Book review: The Geography of Pluto, by Christopher DiRaddo

DiRaddo Geography of PlutoDiRaddo, Christopher. The Geography of Pluto: A Novel. Comorant Books. 2014. $21.95. 277p. PB. 978-1-77086-363-4.

The Geography of Pluto is the story of Will Ambrose, a late twenty-something middle school geography teacher living in Montreal, whose life is going through many changes. While the reader won’t find those changes as enormous as Pluto’s down-grade from a planet to a piece of space ice which happens towards the end of the book, nonetheless, they are as significant to Will. His life changes are more quotidian in the gay world. For example, breaking up with boyfriend Max and starting a new relationship with James; going out to gay bars with his lesbian best friend Angie and her friends; drinking and visiting his mother on a regular basis [n.b. she’s a part-time librarian!] and dealing with life and the world after his mom’s death from colon cancer.

Will Ambrose’s life is not a life of great events happening on a world stage but rather small “normal” life happening quietly in a regular world. DiRaddo has written this book in the first person and by the final page Will has become a friend you know well enough to call on the phone and have a chat with. Although Will has set up emotional barriers between himself and the people in his life, he is very open with us readers.

This book is recommended for any library that collects gay fiction, especially one that is looking to reflect the wider world. It also easily represents the world of Modern Canada.

Scott Sheidlower, Associate Professor, Library

York College/CUNY, Jamaica, NY

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