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Fiction Humorous

Whale Music

by (author) Paul Quarrington

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
May 1997
Humorous, Literary, 20th Century
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 1997
    List Price

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Des Howell is a former rock 'n' roll star who never leaves his secluded oceanfront mansion. Naked, rich and fabulously deranged, he subsists on a steady diet of whiskey, pharmaceuticals and jelly doughnuts and occasionally works on his masterpiece, "Whale Music." One day, upon awakening from his usual drunken stupor, Des discovers on his sofa a young alien from the faraway universe of Toronto. This girl has made the trek to Des' hideaway because she believes in the "Whale Music" and she's crazy enough to think that Des can make a comeback hit with his mad magnum opus--

About the author


Paul Quarrington won numerous awards for his work, including the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour and Canada Reads 2008 for his novel King Leary. His Governor General's Award-winning Whale Music was made into a critically acclaimed feature film. He also won awards for his writing for the television series Due South and for his screen play for Perfectly Normal. On January 21, 2010, he succumbed to lung cancer and died at his home surrounded by friends and family. He is missed.


Paul Quarrington's profile page


  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Awards - Fiction

Editorial Reviews

"Fast-paced, zany and knowledgeable — bursting with humour and wit."
The Toronto Star
"Quarrington has the reader straining to hear the chords, anticipating the concert, cheering for Des to complete his lonely suite."
"A poignant portrait... Quarrington is a wild, original, thoroughly Canadian, surprisingly mature national treasure."
Edmonton Journal
"Exceptionally inventive...Entertainingly written...Quarrington has a ribald, animated prose style all his own."
The New York Times Book Review
"The best novel written about rock 'n 'roll."

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