The World by Bill GastonThe World by Bill Gaston

The World

byBill Gaston

Paperback | August 13, 2013

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A recently divorced, early retiree accidentally burns down his house on the day he pays off the mortgage, only to discover that an uncharacteristic oversight has pitted him against an impassive corporate bureaucracy. An old friend of his, a middleaged musician, enters into a final negotiation with the pain of esophageal cancer. Her father, who left his family years ago to practise Buddhism in Nepal, ends his days in a facility for Alzheimer’s patients. These three are tied together by a book called The World, written by the old man in his youth.

Possibly autobiographical, the book tells the story of a historian who unearths a cache of letters, written in Chinese, in an abandoned leper colony off the coast of Victoria. He and the young Chinese translator fall in love, only to betray each other in the cruelest way possible, each violating what the other reveres most.

Magnificently written, structurally daring, and a masterful blend of imagination and observation, The World is arguably the greatest achievement so far of Bill Gaston’s career.

BILL GASTON is the author of seven novels and six collections of short fiction. He teaches at the University of Victoria and is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2003 inaugural Timothy Findley Lifetime Achievement Award and the  CBC/Canadian Literary Award.  Mount Appetite, one of his collections of short stories, was shortl...
Title:The WorldFormat:PaperbackDimensions:376 pages, 8.2 × 5.3 × 0.8 inPublished:August 13, 2013Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:014318086X

ISBN - 13:9780143180869

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from extremely worthwhile read Gaston's fiction is expansive because of the equal weight he gives humour and compassion. Part hilarious road trip, part elegy to dying, and mostly a celebration of the tentative and profound connections between humans, 'The World' deserves a place beside the novels of David Adams Richards for its moral depth and uncanny vision.
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A very good read Gaston's story contains another story within it, a difficult task that he's done very well. Stuart Price journeys from his burnt house in BC to his dying friend in Toronto. Sounds all negative, but the story is more about finding great things where you're not looking, seeing depths in the shallows.Characters are engaging, amusing, interesting.
Date published: 2013-02-19

Editorial Reviews

"Oh, is this a book! What stories, what writing, what feeling, what depth, what humour.. If it's possible to cram a world of human existence into a single piece of CanLit, and to do so with grace, understatement, wry humour, respect and love, then Bill Gaston has done just that." - The Globe and Mail