The Geography of Pluto

The Geography of Pluto

Véhicule Press / Esplanade Books

Will Ambrose, a high school geography teacher living in Montreal, has always struggled to make new connections. Echoes of his childhood feelings of alienation linger in his late twenties, even after his best friend Angie introduced him to Montreal gay community, and make him especially afraid of losing the few people already in his orbit. After nearly losing his mother to cancer, and breaking up with his first love Max, Will is content to living in the past, even as the present moves further out of reach.

The Geography of Pluto is a novel about impermanence, change, and the hope and despair they bring in equal measure. Through one young gay man’s journey in contemporary Montreal, Christopher DiRaddo’s debut reveals a simple but powerful truth: though the universe can sometimes be lonely, it is far from empty.

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Reviews

The Geography of Pluto provides an honest and moving account of one gay man’s life in Montreal. Friendship, desire, rejection, first love, and, above all, the bond between parent and child, are dramatized with deceptive simplicity. Embellished with a strong sense of place and season, its real location is the human heart — which is why I could not put it down.”

Andrew Holleran, author of Dancer from the Dance

“DiRaddo’s novel is a loving and tender exploration of the complexities of our hearts, the murky waters of identity and our ever-evolving connection to the people we hold close.”

Brian Francis, author of Fruit

“The book’s crystalline prose makes for an incredibly smooth read… It’s a simple story of romantic loss, of family loss, of friendships stretched to the limit, almost for the purposes of seeing if they’re truly worth the effort.”

— Rob Sherren, Montreal Review of Books

“(The) book is so sharply written and so full of insights into the human condition… DiRaddo has crafted a fine book about one young gay man’s struggle to realize his first big relationship really is over while holding his mother’s hand as she struggles through a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Set in Montreal’s gay milieu in the 1990s, The Geography of Pluto is one of those books that gets better as you keep reading, a rare combination of thoughtful writing that’s also hugely entertaining.”

— Matthew Hays, Daily Xtra

“Vividly redolent of a specific time and place — Montreal’s Gay Village of the mid-noughties — The Geography of Pluto breaks out of any possible period or genre constraints to achieve a true universality and immediacy.”

Ian McGillis The Montreal Gazette

“Friendship, relationships, heartbreak and family form the core of this novel about a twenty-something, gay teacher living in Montréal, navigating his responsibilities and his desires. Balancing playfulness with fears and uncertainties, DiRaddo gives readers a glimpse into another side of a complex life lived fully in Montréal.”

Robyn Fadden Tourisme Montreal

“Masterfully told, full of heart and heartbreak… a terrific debut that will have you mulling over the characters long after you’ve finished. They resonate that strongly. Highly recommended.”

Jerry L. Wheeler, Out in Print

“DiRaddo writes about Montréal as though it were a character in the story, bringing it to life even for readers who aren’t familiar with the bars and stretches of sidewalk that his characters inhabit… Will’s story is universal, and the ordinary way in which it is told emphasizes this universality while making it accessible to a large constellation of readers.”

Su J. Sokol, Matrix Magazine

“Loss, grief, mourning, The Geography of Pluto explores the emotional pain of separation with a simple story and beautiful writing. It brought me so close to Will, makes his experience so vivid to me, that I forgot several times that this novel was a fiction. Will Ambrose feels so real, so ordinary, and his struggles so terribly familiar, that everyone will recognize a bit of himself in The Geography of Pluto. I can’t recommend this book enough.”

Angélique, Maple Books

“Will Ambrose’s life is not a life of great events happening on a world stage but rather small ‘normal’ life happening quietly in a regular world. DiRaddo has written this book in the first person and by the final page Will has become a friend you know well enough to call on the phone and have a chat with. Although Will has set up emotional barriers between himself and the people in his life, he is very open with us readers.”

Scott Sheidlower, American Library Associations’s Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Round Table

“… a love letter to Montreal.”

— Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, The National Post

“… a heartfelt story about a young man trying to find his place in the world.”

— Candace Ferile, Quill and Quire

“… a sharply written time capsule of gay Montreal in the 1990s.”

— Michael-Oliver Harding, Nightlife