The author of the Stephen Leacock Medal-winning The Best Laid Plans brings his trademark humour and sharp storytelling to a new novel set in the high-stakes world of a global public relations agency.
On his first day at Turner King, David Stewart quickly realizes that the world of international PR (affectionately, perhaps ironically, known as "the dark side") is a far cry from his previous job on Parliament Hill. For one, he missed the office memo on the all-black dress code; for another, there are enough acronyms and jargon to make his head spin. Before he even has time to find the washroom, David is assigned a major project: devise a campaign to revitalize North America's interest in the space program - maybe even show NASA's pollsters that watching a shuttle launch is more appealing than going out for lunch with friends. The pressure is on, and before long, David finds himself suggesting the most out-of-this-world idea imaginable: a Citizen Astronaut lottery that would send one Canadian and one American to the International Space Station. Suddenly, David's vaulted into an odyssey of his own, navigating the corporate politics of a big PR agency; wading through the murky but always hilarious waters of Canada-U.S. relations; and trying to hold on to his new job while still doing the right thing.
Equal parts clever and satirical, thoughtful and affecting, Up and Down is Terry Fallis at his best, confirming his status as a Canadian literary star.
TERRY FALLIS grew up in Toronto and earned an engineering degree from McMaster University. Drawn to politics at an early age, he worked for cabinet ministers both at Queen's Park and in Ottawa. His first book, The Best Laid Plans, began as a podcast, then was self-published, won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, was re-published by McClelland & Stewart to great reviews, and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC's Canada Reads as "the essential Canadian novel of the decade." His follow-up, The High Road, was a finalist for the 2011 Leacock Medal. A skilled public speaker, Terry Fallis is also cofounder of the public relations agency Thornley Fallis. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children. Follow him on Twitter: @TerryFallis.
“One of CanLit’s crowned king of chuckles, Terry Fallis hits stratospheric heights with his latest well-balanced and unpredictable satire.”
“Not too many Canucks have ventured to write humorous books. There is Stephen Leacock, of course. And Robertson Davies cranked out a couple . . . Count Terry Fallis among the few to achieve success at the form.”
"Gently satirical and intelligently frothy, Up and Down achieves a delightful weightlessness as transporting as the space voyage it deals with."
—Andrew Pyper, author of The Guardians
"A rollicking good ride. Funny one moment, serious the next, always compelling: a reminder that we can all dream."
—Marc Garneau, Canada's first astronaut, Member of Parliament