Synopses & Reviews
"Like Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-City Shantytown, an account of the author's undercover year in Toronto's Tent City, Bishop-Stall's debut novel breaks hearts. Emotionally damaged by childhood and adolescent traumas, druggie drifter and alcoholic gambler Mason Dubisee pushes the 'Dogfather' hot dog cart in downtown Toronto during the day and sporadically tackles his stalled novel at night. Between his agonizingly described hangovers, Mason also writes suicide notes for various disturbed personalities. He falls in desperate love with Willy, a hemiplegic with a heart of gold and a heroin habit of her own, and runs afoul of a psychopathic prisoner on parole, who steals Mason's file from Mason's sometime shrink, who has serious problems of her own. Bishop-Stall's gritty, experimental style and grungy subject matter may turn off some readers, but his occasionally inchoate if conventional message about the 'toughness and grace' of people who have saved one another will resonate with many. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Growing up, Mason Dubisee had a hundred future selves: Jedi. Cowboy. Jedi-cowboy. Explorer. Rock star. Sandinista-Gandhi-Hemingway-Indiana-Jones type thing. But at thirty, he must finally face the truth: Hes a drug-addled drifter, an aspiring novelist unable to move beyond lists of titles and themes.
Desperate, he takes a job as The Dogfather”a downtown hot dog vendor. When a mysterious customer hires him to write a very personal letter, he stumbles into a shadow career, ghostwriting suicide notes for the despondent. The gig helps cover his gambling debts but takes an emotional toll. The trouble is, Mason is hardwired to rescue people, and no one needs rescuing more than the suicidal. Except maybe Willy, the heroin-addicted beauty hes falling for.
What happens when someone wrestling with his own demons immerses himself in other peoples tragedies? Quite a lot: A hotdog cart is totaled, a convict sprung, a funeral faked, a head scalped, a horse stolen. As Masons professional and personal lives become entangled, his sanity is testedas is the line between suicide and murder.
Ghosted is a gritty literary thriller, a black comedy, a high-stakes poker caper, an urban cowboy adventure, and a love story. Bishop-Stall plunges fearlessly into the perilous terrain of drugs, love, and death in this ambitious debut.