straw-blond hair that refused to hold a part, eyes so pale they were barely there. “Grey? Or blue?” Amy had asked this early on, studying him carefully before deciding. “Blue. Defi blue.”      Our intrepid young medical student has now slipped the stethoscope further down, cupping Amy’s breasts, first one, then the other. She shivers at the touch of it. “Can’t you warm those up first?”      Now it was Amy’s turn.      She pulled the end of the stethoscope free, flipped it over, held it up to Thomas’s chest. A thin chest, almost hairless.        “So?” she asked.      He tilted his head, listened for his own heartbeat. “Anything?” she asked.      “Nothing.” He looked at her. “That can’t be good. Can it?”      She laughed, a snort, really. “Are you sure you’re a real doctor?” “A real doctor?”      She leaned closer, held him with her thighs. “I’ve heard rumours.”      “Rumours?”      “Med students, passing themselves off as physicians, taking advantage of impressionable young women.”      “I resent that! A slanderous accusation! Slanderous and scurrilous! Now then, take off all your clothes and say ‘Ahh.’ ”      Amy leaned in closer, whispered in his ear. “Ahhhhh . . .”      And then—and then, the goddamn sound of the goddamn church bells. Dull peals, distant but ever-present.      “We ’re late! C’mon!” She leapt from his lap, hurried about, searching for underwear. She pulled on a pair, more or less at random, grabbed her jeans and hopped into them on the way to the bathroom.      Thomas fell back onto the bed, frustrated, annoyed, erect. He could see Amy brushing her teeth—or rather, chewing on the toothbrush as she unbuttoned the man’s shirt she was wearing. She tossed it to one side like a flag on the play, tried to disentangle a bra from a knot of laundry on the counter.      “Amy,” he said (sighed).      She packed her breasts into her bra like eggs into a carton, gave her teeth two decisive back-and-forths, spit into the sink, pulled back her hair with an elastic.        Thomas leaned up on his elbows, boxers still around his ankles. “Listen. About this whole church thing . . .”      She stopped. Stepped out of the bathroom with her toothbrush clenched in her mouth, glared at him. They’d had this conversation before.    

Editorial Reviews

“Ferguson is a keen observer of landscapes and cityscapes, and has a brilliant ear for dialogue and accent…. you will never see those creative 419 emails in your inbox in quite the same way.”