From Coach House Books: Longlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize! Winner of the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize! Winner of the 2012 Relit Award for Best Novel!
A seventeen–year–old boy, bullied and heartbroken, hangs himself. And although he felt terribly alone, his suicide changes everyone around him.
His parents are devastated. His secret boyfriend’s girlfriend is relieved. His unicorn– and virginity–obsessed classmate, Faraday, is shattered; she wishes she had made friends with him that time she sold him an Iced Cappuccino at Tim Hortons. His English teacher, mid–divorce and mid–menopause, wishes she could remember the dead student’s name, that she could care more about her students than her ex’s new girlfriend. Who happens to be her cousin. The school guidance counsellor, Walter, feels guilty – maybe he should have made an effort when the kid asked for help. Max, the principal, is worried about how it will reflect on the very Catholic school. And Walter, who’s been secretly in a relationship with Max for years, thinks that’s a little callous. He’s also tired of Max’s obsession with some sci–fi show on tv. And Max wishes Walter would lose some weight and remember to use a coaster.
And then Max meets a drag queen named Crêpe Suzette. And everything changes.
Monoceros is a masterpiece of the tragicomic; by exploring the effects of a suicide on characters outside the immediate circle, Mayr offers a dazzlingly original look at the ripple effects – both poignant and funny – of a tragedy.
How does this description measure up to our reading of the novel? You’ll have to listen to find out.
Other books mentioned in this episode:
Carpenter’s Gothic by William Gaddis
The Dick Gibson Show by Stanley Elkin
The Lime Twig by John Hawkes
The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki Sointula by Bill Gaston