Format: Trade Paperback, 344 pages
Publisher: Emblem Editions
ISBN: 978-0-7710-4126-6 (0-7710-4126-8)
Pub Date: October 11, 2005
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A finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Canada and Caribbean region), and a Globe and Mail Notable Book of the Year
After his father’s death, Russ Littlebury inherits the task of driving his aunt to her winter home in Arizona. While in Montana, he promises the daughter of a family friend that he will search for her absconded boyfriend, Jack Marks — a man Russ will discover is manipulative, charismatic, and brutal. As Russ travels from the American Southwest to the underworlds of Juarez, Mexico, and back in time from Toronto to Saskatchewan, he confronts his last months with his father and his affair with an open-hearted woman whose convictions entangled them in a small deception, with unforeseen consequences. Fuelled by a sense of responsibility and a growing fascination with the elusive Marks, Russ finds himself unexpectedly face to face with his own past. Michael Helm’s highly acclaimed second novel takes the reader on a breathtaking journey that explores violence, conversion, and loss, and the uneasy consolations we sometimes find in faith and love.
NOMINEE 2004 - Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
NOMINEE - Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Canada & Caribbean)
“In the Place of Last Things is a fine book by a very fine writer. In it, Michael Helm demonstrates that he has become one of Canada’s very best writers.”
—The Literary Review of Canada
“[S]hattering …. a steam train of a novel. Page after page etched with sentences so graceful, so hypnotically rhythmic and internally true to conditions, you’ll find yourself inside that singular bubble of experience reserved for the reading of a fiction marked to remain in the world long after you aren’t."
—Ken Babstock, The Ottawa Citizen
"The writing is funny and incisive, with a terrific newness about it…. Helm rises to the challenge of making our longing and imagining worthy and beautiful."
—Karen Solie, The Globe and Mail
"Occasionally a book comes along that stops you in your tracks. Michael Helm’s In the Place of Last Things … is that kind of book…. A beautiful achievement."
—The Toronto Star
“Helm possesses a terrific cadence of speech and language. He drops dialogue like a dime in a pay phone…. [P]oignant …. the writing soars.”
—The National Post
“In the Place of Last Things – potent, provocative, and stylish – confirms Helm as a major new talent.”
“This is the best thing I’ve read in a really long time. It’s totally convincing, a terrific blend of story, tension, humour, and language. . . . An amazing book.”
“Michael Helm’s very fine novel is a rarity, an eloquent and passionate appeal to both readers’ hearts and their minds.”
“A collision of muscle and sensuality, reason and vision. . . . A beautiful achievement.”
“[This book] only magnifies Michael Helm’s position within the handful of our best younger novelists.”
Michael Helm is the acclaimed author of The Projectionist, a finalist for The Giller Prize, and In the Place of Last Things, a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and for a regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. He studied literature at the University of Toronto, and has taught at colleges and universities in Canada and in the U.S. His writings on fiction, poetry, and photography have appeared in North American newspapers and magazines, including Brick, where he has been an editor since 2003.
Born in Saskatchewan, Michael Helm has lived most recently in Michigan and Toronto.
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