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Fiction Literary

The Perfect Order of Things

A Novel

by (author) David Gilmour

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2011
Literary, Sagas, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2011
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

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Like a tourist visiting his own life, David Gilmour’s narrator journeys in time to reexamine those critical moments that created him. He revisits the terrible hurt of a first love, the shock of a parent’s suicide, the trauma of a best friend’s bizarre dissembling, and the pain and humiliation of unrelenting jealousy, among other rites of passage. Set within an episodic narrative arc stories about the profound effect of Tolstoy, of the Beatles, of the cult of celebrity, of the delusion of drugs, and of the literary life on the winding road of the narrator’s progress. This compelling and deeply interesting picaresque novel is a creative tour de force from the hand of one of our master storytellers.

The Perfect Order of Things breaks new fictional ground and is an astonishing story of a life lived fully and with breathtaking passion. David Gilmour is a novelist who has earned critical praise from literary figures as diverse as William Burroughs and Northrop Frye, and from publications as different as the New York Times to People magazine.

The author of six novels, he also hosted the award-winning Gilmour on the Arts. In 2005, his novel A Perfect Night to Go to China won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. His next book, The Film Club, was a finalist for the 2008 Charles Taylor Prize. It became an international bestseller, and has sold over 200,000 copies in Germany and over 100,000 copies in Brazil. He lives in Toronto with his wife.

About the author

The critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling author of seven previous novels and one work of non-fiction (The Film Club), DAVID GILMOUR is one of Canada’s most notable writers. Winner of the 2005 Governor General’s Award for Fiction for A Perfect Night to Go to China, Gilmour has won the praise of literary figures as diverse as William S. Burroughs and Northrop Frye. For many years, David Gilmour was a fixture on Canadian television as the national film critic for CBC’s The Journal, as well as the host of his own Gemini-winning show, Gilmour on the Arts. He is presently the Pelham Edgar Visiting Professor of literary studies at Victoria College at the University of Toronto.

David Gilmour's profile page

Editorial Reviews

it's a good read


Often books are judged by how they keep readers reading; much has to be said for the book that makes you stop in wonder. The Perfect Order of Things is such a book, and Gilmour's sensitive and cultivated nurturing of narrative provides a pleasure beyond words.

Edmonton Journal

What is undeniable... is Gilmour's seemingly effortless facility at turning a sentence, his searing honesty and self-awareness... Life, said Kierkegaard, can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards. Gilmour's novel, in all its messiness, is a testament to a well-lived life, and the understanding that comes with a certain age.

The work is passionate in its championing of art itself.

Quill and Quire

Taken as a memoir, or as a volume of collected prose, The Perfect Order of Things is a success; each piece is a pleasure to read. Gilmour's writing is always sharp, at times tender, at others caustically humorous. There is a wealth of engaging stories here that Gilmour handles with economy and considerable craft.

National Post

... a novel that gleams with intelligence, humour and wickedly precise observation.

The Globe and Mail (Metro Ed, ON)

...a masterpiece of irony, subversive humour and astonishing self-mockery.... a beguiling book...Gilmour handles his material with style and finesse, with a delicious sense of irony and with a creative jouissance. Here is a novel that gleams with intelligence, humour and wickedly precise observation. Read it, and wince.

Globe and Mail

Gilmour clobbers me with some incredibly sharp prose and vivid description.

Free Range Reading

The Gatsby references pile up. Like the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, Gilmour's prose has a polished translucence, which has always been a strength of his short, almost delicate novels.

Winnipeg Free Press

There might not be a more honest writer in Canada.

National Post

This novel stands on its own: comic, moving, a passing parade of stories, each more fascinating than the one before.

The Sun Times

What is undeniable... is Gilmour's seemingly effortless facility at turning a sentence, his searing honesty and self-awareness...

The Shakespearean Rag

...if there's a damaged character in any of [David Gilmour's] novels, it's the narrator. Like a waspy Woody Allen, this persona is always as self-obsessed as he is self-aware, a combination that makes for a lot of humour.

Toronto Star

This book provides motivation to live and feel life more fully. It's an outstanding work...Gilmour's best yet.

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