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Fiction Literary

The Valedictorian

by (author) David James Elliott

Iguana Books
Initial publish date
Jan 2022
Literary, City Life, 21st Century
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2022
    List Price

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High school was child's play for Arthur Wilberforce Cardel. But now the valedictorian is back home after his first term at Queens, and something is terribly wrong. Once perceived as destined for great things, he's now inexplicably sullen. His parents are frantic. Why won't he talk to them? What is he hiding? In desperation they turn to Punanai House for answers. But the rough-and-tumble world of addiction treatment is not what they expect. Counsellors dressed like gangsters speak with a bewildering confidence-but is what they say bluster or the truth about addiction? Arthur struggles to make sense of a bewildering array of competing and contradictory advice, but none of it helps him deal with the primal urges that are driving him. He catches a break when he reconnects with a young woman from high school who suggests a novel solution. That speck of fire in Rachael's eyes was back again. "I want to do a film about this...TV is full of desperate addicts and sobbing relatives...The camera always shows people hugging, storming out of rooms, threatening to kill themselves... That's what addiction looks like from the outside, but that's not what it really is..." Find out what's really going on behind this young addict's eyes...

About the author

David Elliott, a lifelong resident of Toronto and a graduate of both York University and the University of Toronto, has worked for a decade as an addiction counsellor. In retirement he splits his time between creative writing and volunteering as spiritual director at Punanai House. Find out more at

David James Elliott's profile page