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Oct. 22, 2004

The Nine Planets, by Edward Riche

The Nine Planets

Great Eastern writer Ed Riche has a new novel out, which I highly recommend. The Nine Planets, (Viking Penguin, hardcover), follows Marty Devereux, the vice principal of a private school, and his teenaged niece, Cathy. Penguin describes the book this way: “Savaging the pieties of our days, The Nine Planets is a satire about family, love, greed, desire, and the strange business of education. Hilarious and poignant, it is a novel that places Edward Riche among our most accomplished contemporary writers.”

GE fans will recognize the dark, sometimes poisonous undercurrents in the satire, so often seen in GE scripts. They will also appreciate occasional little in-jokes that pepper the novel: streets and institutions are named after notorious Newfoundland con-men and criminals (Shaheen Crescent, Frank Moores High) and there is even a mention of the BCN:(“BCN520, an old local radio station to which nobody listened.”)

Ed Riche The Nine Planets has garnerned some excellent notices. From the Globe and Mail’s Patrick Kavanagh: “Clearly he has dodged the Curse of the Second Novel, because the Nine Planets is far better crafted and more savagely funny.” And from Macleans: “There is something not just darkly comic, but laugh-out-loud funny on most pages of The Nine Planets.” Mary Walsh supplies a dandy blurb as well: “Dry, sardonic, witty. The sly knife of Riche's eviscerating comedy always finds its target and never fails to twist in the wound. A wild ride and a great read.”

Now in a (Canadian) bookstore near you. Or available from online retailers.

Further reading...

Macleans magazine review
Penguin Books page on The Nine Planets
Penguin Interview with Ed Riche
Chapters Indigo