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Biblioasis Fall 2020

Forgotten Work
By (author): Jason Guriel
Jason Guriel


Biblioasis - Windsor



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Sep 29, 2020
$19.95 CAD


8.25in x 5.25 x 0.42 in | 165 gr

Page Count:

224 pages
FICTION / Literary
Fiction: general and literary|Science fiction: cyberpunk / biopunk
A love story about fandom, an ode to music snobs, and a time-tripping work of speculative fiction—in verse.

In the year 2063, on the edge of the Crater formerly known as Montréal, a middle-aged man and his ex’s daughter search for a cult hero: the leader of a short-lived band named after a forgotten work of poetry and known to fans through a forgotten work of music criticism. In this exuberantly plotted verse novel, Guriel follows an obsessive cult-following through the twenty-first century. Some things change (there’s metamorphic smart print for music mags; the Web is called the “Zuck”). Some things don’t (poetry readings are still, mostly, terrible). But the characters, including a robot butler who stands with Ishiguro’s Stevens as one of the great literary domestics, are unforgettable.

Splicing William Gibson with Roberto Bolaño, Pale Fire with Thomas Pynchon, Forgotten Work is a time-tripping work of speculative fiction. It’s a love story about fandom, an ode to music snobs, a satire on the human need to value the possible over the actual—and a verse novel of Nabokovian virtuosity.

Jason Guriel is the author of several collections of poems and a book of essays. His writing has appeared in Slate, The Atlantic, and other magazines. He lives in Toronto.

Praise for Forgotten Work

"A futuristic dystopian rock novel in rhymed couplets, this rollicking book is as unlikely, audacious and ingenious as the premise suggests."—New York Times

"A wondrous novel."—Ron Charles, Washington Post

"This is no novel for fans of 20th-century CanLit’s plodding linear plots of settling the land and alcoholism. This one is for the boundary pushers and bohos, jazz snobs with their fanatical attention to minutiae that allows them to feel superior to those who do not know about what Bukowski calls 'the thing!'"—Quill & Quire

"Forgotten Work’s biggest pyrotechnic is its form ... Guriel shifts comfortably between his formal constraint and the more prosaic needs of the narrative. Guriel’s formal choice reflects his characters’ obsessions with the past... Through this playful postmodern fictionalizing, Guriel signals the way that our approaches to past works and traditions form flags to rally around."—Canadian Literature

"Here's a verse-novel that is a sustained, dazzlingly crafted, adventure into the 21st century."—Molly Peacock, author of The Analyst

“What do you get when you throw John Shade, Nick Drake, Don Juan, Sarah Records, and Philip K. Dick into a rhymed couplet machine? Equal parts memory and forgetting, detritus and elegy, imagination and fancy, Forgotten Work could be the most singular novel-in-verse since Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate. Thanks to Jason Guriel’s dexterity in metaphor-making, I found myself stopping and rereading every five lines or so, to affirm my surprise and delight.”—Stephen Metcalf

“This book has no business being as good as it is. Heroic couplets in the twenty-first century? It’s not a promising idea, but Forgotten Work is intelligent, fluent, funny, and wholly original. I can’t believe it exists.”—Christian Wiman

"This may be the first rock 'n’ roll novel written in iambic pentameter ... strange and affectionate, like Almost Famous penned by Shakespeare. A love letter to music in all its myriad iterations."—Kirkus Reviews

"A feast of allusions—musical, literary, and cinematic—is the book’s most entertaining aspect, and it speaks to the powerful currents flowing between artists and artworks across disciplines, as well as to the effect of art on its consumers ... Guriel’s bountiful celebration of connections between art finds an inspiring, infectious groove."—Publishers Weekly

Praise for Jason Guriel

“What sets Guriel apart is the inescapable tone of his writing. It’s obvious from reading him: he is having fun … The best of his verse is infused with wit, irony, and the ghosts of his influences.”—Quill & Quire

“Guriel is the consummate stylist, and every poem in Satisfying Clicking Sound has plenty of flourish.”—Maisonneuve

"Like the bumblebee that flies even though it shouldn’t be able to, Forgotten Work’s amalgam of epic poem, sci-fi novel, and deep dive into rock-fandom gets improbably airborne, a feat attributable not only to its author’s large and multifaceted talent, but also to his winning infatuation with the diverse realms his story inhabits."—Literary Matters

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Also Available

Satisfying Clicking Sound Jason Guriel 9781550653731 $16.00 CAD May 01, 2014
The Pigheaded Soul Jason Guriel 9780889843684 $22.95 CAD Nov 15, 2013

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