The Book of Rain by Thomas Wharton

Read an excerpt

See also
thomaswharton.ca
facebook.com

94,000 words
Manuscript available fall 2021

RIGHTS SOLD

Canada: Random House, spring 2023

ABOUT THOMAS WHARTON

Thomas Wharton (Photo: unknown)
(Photo: Courtesy of the author)

Thomas Wharton has been published in Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan, and other countries. His first novel, Icefields, won the 1996 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in Canada and the Caribbean and was also a 2008 CBC Canada Reads pick. His next book, Salamander, was shortlisted for the 2001 Governor-General’s Award for Fiction and was also a finalist for the Roger’s Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize the same year. In 2006, Wharton's collection of stories,The Logogryph was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award.
Thomas currently lives near Edmonton, Alberta.

The Book of Rain

by Thomas Wharton

IN HIS FIRST NOVEL IN 20 YEARS, THE AUTHOR OF THE ACCLAIMED ICEFIELDS BRINGS US A LITERARY THRILLER THAT EXPLORES THE RAMIFICATIONS OF ANTHROPOGENIC ENVIRONMENTAL CHAOS IN THE LIVES OF ONE FAMILY AND ONE COMMUNITY.


Inspired in its shape and structure by David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and Richard Powers’ The Overstory, The Book of Rain takes us to a fictional town in northern Alberta called River Meadows, where an ore called ghost is being extracted from underneath the boreal forest, similar to the tar sands industry in Fort MacMurray. The ore’s strange properties create anomalous effects in the town known as decoherences that disrupt the lives and health of the locals and gradually destroy their environment. There are slippages in time and place, altered mental states, phenomena called “wobbles” that alter perception and bring visions of other possible realities. In an attempt to stave off climate disaster, scientists have created hackable clouds designed to bring rain where it is needed. But the clouds escape their human controllers and go feral.

Alex Hewitt first came to River Meadows with his family as a young teenager. After he has grown up and moved away, the ghost industry collapses and eventually leaves behind a dangerous forbidden zone called the Park after residents are forced to flee. Now Alex returns to search for his sister Amery, who has gone missing in the Park while trying to rescue the animals in it. It is the mystery of her disappearance and Alex’s feeling of guilt over what has become of his sister’s life that drives his search for her.

Claire Foley escapes her unhappy youth in River Meadows by working for a travel publisher that sends her around the world updating guidebooks. In secret she also traffics in illegal animal parts. Now Claire has come to an unnamed island nation, a modern-day Atlantis that hasn’t yet sunk beneath the waves, where she finds herself responsible for an exotic endangered crane, and has to choose between exploiting the situation for gain or saving the bird from extinction.

 

PRAISE FOR THE WORKS OF THOMAS WHARTON

ICEFIELDS

“Ice, when it is touched, can sear the flesh; in Icefields, it fires the imagination.”
 — PEOPLE MAGAZINE

“Throughout, the language is often so poetic, it is as heart-stopping as the awesome beauty of the landscape it describes.” — EDMONTON JOURNAL

“Careful dialogue, a steady pace and cool, subtle prose.”
 — NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“Wharton impressively evokes the awe-inspiring majesty, the dangerous but compelling beauty, of the icefields. They are time and movement in a physical form: evolution incarnate.” — BOOKS IN CANADA

“Wharton has ably captured the turn-of-the-century feel of rural Canada, complete with boosterism, a Vicotiran adventuress and teahouses in the wilderness.” — WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD

“Wharton writes with a prose style as clear as glacial waters, tempered with brilliant imagery and lucid dialogue.” — CALGARY HERALD

“Icefields is a novel of crystalline beauty from a writer to watch.”
 — TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

SALAMANDER

“Wharton's style is always flexible, poetic, inventive, and always lucid.”
 — THE GUARDIAN

“A magical tale of books and riddles, castles and countesses.” — ELLE Magazine

“The sort of book every reader hopes to find, earnestly passes along to friends, and returns to in their dreams.” — NATIONAL POST

THE LOGOGRYPH

“It is a book that sends you spinning off into lovely reveries of longing and desire. It is the kind of book you will recommend to close friends and family with words like: You have to read this! You must read this book!” — EDMONTON JOURNAL

“Wharton is one of the few Canadian practitioners of experimental fiction in the vein of Borges and Calvino, and although he has yet to match his mentors, he displays a talent that may well be honed to genius…. Dear Reader, go now and find The Logogryph.” — THE GLOBE & MAIL

“A book like no other—and I mean that in the most serious and complimentary way possible. However you respond to The Logogryph, you will agree that what Wharton has accomplished is the very definition of literary invention.”
 — LOS ANGELES TIMES

 

 

 

Back to top