The Parabolist: A Novel

by Nicholas Ruddock

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Book cover for The Parabolist

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Parabolist: noun (1) one who speaks in parables. (2) a member of a splinter group of disaffected young poets in Mexico City c. 1975. (3) a practitioner of the art of concentrating multiple sources of energy into a single focus, illuminating or, if left unchecked, destroying everything in its path.

Part comedy, part mystery, The Parabolist is a novel about murder, sex, the medical establishment, poetry and vigilante justice on the streets of Toronto in 1975.

Told through interlacing narratives, the story funnels towards the eye of an unsolved crime: on a rainy summer night, a woman is raped and very nearly murdered, but for the intervention of two drunken vigilantes who kill her attacker before fleeing the scene. The only clue the police have about their identities is a slab of Crisco shortening found on the victim.

The unforgettable cast of characters includes a charismatic Mexican poet, a libido-driven first-year medical student, a runaway teen turned prostitute, a raven-haired beauty, a sinister psychiatrist, and a donated corpse that is dissected - from skin to muscle to bone - as layer by layer, the inscrutable mysteries of anatomy, love, literature and life are poignantly revealed.

This is a funny, satirical, searing, dangerous and tender story of earnest youth and their ardent desire for love, acceptance and fulfillment.
  • ISBN10 0385668759
  • ISBN13 9780385668750
  • Publish Date 19 October 2010
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country CA
  • Imprint Anchor Canada