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A World Elsewhere [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Wayne Johnston
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 9 2011

Beloved author Wayne Johnston returns to the territory of his #1 national bestseller The Colony of Unrequited Dreams with this sweeping tale of ambition, remorse and hope.

A World Elsewhere has all the hallmarks of Wayne Johnston's most beloved and acclaimed novels: outsiders yearning for acceptance, dreams that threaten to overpower their makers, and unlikely romance. It is an astounding work of literature that questions the loyalties of friends, family and the heart. At the centre of this story is a mystery: the suspected murder of a child. This sweeping tale immerses us in St. John's, Princeton and North Carolina at the close of the nineteenth century. Landish Druken is a formidable figure: broader than most doorways, quick-witted and sharp-tongued. As a student at Princeton, he is befriended by George Vanderluyden, son of one of the wealthiest men in America. Years later, when Landish and his adopted son turn to Vanderluyden for help, he invites them to his self-constructed castle and pulls them into his web of lies and deceit.

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Praise for A World Elsewhere
A Globe and Mail Best Book
LONGLISTED 2013 – IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

“Johnston’s facility for inventing characters we worry about, and one we even loathe, along with a gift for word play that’s at once witty and poignant make A World Elsewhere a world well worth inhabiting.”
The Gazette
A World Elsewhere marks perhaps his greatest achievement in conveying the emotional state and psychology of tackling one’s past and culture.”
“Trust Annie Dillard’s judgment: Read it and revel in one of the funniest books that will move you to a deeper sense of the poignancy of human experience.”
The Globe and Mail
“I’ve said many times that Canadian novelists are too obsessed with the past and ought to get with the urban present, but I’m fine if Wayne Johnston sticks to his period pieces. His fictionalized stories . . . are gripping portrayals of ambition.”
—NOW (Toronto) (Buy the Book feature)
Praise for Wayne Johnston
“His books are beautifully written, among the funniest I’ve ever read, yet somehow at the same time among the most poignant and moving.”
—Annie Dillard

"A wondrous writer--of rich, irresistibly readable prose. He possesses a deft intelligence and a rare sense of what's truly interesting to tell about life."
—Richard Ford

"Why I love reading Wayne Johnston: The reader goes skittering through Wayne Johnston's novels, driven inexorably forward on the force of his characters, on the power of his wit.... Wayne's stories have characters who move in and take up permanent residence."
—Mary Walsh

"A literary giant who has god-given talent."
—Will Ferguson

About the Author

WAYNE JOHNSTON was born and raised in the St. John's area of Newfoundland. His nationally bestselling novels include The Custodian of Paradise, The Navigator of New York and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, which was an international bestseller and will be made into a film. Johnston is also the author of an award-winning and bestselling memoir, Baltimore's Mansion. He lives in Toronto.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars strange but interesting Jan. 28 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wayne Johnston obviously delights in playing with words, and that is a pleasure for the reader as well. As in his previous novels, he likes to take a real-life event and build a fictionalized story around it. His characters are so exaggerated that they are fascinating. The other side of the coin though, is that the work is so intense that I found I needed to take a break from it now and then. I have another book by Johnston, but feel that I don't want to start it for a few months because my mind needs a rest and a complete change of style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Johnston, you will enjoy this book. July 22 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Classic Johnston humour with wonderful play on words. Well developped characters that give us food for thought. Enjoyed it very much.

Lucie Lacroix
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What was the point? Jan. 18 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If Mr Johnson was trying to use up his store of puns and word plays, I would say he did that.
The writing is good, and the word plays were mostly fun, but they appeared in bunches, and with different characters, as if he couldn't decide who would carry that characteristic.
Worse, the story was without hope.
Then, at the end, I think Mr. Johnson thought he might like to have it made into a movie, so he threw in a Hollywood ending. Very disappointing.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment Jan. 21 2012
I am a huge fan of Wayne Johnston and have read all his books to immense enjoyment. This novel disappointed me on many levels. The plot twists were unbelievable and even though Deacon, the child, held my interest, the other characters were unattractive in the extreme. Also Wayne seemed to borrow extensively from Jessica Grant and her marvellous debut novel "Come Thou Tortoise" with his exhausting plays on words. I finished the book in the hope there would be some redemption for me, the reader, but the ending was farcical and out of place in the literary ambition of the whole. You can do far, far better than this, Wayne.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging but falls short of greatness Oct. 7 2011
I've previously read "The Navigator of New York" and liked it - I read "The Colony of Unrequited Dreams" and didn't care so much for that one. This novel falls somewhere in between those. At first, the characters merely annoyed me and made me wonder why I was supposed to stick with them through the novel. By the time we get to Vanderland in the final half, though, things are ticking along and the engagement is up. The plot twists at the end seemed improbable and a little ridiculous but otherwise this novel is fine. It has literary touches that let you know you're dealing with a writer who has real ability, but in this case has written a merely good novel.
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