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Novel cover of 'Up and Down' by Terry Fallis

By Terry Fallis

Up And Down

Published June 2012


The author of the Stephen Leacock Medal-winning The Best Laid Plans brings his trademark humour and sharp storytelling to a new novel set in the high-stakes world of a global public relations agency.

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“One of CanLit’s crowned king of chuckles, Terry Fallis hits stratospheric heights with his latest well-balanced and unpredictable satire.”

— Saint John Telegraph-Journal

“Terry Fallis has done it again. Up and Down is another hilarious page-turner that also packs an emotional punch. Only a very talented writer can balance humour and pathos so skillfully. Beautifully written, these characters rocket off the page and straight into your heart. This is satire at its finest.”

— Ali Velshi, former CNN Anchor and Chief Business Correspondent

“A rollicking good ride. Funny one moment, serious the next, always compelling: a reminder that we can all dream.”

— Marc Garneau, Member of Parliament and Canada’s first astronaut

“Not too many funny Canucks have ventured to write humorous books. There is Stephen Leacock, of course. And Robertson Davies cranked out a couple. But it is not a large field. Count Terry Fallis among the few to achieve success at the form.”

— Ottawa Citizen

“As plot elements go, space travel and public relations make an unusual combo. But Terry Fallis pulls it off in Up and Down, a breezy, gentle satire.” “There is Landon Percival, a vivid and dazzling character who dominates the book.” “He (Fallis) displays formidable chops when it comes to narrative pacing, wrangling subplots, balancing comedy and pathos, and generally moving things along in a sprightly and entertaining fashion.” “Up and Down is a fine specimen of what is too often dismissed as ‘easy reading,’ which is seldom easy writing.”

— The Globe and Mail

“Up and Down kept me smiling, made me laugh out loud, and occasionally moved me to tears. In short, I was entertained. His hilarious running commentary on the minutiae of modern life recalls the comedy of Seinfeld.”

— The National Post

“If Terry Fallis talks like he writes, then I want to meet this man because he is very droll indeed. A sly humour that doesn’t slap you upside the head, but more subtle, with hints of sarcasm, all in a good way.”

— Montreal Gazette

“In Landon Percival, Terry Fallis brings to vivid life an unexpected hero– tough yet endearing, brave yet vulnerable. As told by the adorably self-deprecating David Stewart, Landon’s highly entertaining story of NASA intrigue and public relations high jinks reminds us of what it means to be Canadian.”

— Cathy Marie Buchanan, New York Times bestselling author of The Day the Falls Stood Still

“Gently satirical and intelligently frothy, Up and Down achieves a delightful weightlessness as transporting as the space voyage it deals with.”

— Andrew Pyper, bestselling author of The Guardians

On his first day at Turner King, David Stewart quickly realizes that the world of international PR (affectionately, perhaps ironically, known as “the dark side”) is a far cry from his previous job on Parliament Hill. For one, he missed the office memo on the all-black dress code; for another, there are enough acronyms and jargon to make his head spin. Before he even has time to find the washroom, David is assigned a major project: devise a campaign to revitalize North America’s interest in the space program – maybe even show NASA’s pollsters that watching a shuttle launch is more appealing than going out for lunch with friends. The pressure is on, and before long, David finds himself suggesting the most out-of-this-world idea imaginable: a Citizen Astronaut lottery that would send one Canadian and one American to the International Space Station. Suddenly, David’s vaulted into an odyssey of his own, navigating the corporate politics of a big PR agency; wading through the murky but always hilarious waters of Canada-U.S. relations; and trying to hold on to his new job while still doing the right thing.

Equal parts clever and satirical, thoughtful and affecting, Up and Down is Terry Fallis at his best, confirming his status as a Canadian literary star.

Open book, page preview of 'Up and Down' by Terry Fallis

“Welcome to the dark side.”

Diane Martineau smiled as she said it, but still, those were her words. It was my first day in the Toronto office of the international public relations agency Turner King, and I was already tired of hearing my new profession linked with Lucifer, lord of the underworld. The general manager released my hand and waved me into a chair as she climbed up into hers. She was petite, très petite. I put her at barely five feet. In her mid-forties, with shortish dark brown hair, she wore a simple, even drab, tailored black pant suit with a white collarless “top.” In the clothes context, I was uncomfortable with the word “top.” It didn’t spill naturally from my mouth or, for that matter, from almost any guy’s. And to be clear, I don’t really know what “tailored” actually means, but the jacket curved in at the waist. When she was seated, her tiny black shoes dangled an inch off the floor, leaving her marooned a good two feet from where she wanted to be. No matter. She convulsed twice, her feet flipping up and torso snapping forward, to propel her chair across the black marble floor, gliding perfectly into position. “Docking procedure” may be the better way to describe the manoeuvre that rolled her up to the streamlined chrome and glass desk that would not have looked out of place on the bridge of a Federation starship. I half-expected an order to lay in a course for the Vega system. She caught my stare.

About Terry Fallis

Photo of Terry Fallis outdoors, greyscale

A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of nine national bestsellers, including his most recent, A New Season (2023), all published by McClelland & Stewart (M&S).

Terry has written for many publications including Maclean’s, Canadian Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Toronto Life, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Toronto Star.

Terry lives in Toronto and can be reached at tfallis@gmail.com.