Up and Down
The author of the Stephen Leacock Medal-winning The Best Laid Plans brings his trademark humour and sharp storytelling to a new novel—also a Leacock finalist—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, 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, confirming his status as a literary star.