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Fiction Literary

The Fall of Gravity

A Novel

by (author) Leon Rooke

Initial publish date
Mar 2014
Literary, Family Life, Action & Adventure
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2000
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


From a master conjurer of fictional invention comes an irresistible high octane road novel that propels the reader through breathtakingly original landscape replete with unforgettable characters and extraordinary adventures. Raoul Daggle is desperately searching for his disappearing wife on the lam. She has been sighted in a number of different states and provinces. Obsessed, he drives across the continent in his brand new Infiniti 2000 trying to track her down, all the while engaged in the most hilarious dialogue with his precocious ten-year-old daughter Juliette.

Meanwhile, his wife, Joyel Daggle, drives madly to escape them across the same landscape but in slightly altered time and space. Told with the inspired wit of a magus in love with a wicked world, this is a deeply affecting magical mystery tour of a dislocated psyche and one family's passage through the dark night of the road into unexpected sunny uplands. Here is the critically acclaimed novelist and short-fiction writer Leon Rooke writing at his very best. The Fall of Gravity is a novel to make one whistle and sing with sheer joy of its infectious elan.

About the author

An energetic and prolific storyteller, Leon Rooke's writing is characterized by inventive language, experimental form and an extreme range of characters with distinctive voices. He has written a number of plays for radio and stage and produced numerous collections of short stories. It is his novels, however, that have received the most critical acclaim. Fat Woman (1980) was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and won the Paperback Novel of the Year Award. Shakespeare's Dog won the Governor General's Award in 1983. As a play, Shakespeare's Dog has toured as far afield as Barcelona and Edinburgh. A Good Baby was made into a feature film. Rooke founded the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in 1989. In 2007, Rooke was made a member of the Order of Canada. Other awards include the Canada/Australia prize, the W O Mitchell Award, the North Carolina Award for Literature and two ReLits (for short fiction and poetry). In 2012, he was the winner of the Gloria Vanderbilt Carter V Cooper Fiction Award. Recently, Rooke's works The Fall of Gravity and Shakespeare's Dog were produced in new editions for France and Italy, two countries where his work has been greatly admired.

Leon Rooke's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Rooke's novel is a series of often quite humorous set pieces, which allow him to display his stylish, playful prose and gift for outlandish characters, while meditating on the breakdown of the Daggles' marriage.

Canadian Literature 176

Rooke breaks the rules, makes up new rules, fractures and twists the story form with breathtaking aplomb, while communicating a generosity of spirit and 'joie de vivre' that is endlessly attractive.

Globe and Mail

The ebullience of Rooke's prose and the wonderful father-daughter relationship of Raoul and Juliette make this a delightful read.

University of Toronto Bookstore Review

A voice so sharp and personal that he changes your life while you're busy laughing.

Russell Banks

Rooke's empathy for his characters allows him to capture their distinctive voices amazingly well...

Toronto Star

If the Fall of Gravity is exasperating, so, too, is it expansive; if it is silly, it is also sly; if scattered, it is also beautiful — a book that demands and deserves indulgence and delivers deep rewards by the time the last page is turned.

National Post

Rooke has lured us into the terra incognita of the soul, and it's our loss, proof of our mediocrity, if we don't follow, with gladness in our hearts.

The Calgary Straight

You become absorbed by the author's asides, the zany characters, the sheer vitality of the prose.

Winnipeg Free Press