By Pasha Malla
“Malla’s language in this sweeping novel is perfectly suited to his quirky subject matter. He obviously loves words, and the surprising way he puts them together makes every sentence a thrill.”
“People Park crystalizes Malla’s unique voice: strong, clear sentences, surprising images, breezy dialogue and plenty of humour amongst the heavier and grander themes… People Park is an ambitious and complex novel, impressively rendered and fantastic to read.”
It’s the Silver Jubilee of People Park, an urban experiment conceived by a radical mayor and zealously policed by the testosterone-powered New Fraternal League of Men. To celebrate, the insular island city has engaged the illustrationist Raven, who promises to deliver the most astonishing spectacle its residents have ever seen. As the entire island comes together for the event, we meet an unforgettable cross-section of its inhabitants, from activists to nihilists, art stars to athletes, families to inveterate loners. Soon, however, what has promised to be a triumph of civic harmony begins to reveal its shadow side. And when Raven’s illustration exceeds even the most extreme of expectations, the island is plunged into a series of unnatural disasters that force people to confront what they are really made of.
People Park is a tour de force of eerily prescient, grotesque, and hilarious observation and a narrative of gripping, unrelenting suspense. Malla writes as if the twin demons of Stephen King and Flannery O’Connor were resting on his shoulders. You’ve never read anything quite like People Park.
“[M]assive, messy, entertaining, funny…Malla is a fabulously gifted writer and People Park showcases all of his gifts. The various vernaculars spoken by the characters are a consistent delight… People Park is a sopping hoagie of a novel: well worth it if you have the appetite, but be careful when you eat it. There’s stuff falling out all over the place.”
–Publishers Weekly, Owen King, author of Double Feature
“People Park is a zany and entertaining yarn crowded with incidents and colourful characters as different from one another as the acts in a top-notch circus… Malla’s first novel is more than a worthy followup to The Withdrawal Method; it’s a merry microcosm.”
–Winnipeg Free Press
“Built frankly atop an edifice previously constructed by a who’s who of prestigiously obscure masters – Robert Coover, Cesar Aires, Ferenc Karinthy, Mikhail Bulgakov – People Park is despite that a loose and friendly shaggy dog of a novel, often challenging but ever ingratiating.”
–The Globe and Mail
House of Anansi, Canada, World English, July 2012
Counterpoint/Soft Skull, US, March 2014
Amazon.ca First Novel Award Finalist 2012
A Quill & Quire Book of the Year 2012
Longlisted for the 2014 IMPAC