Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
Accolades: Longlisted for the Sunburst Award
What's It About? An illiterate young man goes to work for a dictionary publisher. But something more than lexicography is going on in the creepy confines of Emberton Tower—something that threatens the very existence of language itself. And it's up to our hero to thwart this plot and, in the process, uncover the secret of his own past.
Where Can I Buy It? Here.
What the Critics Say:
"Peter Norman has crafted a novel that is by turns self-consciously amusing, ironic, and dark. It . . . uses fresh and poetic characterizations and it bends literary genre like rebar . . . assuredly like nothing else you'll read this year—or, perhaps, for a long while." — Stevie Howell, National Post (full review here)
"Language itself is at stake in this ingenious puzzle book." — Susan G. Cole, NOW (full review here)
"Great and strange... Peter’s writing is so beautiful and he has a great turn of phrase, so it’s a mixture of a gothic, fantastical, magical-realist book and then this really lovely and poetic language... a cross between Tom Robbins and the Brontë sisters." — Sean Michaels, What Are You Reading, WYPR Baltimore (full interview here)
"Emberton shifts dramatically from a funny satire about words to a straight-up horror novel . . . Norman manages to hold us by the throat all the way to a satisfying finish." — Mark Sampson, The Winnipeg Review (full review here)
"What a trip . . . one very funny gothic novel with a decided literary bent . . . Love language or books, Emberton is worth tracking down." — Andrew Parry, Parry Sound Sun Times
"A fresh take on many literary conventions . . . Emberton is part detective mystery, party dystopian thriller, part office romantic-comedy, part horror story . . . the novel has broad appeal. Norman's broad imagination is on display throughout, and his inventive imagery reaches a ghoulish climax . . . far more enjoyable than one would imagine any novel about a dictionary could be." — Michelle LeDonne, Bull Calf
"This well-paced contemporary gothic novel slides seamlessly from a vague sense of disquiet to full-blown horror . . . a work that will satisfy lovers of language."
— Gordon Arnold, Winnipeg Free Press
"A virtuoso performance . . . great fun every step — every word — of the way . . . As long as we have writers like Peter Norman creating salvos like Emberton, there is hope for the survival of the pleasures of language and reading." — Drew Rowsome (full review here)