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LPG Loan Stars Catalogue: Spring 2019

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Bad Ideas
A Novel
By (author): Missy Marston
9781770414617 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Women Apr 23, 2019
$18.95 CAD
Active 5 x 7.75 x 0.62 in | 0.66 lb 264 pages ECW Press

Wildly funny and wonderfully moving, Bad Ideas is about just that — a string of bad ideas — and the absurdity of love

Trudy works nights in a linen factory, avoiding romance and sharing the care of her four-year-old niece with Trudy’s mother, Claire. Claire still pines for Trudy’s father, a St. Lawrence Seaway construction worker who left her twenty years ago. Claire believes in true love. Trudy does not. She’s keeping herself to herself. But when Jules Tremblay, aspiring daredevil, walks into the Jubilee restaurant, Trudy’s a goner.

Loosely inspired by Ken “the Crazy Canuck” Carter’s attempt to jump the St. Lawrence River in a rocket car, and set in a 1970s hollowed-out town in eastern Ontario, Bad Ideas paints an indelible portrait of people on the forgotten fringes of life. Witty and wise, this is a novel that will stay with you a long time.

Short Description

Bad Ideas is set in the daredevil heyday of the 1970’s, exploring a range of human folly, from the personal (fist fights, sleeping with married men) to the public (stunt-car driving, rodeo) to the colossal (moving entire towns to re-route a river). It examines hubris, desperation, blind optimism – and their consequences

Sales and Market Bullets

  • Features females of three generations living together in one house.

  • The book explores a range of human folly, from the personal (fist fights, sleeping with married men) to the public (stunt-car driving, rodeo) to the colossal (moving entire towns to re-route a river).

  • Bad Ideas is a book that is generous and sympathetic to both sexes.

  • “To call Marston’s humor wry is barely a start. The twist in her comedy is fueled by merciless observation, unvarnished glimpses into the human appetite for misery.” —The Globe and Mail on The Love Monster


  • Literary fiction readers

  • Mostly women

  • Age 25–50

  • Independent bookstore customers

  • Book clubs

Missy Marston’s first novel, The Love Monster, was the winner of the 2013 Ottawa Book Award, a finalist for the CBC Bookie Awards and the Scotiabank Giller Prize Readers’ Choice. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

“This novel of working class women and the men they let into their lives is like a small town: both tough and soft. These strong, funny, and intense characters have unique and deep-seated ideas about love and family, have dreams that are big enough. Marston writes with love and verve. In Bad Ideas people take life as it comes, and think those bad ideas are probably going to play out just fine.” — Dina Del Bucchia, author of Don't Tell Me What to Do

“I’d follow Missy Marston’s writing anywhere, even off an ill-conceived launch ramp across the St. Lawrence River in a rocket-car. In Bad Ideas, she tells a story with hard edges, humour, and so much tenderness, affirming her place as one of Canada's funniest and original writers.” — Kerry Clare, author of Mitzi Bytes

“An astonishing, funny, and beautiful book. It’s full of terrible, lovable, broken people doing their best to find happiness wherever they can — in fast cars, booze, or in the arms of the right-but-wrong person. It's about the parts of ourselves that remain underwater in the murk and the bits we choose to showcase. It’s about what it means to love the wrong people — the broke stunt driver, the married man, the absent mother. Always illuminating and never sentimental, Bad Ideas is an honest look at what it means to dream big in a small town. Oh, and there’s a surprise ending that’s absolutely glorious.” — New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McCartney

“An unusual story of both familial and romantic love, the strange dreams humans have, and the cost and benefits of loyalty.” — Kirkus Reviews

Bad Ideas is a great read, a well-balanced mix of pathos and humour . . . The way Ms. Marston brings all the threads of each character’s past into the present is a marvel of writing that makes Bad Ideas well worth reading. Put it on your Summer Reading List.” — Miramichi Reader

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