To those who think they know him, Ryan Brassard appears to be your average guy — a guy with a 9 to 5 job who enjoys reading books, watching TV, dining out, and discussing politics and popular culture with his friends. However, your average guy doesn’t agree to watch his only sister commit suicide; he isn’t the secret proprietor of The Suicide Loft, a macabre, yet lucrative sanctuary for the suicidal-at-heart; he doesn’t treat his friends as though they were characters in a made-for-TV movie; and he isn’t obsessed with finding the right method to kill himself.
But this is the real Ryan Brassard.
And he’s far from average.Fourteen months after watching the life drain out of his sister’s delicately sliced wrists, Ryan finds himself in Toronto, intent on using the city and some new friends to help him create the illusion he lives a normal life until deciding how he wants to die.
As his obsession with suicide slowly devolves into a type of madness, making it increasingly difficult for him to trust his senses and maintain his façade of normalcy, Ryan discovers he’s not the only person keeping secrets, that each of his new friends also leads a double life.
Although the discovery catalyses intense bouts of revelation and remorse, Ryan is unable to begin his quest for restitution without first coming face to face with the disturbing realization that everything — and everyone — may not appear exactly as shown. Cronenberg meets Coupland in the exhilarating debut from this gifted new writer.
Gordon j.h. Leenders lives in Hamilton, Ontario. He holds a B.P.E. and a B.Ed. and a diploma in Outdoor and Experiential Education, and has been working as a cognitive rehabilitation therapist for people with acquired brain injuries for five years. May Not Appear Exactly As Shown is his first book.
Published: October 2003
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.