This road story about gruff, jaded and formerly famous folky Lansing Meadows on his last cross-Canada tour is Domet’s follow-up to her award-winning debut novel, Homing. Humourous and readable, Meadows’ story is unravelled by Evan Cornfield, who worships his hero while unwittingly ushering him out of the business. The relationship isn’t an easy one. “Lansing was a bull. Evan was a china shop.” In pursuit is young reporter Dacey Brown, on her own searching road tour.
Two, then three characters clatter in Evan’s Corolla from Nova Scotia toward Meadows’ lifetime achievement award in Winnipeg. They cross a country of crumbling union halls and urbanista restaurants—ground that’s shifted beneath the veteran musician. In Canada, celebrities are mortal, but this end-of-career scraping by is a gloomy commentary on the grim reality of life as a Canadian artist. As a sophomore effort, Fallsy Downsies falls short of Domet’s first finely crafted work of emotional subtlety, but it’s still an intimately drawn portrait and an important addition to the Canadian cultural imagination.
by Stephanie Domet
$19.95, paperback, 360 pp.
Invisible Publishing, October 2013
Reviewed from unbound galley