“The son of an “alcoholic, taxi-driving, amateur astronomer and a disillusioned manicurist”, Kepler Pressler – the anti-hero of Adam Honsinger’s startlingly assured first novel – does for the family-dysfunction novel what Elvis did for rock ’n roll: he makes it bluesier, edgier, funnier, better.” – Annabel Lyon
“Nervy, audacious domestic drama with the guile and electricity of a Presley hip swivel, Gracelessland proves what many of us have long suspected: Honsinger is a writer of immeasurable talent, and family is an affliction from which few recover.” – Nancy Lee
It’s 1978, the year after Elvis Presley died, and Kepler Pressler is a sixteen-year-old Toronto kid with an obsessive attachment to his sock monkey, a tendency to burst into tears, a mother with a nail fetish and a fondness for Shakespeare, and a father who says he works for the Space Agency and disappears a lot. Is dad dead? And what exactly happened on Kepler’s 16th birthday? He is devoting a year to figuring it out in a mental health institute.
“The broad-strokes familiarity of the overarching narrative allows Kepler’s personal peculiarities – and Honsinger’s skills as a writer – to shine through … a novel that feels fresh, rich, and heavy with the thrum of life.” – Robert Wiersema, Quill & Quire
“admirably zany without ever tipping into quirk.” – The Winnipeg Review