After I finished reading David Gilmour’s newest novel, The Perfect Order of Things, I immediately sat down and downloaded War and Peace on my Kobo, listening to the Beatles as I began.
Why? Gilmour’s novel, narrated by his fictional counterpart from many of his previous works, discusses the connection he feels with Tolstoy and his deep love for Beatles music, among many other things. Gilmour’s wit and intelligence shine through the prose, making each chapter so persuasive and engaging it was almost impossible for me to put the book down.
The novel is based on the narrator’s quest to go back and revisit many moments in his past in order to better understand his life, and ultimately to get ready for death, as he so bluntly puts it. The reader follows him back to events like his experience meeting Robert De Niro at TIFF, slapping a reviewer across the face after a bad Globe and Mail book review, taking too many OxyContins on a trip to Jamaica, and talking to his son Nick about lost love and how to deal with it, to name a few.
I was so impressed with Gilmour’s ability to weave his stories together through the narrator, and to make it seem as if I was reading a factual autobiography when it was really just fictional accounts of real events in Gilmour’s life. The book is short, only about 250 pages, but the amount of involvement I had in the story made it seem like I was experiencing all of the events right along with him.
Gilmour’s dry humour is apparent through the novel, and he is able to express the simplest of feelings with only a few words. For example, the first time he hears the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There”, he says it “made me want to throw something, swear, scream out the window, as if my young body simply could not contain the sensations it was experiencing.” Anyone who’s ever been so affected by a piece of music knows exactly what Gilmour means.
It’s prose like that that made this book such a pleasure to read, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone, as I think every reader can relate to at least one of Gilmour’s expertly written chapters.