In Paris's Pere-Lachaise cemetery lie the bones of many renowned departed. It is also home to a large number of stray cats. Now, what if by some strange twist of fate, the souls of the famous were reborn in the cats with their personalities intact? There's Maria Callas, a wilful and imperious diva, wailing late into the night. Earthy, bawdy chanteuse Edith Piaf is a foul-mouthed washerwoman. Oscar Wilde is hopelessly in love with Jim Morrison who sadly does not return his affections. Frederic Chopin is as melancholic and deeply contemplative as ever, and in honor of the tradition of leaving love letters at his tomb, he is now the cemetery's postmaster general. Last but not least, Marcel Proust is trying to solve the mystery behind some unusual thefts - someone has stolen Rossini's glass eye and Sarah Bernhardt's leg.
Told in a series of amusing set pieces and intercepted letters, this is a delicious tale of intrigue, unrequited love, longstanding quarrels, character assassinations, petty spats, and sorcery that builds to a steady climax at the cats' annual Christmas pageant.
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Bill Richardson is a very popular and award-winning writer who is also the host of the daily Richardson’s Roundup on CBC Radio One. He won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for his first novel, Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast. The Bachelor Brothers’ trilogy has sold over 125,000 copies throughout North America.Review:
Canadian Praise for Waiting for Gertrude:
"A fanciful and highly amusing novel...Only Bill Richardson could create such an engaging romp and such original characters. This hilarious tale is wildly original."
- Packet & Times
"Richardson brings his intelligent wit to the page in this fantastic tale...The relationships between the famous and infamous characters, love, passion and a few missing items all adds to a mystery that comes to an impressive climax. With his imagination at full throttle, Richardson has created a novel that is both witty and highly entertaining."
- Grande Prairie
"A delightful, funny read for a gray day."
- Nanaimo Daily News
"Richardson savours double-entendres, puns, and send-ups. This is a catty graveyard in form as well as substance. Yet through it run Richardson's thoughtfulness, literary intelligence, and affection for his subjects. This is the same elegantly gentle subversion that hooked people who read Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast."
- Georgia Straight
"Richardson writes convincingly of the feline world, and his affection for cats is apparent...[He] brings considerable skill of characterization to his feline community."
- Quill & Quire
"Waiting for Gertrude is a fantasy with a great sense of fun...Wonderful and unusual...A funny and moving work that focuses on devotion and longing."
"Comic, clever and slightly ribald...Full of wordplay and double-entendre."
- The Vancouver Sun
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Book Description Douglas and McIntyre (2013) Lt, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111553657748