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    9780735278110 Hardback, $32.95 CAD 9780735278127 Electronic book text, Reflowable, , EPUB 9780735278141 Downloadable audio file, $32.95 CAD 9780735278158 Downloadable audio file
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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date:Apr 13, 2021 Carton Quantity:24 $21.00 CAD
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The Wagers
By (author): Sean Michaels
9780735278134 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Literary Apr 13, 2021
$21.00 CAD
Forthcoming 5.19 x 7.99 x 0.97 in | 0.78 lb 384 pages Knopf Random Vintage Canada Vintage Canada
 
Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction 2020, Short-listed
Scotiabank Giller-winner Sean Michaels’ The Wagers is a deeply satisfying, wildly entertaining story of long odds, magical heists and the dizzying gamble of life. Where does luck come from? What is it worth? And how much of it do you need to be happy?

After fifteen years of open mics, aspiring comedian Theo Poitiris is still waiting for his big break—bicycling to the comedy club at night, stacking plums and cheeses at his family’s grand and ramshackle supermarket by day. But when his girlfriend wanders halfway around the world searching for enlightenment, leaving him behind, and bolts from the blue strike both his mother and his young neice, Theo decides he’s had enough of waiting for his luck to change.

He turns away from the price of milk and the telling of funny stories into a shabby, beautiful, imaginary Montreal, where peacocks strut on street corners and gamblers bet on sunny days. In search of something bold and new, Theo goes to work for a mysterious association of sports-obsessed mathematicians, The Rabbit’s Foot, which is turning probability into riches, and soon stumblies into the plots and plans of the vigilante No Name Gang, which steals luck from those who have taken more than their fair share.

Bursting with sheer story-telling pleasure and stylish prose, The Wagers carries you along on wave after wave of invention—a literary motorcycle chase that soon has you wondering about the randomness of good fortune and all the ways we choose to wage our lives.

Story Locale: Montreal; Taiwan; Morocco

AUTHOR OF US CONDUCTORS: Fans of his debut will be thrilled with this high-concept, literary heist novel.

STROKE OF LUCK: He had the idea for The Wagers before he won the Giller, but says his own big break leant urgency and authenticity to the book.

FOR FANS OF: David Mitchell, Haruki Murakami, Kelly Link, Karen Russell, Ursula K. Le Guin, Jennifer Egan

SEAN MICHAELS is a novelist, short-story writer and critic. Born in Stirling, Scotland, and raised in Ottawa, he eventually settled in Montreal, where he founded the pioneering music blog Said the Gramophone. His award-winning writing has also appeared in The Observer, McSweeney’s, The Guardian, Pitchfork, Maisonneuve, and The Globe and Mail. Sean’s debut novel, Us Conductors, received the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the QWF Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and was nominated for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Kirkus Prize for Fiction, the International DUBLIN Literary Award, and (in translation) the Prix des libraires de Quebec. He enjoys cold water, warm madeleines and songs with colours in their titles.

Author Residence: Montreal

Author Hometown: Ottawa

Feature Website: facebook.com/seanmichaelsauthor

Author Social Media: Twitter: @stgramophone

Shortlisted for the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction

One of CBC Books’s 20 Canadian books to read in September

One of Toronto Star’s 35 books to read in Fall 2019
One of NOW’s 17 must-read books for Fall 2019

The Wagers is a surprising, delightful book. Full of humour and adventure, the novel brims with rich detail and a generous outlook on life…. The Wagers captures the Montreal we live in, with all its improbable and otherworldly charms.” —Saleema Nawaz, author of Songs for the End of the World

“This novel is like a literary fireworks display, an explosion of joke-filled energy that manages to be a novel of ideas, but one delivered as if it were a caper story…. I had more fun reading this book than I have with any other novel for a very long time.” —Antanas Sileika, The Globe and Mail
 
“It might look like we’re being set up for a Marc Maron narrative: a brainy but unfocused comic scuffling on the margins, increasingly desperate, only to score an against-the-odds success in middle age…. Suffice to say that the idea of luck plays a central part, and that it takes the novel into speculative realms that will require a leap of faith on the reader’s part. It’s a leap most will be happy to make, such is the author’s deft hand and delightfully skewed world view.” —Montreal Gazette

“‘I like books that are like trap doors—you plunge into another tale and the book you think you’re reading abruptly becomes another book,’ Michaels says. The Wagers does this twice, before leaving a smile on your face and a Rihanna song stuck in your head. All we can hope for is the one-two-step of life, art and luck will work out so well for each of us, too.” —The Coast (Halifax)
 
“[A] thoughtful, offbeat novel…. Constantly fascinating.” —Kirkus Reviews

The Wagers is a work of great poise and maturity. But it’s also just plain fun, gloriously unafraid to play and laugh and throw jokes out into the room to see whether they land.” —Montreal Review of Books

“What starts out as a fairly realistic drama eventually morphs into a surreal caper…. Some readers will be overwhelmed by the whimsy of the story, while others will enjoy Michaels’s unflagging imagination.” —Publishers Weekly

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