A World Elsewhere by Wayne Johnston

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The wordplay can feel overwrought: "I'm more of a startist than an artist. I was once a starving artist but am now a raving startist."
-Guardian

Synopsis

Set in the late nineteenth century, "A World Elsewhere" is an intricately woven tale of humour and emotion, of family and friendship, of ambition and destitution. At its centre is Landish Druken, son of a Newfoundland sealing captain, who turns his back on family tradition and wishes to become a writer. Well-mannered and eloquent, Landish sets off from St John's to Princeton University, where he is befriended by 'Van' Vanderluyden, son of the wealthiest man in America, and later betrayed by him. Landish is banished from Princeton and his hopes crumble. Returning to St John's, he adopts Deacon, an orphan, the son of his father's first mate. Outcast, fighting off destitution, Landish raises Deacon alone, with no tools other than trust, humour and compassion. But when poverty casts them out of their home, there is only one person left to turn to: Van. They make the long journey to North Carolina, where Van has built Vanderland, a huge, magnificent castle. There they are swiftly pulled into a world of deception and murder, and the mettle of the exceptional Landish, and the bond with his adopted son, is truly tested. This is a novel of great invention and emotional intensity, "A World Elsewhere" is unexpected and extraordinary, and a work emblematic of Wayne Johnston's brilliance.
 

About Wayne Johnston

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Wayne Johnston was born and raised in the St John's area of Newfoundland. He is the author of five previous novels including 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.
 
Published August 9, 2011 by Knopf Canada. 320 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for A World Elsewhere
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Alfred Hickling on Aug 16 2013

The wordplay can feel overwrought: "I'm more of a startist than an artist. I was once a starving artist but am now a raving startist."

Read Full Review of A World Elsewhere | See more reviews from Guardian

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Aug 12 2011

These concerns emerge from a narrative written with Johnston’s accustomed verve and humour. The wordplay is another question. Some will like it. Others will not like it so much, but I doubt anyone would be so put off by it that he or she can’t enjoy the tale.

Read Full Review of A World Elsewhere | See more reviews from National Post arts

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