Written by Gaetan Soucy
Publication Date September 26, 2003
New York, at the end of the 1920s. Xavier X. Mortanse, a seventeen-year-old apprentice demolition man, who claims to be an immigrant from Hungary, falls into a hole -- the beginning of myriad bizarre humiliations he suffers, only to be shown mercy by a hairdresser named Peggy Sue who will later suffer a grotesque fate.
When Xavier loses his job, he and his singing frog are hired to perform in a vaudeville show, where freakish and sordid acts attempt to outdo each other. Violence and ugliness blend cartoonishly with comedy and music as Gaetan Soucy dares us to look into the darkest sides of human experience. No one in this fascinating tableau is who he or she appears including Xavier himself, who is, as his mother says, too many people and no one.
Gaetan Soucy has written four novels to acclaim in Canada and abroad, including The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches, Atonement, Vaudeville, and The Immaculate Conception, which was a finalist for the 2006 Scotiabank Griller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for Translation. Soucy teaches philosophy and lives in Montreal.