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4 of 5
1 rating
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rated!
list price: $21.00
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover Paperback Hardcover
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2015
ISBN:9780771022425
imprint: Emblem Editions

If I Fall, If I Die

by Michael Christie

reviews: 1
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coming of age, family life, literary
4 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $21.00
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover Paperback Hardcover
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2015
ISBN:9780771022425
imprint: Emblem Editions
Description

"A sweet coming-of-age story . . . but Christie goes further, adding to the mix a Hardy Boys-style mystery about bootlegged alcohol, pet wolves that never forget a human scent, and generally shady goings-on in abandoned grain elevators . . . Compelling." --The Globe and Mail 
Will has never been Outside, at least not that he can remember. For most of his young life he has lived happily Inside with his mother, Diane, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Then, one day, Will ventures Outside clad in a protective helmet and braces himself for danger. 
     Instead, Will finds a his newfound freedom with enthusiasm and eventually befriends Jonah, a quiet Native boy who introduces him to the most reckless and exhilarating activity he's ever seen: skateboarding. Even as Diane's fears intensify, Will finds his own fears fading and his body hardening with each new bruise, scrape, and fall. But life Outside quickly grows complicated, and Diane finds herself grappling with her greatest fear: will she be brave enough to save her son?
     Full of dazzling prose and irresistible characters, If I Fall, If I Die is a beautifully tender and unforgettable story.

About the Author

Michael Christie

MICHAEL CHRISTIE received his MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Prior to this, he worked in a homeless shelter on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and provided outreach to the severely mentally ill. A former professional skateboarder, he is a senior writer for Color Magazine, an award-winning publication that celebrates skateboarding culture. Michael Christie lives in Thunder Bay, and is working on his next book, a novel.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

MICHAEL CHRISTIE is the author of the novel If I Fall, If I Die, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Kirkus Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and was selected as a New York Times Editors Choice Pick, and a linked collection of stories, The Beggar's Garden, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and won the City of Vancouver Book Award. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Globe & Mail. A former carpenter and homeless-shelter worker, he divides his time between Victoria and Galiano Island, where he lives with his family in a timber frame house that he built himself.

Editorial Review

"A sort of Alice in Wonderland in reverse, where a kid from a place where fantasy reigns clambers out of his rabbit hole and emerges, awestruck, into the real world.... [His] journey brings out the wondrous in the mundane, and the emotional adventure of abiding friendship." --Toronto Star
"Beneath the lessons there's a symbolic wondrousness to this book, with its roaming wolves and its characters named Jonah, Titus, Gideon, Icarus. Christie may be mixing his metaphors here, but so what? The truth is that childhood is as deep and lasting as any mythology." --The New York Times

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Reader Reviews

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Great debut

This is a coming of age story that shares the story of a young man who is finally experiencing the "outside" world after spending most of his early years, trapped in his own home with his mother who suffers from agoraphobia.

It reads along at a quick pace, an intriguing mystery with several twists to the plot. Bounces back n forth in a good balance between the main character's voice and that of his mother. Allows the reader to have a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for the characters and their experiences with the "outside" world.

It follows themes of family tragedy, mental illness, resilience, the bonds of friendship and thrown in there is skate-boarding, chasing the thrill!

The Canadian setting is beautifully described, primarily taking place in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Realistic to the community's periods of boom and bust.

I rated 4/5, and recommend as a book to read in 2015! All Can-lit fans take a read!

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