A Matter of Life and Death or Something

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D & M Publishers, Feb 24, 2012 - Fiction - 256 pages
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Even though he’s only ten years old, there are lots of things Arthur Williams knows for sure. He knows all about trilobites, and bridge, and that he doesn’t want to be Victoria Brown’s boyfriend, and that tapping maple trees causes them excruciating pain. He knows his real dad is probably flying a hot-air balloon across the Pacific, or paving a city with moss. And he knows that Simon, the guy who pretends to be his dad, does absolutely nothing interesting.

But when Arthur finds a weather-worn notebook in the woods behind his house, all he has are questions. Why was its author, Phil, so sad, and why does it end on Page 43? Suddenly, there are other questions too: Why do people abandon people? Why do they abandon themselves?

Arthur embarks on a top-secret investigation to find out who Phil is, or was. But getting straight answers from grown-ups is impossible - and before long, the only thing he knows for sure is that everything he thought he knew about life is probably wrong, and that what he has to do is ten times bigger than what he can do.

Told through a trio of voices: the wildly imaginative and perpetually awkward Arthur, Phil’s manic journal, and the forest which watches them both, Ben Stephenson’s debut novel is a heartbreaking story of love, death, and the unspeakable pain of being small.

A Matter of Life and Death Or Something marks the exciting debut of an inventive and gifted storyteller.

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This book is amazing. It took me on such an amazing journey. The narration is amazing, and was my favourite thing about this book. I would definitely recommend for someone that wants an easy read, that will also suck you in. Love this book.

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About the author (2012)

Ben Stephenson was born in New Brunswick. He has published short stories and poetry, and studied fine art at NSCAD University. He lives in Canada with the feline Richard.

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