On his first day at Turner King, David Stewart quickly realizes that the world of international PR (affectionately, known as "the dark side") is a far cry from his previous job with the Canadian government. 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 American and one Canadian 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 waters of U.S.-Canada 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.
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 at Queen's Park and in Ottawa. His first novel, 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, was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC's Canada Reads as "the essential Canadian novel of the decade," and became a CBC Television series. His next two novels, The High Road and Up and Down were finalists for the Leacock Medal, and in 2015, he won the prize a second time, for his fourth book, No Relation. A skilled public speaker, Terry Fallis is also co-founder of the public relations agency Thornley Fallis. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons, and blogs at www.terryfallis.com. Follow @TerryFallis on Twitter.
"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." Ottawa Citizen
"Fallis displays formidable chops when it comes to narrative pacing, wrangling subplots, balancing comedy and pathos." The Globe and Mail