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Fiction City Life


And Its Part in My Downfall

by (author) Paul Quarrington

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Sep 1995
City Life, Literary, Humorous
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1995
    List Price

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Received with almost unanimous accolades from critics and readers alike, Civilization is the amazing tale of Thom Moss, a young man who sets out in the early twentieth century in search of a grand adventure.  He soon finds himself in the thick of Hollywoodland, employed as an actor by the renowned Caspar Willison, master of the two-reel cowboy flicker.  However, Thom's fortune quickly takes a ruinous turn and he lands in the Penitentiary, where he writes the story of his downfall.  At once hilarious and courageous, Civilization is a daring work by one of Canada's finest novelists.

About the author


Paul Quarrington won numerous awards for his work, including the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour and Canada Reads 2008 for his novel King Leary. His Governor General's Award-winning Whale Music was made into a critically acclaimed feature film. He also won awards for his writing for the television series Due South and for his screen play for Perfectly Normal. On January 21, 2010, he succumbed to lung cancer and died at his home surrounded by friends and family. He is missed.


Paul Quarrington's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A fast and funny piece of picaresque, a refined rollick through the earliest days of movies...A wonderfully looping narrative in period dress, with a plot that fairly spins with ribald, comic energy...Hilarious." --The Financial Post
"Verbal ripeness, a wildly eccentric cast of characters, comic scenes of rare nuttiness, rutting galore, and a quest, which like all good quests ends back where it began in a rather astonishing way...Mythically proportioned." --The Globe and Mail
"Crammed with incidents that occur at breath-taking speed...Consistently pleasing." --The Toronto Star

Other titles by Paul Quarrington