Losing It

A darkly funny novel about madness in many forms, following the antics of a professor of English whose pivate life threatens to unhinge everything.
Finalist Ottawa Book Award 2003 Globe and Mail Notable Book 2001 Losing It is "an exhilarating roller-coaster ride that will have readers shrieking with delighted laughter and appreciation.... The plot here is occasionally so slapstick that it simply should not work. How many times can a character realistically fall down, sneak past discovery or evade disaster? But amazingly, and a real tribute to Cumyn's talent as a narrative maestro, this novel does work, engaging the reader completely and convincingly, with a wonderful temerity. Losing It is ultimately a brilliant tour de force that pushes past the boundaries of expectation and predictability." Aritha van Herk, The Globe and Mail
  "Here are all the basic ingredients for a fairly typical academic comedy of errors à la Kingsley Amis or David Lodge... But Cumyn's comedy is both sadder and more sinewy than his material suggests. As each chapter shifts to a different character's perspective, the reader experiences a kind of emotional variegation: a bold stripe of comedy yields to a paler, frailer shade of poignancy to a sudden black swath of outright distress. One minute the reader gets the low physical comedy of Bob... and rolls her eyes in grudging amusement; the very next page she sees Lenore wandering unsupervized from the nursing home, where a distraught Julia has had to commit her, to a nearby waterfall. Only her own immense dignity forestalls utter panic, and only immense luck staves off disaster. 'Tragical-comical- historical-pastoral,' as Shakespeare put it." Annabel Lyon, The Ottawa Citizen
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