Strange, bizarre, weird, and richly imaginative are all words that are apt to describe this must-read book. Reading Torontonian author Rob Paynes How to Be a Hero on Earth 5 is like touring Alices Wonderland with Monty Python and the Adams family as guides. The adventure takes place in a space-time rupture between Earth and its alternate dimension, Earth 5.
Strange, bizarre, weird, and richly imaginative are all words that are apt to describe this must-read books. Reading Torontonian author Rob Paynes How to Be a Hero on Earth 5 is like touring Alices Wonderland with Monty Python and the Adams family as guides. The adventure takes place in a space-time rupture between Earth and its alternate dimension, Earth 5. Nova Scotian Lesley Choyces tour with 16-year-old Dylan Gibson in Deconstructing Dylan is almost as zany for the new meaning it gives to finding ones self-whether in a photograph, in a dream, in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, or on the shores of Scotlands Loch Ness.
Seventeen-year-old John Fitzgeralds trip to Earth 5 begins innocently enough with an Air Canada flight to England. John is to visit relatives at the insistence of his slightly eccentric scientist father. But when he slips into a dream and the plane slides into another dimension- watch out, for John is literally on a ride for his life. He has slipped through a hole in the Earths ozone layer that is being used by Earth 5 DIMCO agents (led by evil Colonel Ridpath) to siphon air, ice and water away from Earth and into Earth 5. As John acclimatises to the duplicate Earth 5 environment, he meets a succession of surprising characters-good, bad, and all of them quirky with a capital Q. Rex, the reappearing airport security guard, for example, communicates in riddles, anagrams and codes. He repeatedly directs John and his Non-Dimensional friends away from the DIMCO police toward safety, as they flee across England and Scotland to the Isle of Skye, a rendevouz point that should allow them to return home before time runs out and Colonel Ridpath confines them forever to the alternate dimension of Earth 5.
Like Chaucers merry band, John the Canadian and the loopy Non-Dimensionals-Delores, the sharp-tongued Texas Goth who plays on Johns heartstrings and on everyone elses nerves, Gus, an Australian self-styled mystic and would-be womanizer, Jen, a motor-mouthed ex-nanny, an older Nate, a carbon copy of Johns already eccentric real dad, and some others-trek onward while experiencing their mind-warping adventures in other dimensions. We read about an attack on John by a demonic wig of hissing hair and gnashing teeth, an assault on Gus by a fork and spoon, the hijacking of the troupes bus by a nun with a gun, a pair of kangaroos serving dishes nobody wants to die for, and a madcap television game show with the Non-Dimensionals pitted against a team of two monkeys and a squad of four squat rugby players with square heads. John and his crew race against the dimensional clock and the DIMCO thugs to get back to Earth. They succeed, but how-and with what consequences for John, his Dad 1, and Dad 2, who tags along, and for Johns mother-is best left for Rob Payne to tell in his inimitable fashion. M. Wayne Cunningham
(Books in Canada)
-- Books in Canada
'Strange, bizarre, weird, and richly imaginative...like touring Alices Wonderland with Monty Python and the Adams family as guides.' -- Books in Canada
Rob Payne is the author of three other novels, Live by Request, Working Class Zero, and Sushi Daze. Things you should know: he likes cats, but doesn't have one; he enjoys wearing new clothes, but generally hangs out in the same two pairs of jeans; and he lives in Toronto with his wife, Lizzie. Occasionally they cross dimensions on grey Sundays in the late afternoon.