Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Book of Stanley

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The Book of Stanley

McClelland & Stewart, 2007
392 pages, $32.99

With the words of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins echoing in our ears, another voice, this one witty, satirical, revealing, is adding his fictional fuel to the fire. Todd Babiak, author of the #1 bestselling novel The Garneau Block, takes on this world and the next in his hilarious new novel, The Book of Stanley.

Following a close experience with death, Todd Babiak discovered he didn’t have a way to think about dying and whatever comes next. So he came up with a premise: What if, as a 60 year old agnostic dying of cancer, you suddenly became the Chosen One? What would you do? The result is a funny and touching novel that makes an astute comment about the way we live.

Stanley Moss is an average man. A retired florist, he lives quietly with his wife in Edmonton. Stanley is stricken with cancer and has few wishes for the time he has left. But one morning, sitting in his yard, Stanley experiences a boom and a flash, and then a remarkable transformation. He discovers he has superhuman powers and the ability to read and control minds. And his illness seems to have vanished. What could this mean? Could it be that Stanley’s powers are divine? Is Stanley, a lifelong agnostic, the new Messiah?

Stanley heads to Banff (the most sacred place on earth) to look for answers and find a way to use his new powers for good. There he meets his disciples — a Vancouver TV executive with a marketing plan, a pro hockey player from the Prairies and a teenage girl from suburban Montreal — and together they start The Stan, a new religion, and invite the world to join. When the world shows up, along with the international media and an angry long-dead spiritualist, the stage is set for an epic culture clash.

Satirical, fantastical, filled with humour and pointed observation about organized religion and pop spiritualism, The Book of Stanley is a provocative comedy about life, death, and all forms of devotion.