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Fiction Literary

The Cube People

by (author) Christian McPherson

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Oct 2010
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price

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Christian McPherson's debut novel The Cube People pokes fun at government cubicle culture through the life and times of a struggling computer programmer/novelist wannabe. McPherson surrounds his protagonist, Colin MacDonald, with a cast of screwball characters while he toils away at his government job, struggles with fertility and dreams of becoming a published writer. Recycled air, bad lighting and bizarre environmental office policies by day; scheduled love-making sessions and rejection letters by night, push MacDonald to try to write his way out of his cyclical life story. Part tragedy, part comedy--with a bit of horror thrown in for fun--McPherson cooks up a boiling plot and a memorable anti-hero.

About the author

Christian McPherson is the author of six books, Cube Squared, My Life in Pictures, The Sun Has Forgotten Where I Live, The Cube People (shortlisted for the 2011 ReLit Awards), Poems that swim from my brain like rats leaving a sinking ship, and Six Ways to Sunday (shortlisted for the 2008 ReLit Awards). He has a degree in philosophy from Carleton University and a computer programming diploma from Algonquin College. He is married to the beautiful Marty Carr. They have two kids, Molly and Henry. They all live together in Ottawa.

Christian McPherson's profile page


  • Short-listed, ReLit Awards

Editorial Reviews

"What's really distinctive about the book is just how funny it is. The sex scenes and masturbatory scenes are side-splitting; the bizarre, labyrinthine governmental logic is richly, darkly comic; the failures of the struggling writer are, in their sad-sack way, laughalong. McPherson has many ways to make the reader laugh, from the more energetic and obvious to the more sophisticated"
-Shane Neilson, The Fiddlehead

Christian McPherson's The Cube People is a cocktail of genre work that has something for every reader to enjoy. Though the novel follows in the footsteps of novelists interested in exploring the angst of white collar workers (the kind of novel now diligently studied in Am Lit graduate seminars), it also ventures into the campy worlds of science fiction, blood-and-guts schlock horror, and a certain kind of fantasy, all the while sustaining the episodic carnival with a sincerely touching family narrative that is honest, funny, relatable, and very loving.
--Amanda Trip, a href=>Maple Tree Literary Supplement

The life-among-the-bean-counters part of McPherson's book is well managed and entertaining ... the comic evocation of domestic routines makes for an interesting counterpoint to the rest of the book. What ties everything together is the character of Colin, a well-meaning, dutiful type who acts as a pivot of sanity for the chaos to swirl around. And despite the raw moments, the conclusion is a good-natured affirmation of his core family values.
--Alex Good, Quill & Quire

[The] Cube People is a sardonic and acerbic tale of one man's daily grind as a faceless underling in a federal office. Outside of the office he works on his own novel (we get the plot within the plot), and desperately tries to get his wife -- anxious and impatient for children -- pregnant. It's a funny and clever book, and it could deservedly become a sleeper hit for the writer.
--Peter Simpson, a href=>Ottawa Citizen (The Cube People was also Simpson's pick as his a href=>critic's top choice!)

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