Format: Trade Paperback, 424 pages
Publisher: Emblem Editions
ISBN: 978-0-7710-0990-7 (0-7710-0990-9)
Pub Date: July 17, 2007
Add this item to your cart
A local phenomenon goes national! This sparkling novel has the warmth and wide appeal of Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe and the wit of Will Ferguson.
What Alexander McCall Smith did with 44 Scotland Street, Todd Babiak does with The Garneau Block. This addictive and charming, laugh-out-loud funny novel enchanted readers when it was serialized in the Edmonton Journal in the fall of 2005 — and now, The Garneau Block makes its national debut.
The Garneau Block follows the knowable citizens of the adored and hated city of Edmonton, capturing what we connect to in local stories and what is universal about modern life. Here, in what can only be described as a storytelling tour-de-force, we meet the warm, endearing, and delightfully flawed residents of a fictional cul-de-sac in the city’s Garneau neighbourhood just after the scandalous death of a neighbour and the sudden news that their land is about to be repossessed by the university.
When mysterious signs begin to appear duct-taped to trees saying only LET’S FIX IT, the block — including a sacked university professor, a once-ambitious, knocked-up haiku expert living in her parents’ basement, an aging actor whose dreams are slipping away, and a quiet but polite stranger — is galvanized to band together in a wild attempt to save their homes. And when regular people put their dreams in motion, anything can happen — namely, political machinations, personal revelations, a public uproar, and unforeseen love.
From a young author whose name will soon be on everyone’s lips come the most lovable Canadian characters since Dave and Morley, and a page-turning-good story. Readers nationwide won’t be able to get enough of The Garneau Block.
For the next while, David talked about the merits of joining the PC party. Why fight it, really? No political organization is perfect, of course, but by giving your support to the Liberals or the New Democrats, what are you doing? Further dooming the City of Edmonton. Further empowering Calgary and the rural caucus.
“Nonsense, David,” said Abby. “That’s the sort of talk that leads to tyranny, and we’ve had plenty enough of it in this province.”
“Tyranny she says! Tyranny!” David took a few steps in Tammy’s direction, so they formed a political triangle. “No wonder the left is so flabby.”
–From The Garneau Block
From the Hardcover edition.
"Babiak’s highest achievement, though, lies in introducing us to the motley charms of the people and the city, whether they be bohemians who shop at Value Village or grandees who dine on bison with blueberry sauce at the Hardware Grill. If there really are a million stories in Champion City, let this one be the first."
— Quill & Quire
“The Garneau Block is screamingly funny. There is at least one laugh on every single page. This novel is fast-paced, savvy, bursting with vivid characters. A celebration of Edmonton! Satire that sucker punches everything sacred. Babiak comes out swinging.”
— Lisa Moore, author of Alligator
“As only the best writers can, Todd Babiak has taken a small patch of turf and, through sparkling satire and a passionate eye, made it a world. A neighborhood in Edmonton is about to get a lot of honorary citizens.”
— Ian McGillis, author of A Tourist’s Guide to Glengarry
“Babiak’s book will make you snicker and guffaw in public places. The Garneau Block is about an oddball cast of characters in a make-believe cul-de-sac in Edmonton, where life is one nonstop block party rife with political intrigue, neighbourly shenanigans, death, and romance.”
— Canadian Living
“...cleanly written, inventive, fast-moving, stuffed with zingers about everything from Satanists to cellphone ringtones, extremely affectionate toward its nutty cast of players, and laugh-out-loud funny. . . . Babiak’s highest achievement, though, lies in introducing us to the motley charms of the people and the city, whether they be bohemians who shop at Value Village or grandees who dine on bison with blueberry sauce at the Hardware Grill. If there really are a million stories in Champion City, let this one be the first.”
— Quill & Quire
“Mr. Babiak is blazing a trail — every city should have a story like this.”
— Alexander McCall Smith
From the Hardcover edition.
About this Author
Todd Babiak is the culture columnist for the Edmonton Journal and author of the #1 bestseller The Garneau Block, which was longlisted for The Scotiabank Giller Prize. His first novel, Choke Hold (Turnstone, 2000), won the Writers Guild of Alberta Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book and was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Also an award-winning screenwriter and the former Lord Mayor of Old Strathcona, Babiak lives and writes in Edmonton.
Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!