Read A Perfect Night to Go to China by David Gilmour Online

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Winner of the 2005 Governor General’s Award for Fiction This astonishing novel - unlike anything Gilmour has ever written before - begins with every parent’s worst nightmare: the disappearance of a child. A father makes a casual error of judgement one evening and leaves his six-year-old son alone for fifteen minutes. When he returns the child is gone and three lives are Winner of the 2005 Governor General’s Award for Fiction This astonishing novel - unlike anything Gilmour has ever written before - begins with every parent’s worst nightmare: the disappearance of a child. A father makes a casual error of judgement one evening and leaves his six-year-old son alone for fifteen minutes. When he returns the child is gone and three lives are changed forever. Has the boy been kidnapped? Spirited out of the country? Is he dead? The story that unfolds is told by the novel’s narrator, a television host named Roman, who searches for his son through the city and through the underworld of dreams and tries to bring him back. Pursued by an unshakeable conviction that his son is speaking directly to him, Roman begins to enter a haunting relationship with the missing child and his own conscience. In the meantime, his behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and he is rejected by his grieving and angry wife, eventually fired from his job, and shadowed by a persistent policeman who thinks Roman is hiding the child. Written in the clear, elegant prose Gilmour is known for, A Perfect Night to Go to China is a completely absorbing and original work of fiction. It sets up a harrowing premise and doesn’t let up until the last surprising page....

Title : A Perfect Night to Go to China
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780887622519
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 198 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Perfect Night to Go to China Reviews

  • Pardis Parto
    2018-11-22 11:09

    باید بلند میشدم، باید آشپزخانه کوچک اتاقم را تمیز میکردم، به کتاب خواندن ادامه میدادم یا اینکه میرفتم پایین به سرسرای هتل. از ماندن کنار زخم هایم در تاریکی چیزی عایدم نمیشد. چیزی نبود که به آن فکر کنم، هیچ چیز جدید یا سودمندی نبود، فقط همان فیلم تکراری من خسته که به طرف پایین خیابان میرفتم، چند تا آبجو میخوردم، به دخترهای گروه موسیقی لبخند میزدم، به خانه برمیگشتم. بوی او در خانه، تخت خالی، به تعداد لکه های خورشیدی که میتوان در یک فیلم دید، به آن موضوع فکر کرده بودم.شخصيت اصلي اين داستان، رومن، مرد تنهايي است كه مجري يكي از معروف‌ترين و پربيننده‌ترين برنامه‌هاي تلويزيوني است. او و همسرش رابطه‌اي بسيار سرد و مكانيكي باهم دارند تا جايي كه گيلمور نام او را با حرف اختصاري اول اسمش بيان مي‌كند. در واقع تنها نقطه روشن زندگي او پسركوچكش سايمون است. سايمون كوچك و زيبا كه در اين نابساماني عهده‌دار تمام نقش‌هاي شادي‌آور زندگي پدر و مادرش شده در همان ابتداي قصه گم مي‌شود. رومن لحظه‌اي او را كه در تختخوابش خوابيده تنها مي‌گذارد و به كافه روبه‌روي خانه مي‌رود و چند دقيقه بعد با ناباوري مي‌بيند كه اتاق‌خواب سايمون خالي است و ردي از او در جايي نيست، او و پليس به دنبال كودك مي‌گردند اما هيچ اثري از او پيدا نمي‌كنند حتي جسدش نيز كشف نمي‌شود. انگار دستي از غيب تنها دلخوشي اين مرد تنها را از او مي‌گيرد و به دنبال اين جريان همه اعتبار شغلي و محبوبيتش در جامعه، درآمدش، باقي مانده ارتباط زناشويي و حتي سلامتي جسم و روحش نيز به باد مي‌رود. همسرش (كه او را مقصر مي‌داند)‌ نمي‌خواهد ببيندش و كم‌كم نبود سايمون براي رومن جنوني مي‌شود كه او را به نابودي مي‌كشاند. او به اعتياد پناه مي‌برد و اعتياد باعث بيكاريش مي‌شود. كار به جايي مي‌رسد كه او دست به سرقت مي زند. از يك مجري سرشناس به يك انسان غيراخلاقي و غيراجتماعي تبديل مي‌شود. رومن خود را مقصر مي‌داند، به همدلي خواننده كمك مي‌كند. نويسنده بخوبي نشان مي‌دهد كه جهان ناامني كه ما را در بر گرفته براحتي در چشم بر هم زدني، مي‌‌تواند تمام دلخوشي‌هاي ما را بگيرد. اما آنچه كه بازيركي چون روحي در كالبد داستان دميده شده، تعليق ميان دو فضاي مادي و معنوي داستان و معلق نگه‌داشتن خواننده ميان اين دو فضاست. (آیه کیانپور – جام جم)چیزی که زندگی رو غیر قابل تحمل می کنه اینه که تصور کنی همه چیز همین طور که هست باقی می مونه و ادامه پیدا می کنه. اما من به شما می گم که این طور نیست.

  • Negar
    2018-12-05 08:59

    من قبلا از این کتاب یه کتاب دیگه ای خونده بدم که عشق به یه پسر بچه رو به تصویر کشیده بود.به همین دلیل زیاد این قسمت از کتاب گیلمور برام جذاب به نظر نیومد ..اما سبک نویسنده برام جالب بود.یه جورایی "کامو" طوری بود.یه جورایی شبیه آدمایی مینویسه که تو اتاقشون پوستر آل پاچینو دارن.از این ولگردی ها ،از این بی هدف بودن ،از این رهایی خاص خوشم میومد.به نظرم یه مقدار غیر قابل امکانه برای مایی که تو این عصر زندگی میکنیم..اما شده برای چند لخظه که بتونی حسش کنی ، حس خوبی بهت دست میده !اینکه راه بیفتی بری فرودگاه ،بدون هیچ تصمیم قبلی ،و فقط یه مقصد انتخاب کنی...

  • Maryam Muhammadi
    2018-11-28 12:04

    داشتن نثری ساده و روان و پر از احساساتی که به راحتی بیان شده بود، از ویژگی های اصلی کتاب بود.

  • Saeed Habibi
    2018-12-11 09:27

    جذبم کرد و طوری پیش رفت که تا حدودی از شخصیت خود داستان به دور شدم و خودم را به‌جاش تصور کردم. نویسنده لحظه‌های مختلف را در غالب احساسات یکسان اما به ظاهر متفاوت نشان می‌داد که باعث می‌شد خودت رو در یکسری نبودن ببینی که دیگه دلیلی برای عدم وجودش نیست.-"فکر کردم اگر او دیگر خبری از پدر و مادرش نمی‌گیرد برای این نیست که دلش برای آن‌ها تنگ نشده، به خاطر این است که می‌داند پرسیدن دیگر فایده‌ای ندارد. او پسر باهوشی است. می‌داند چطور بی‌حرکت دراز بکشد و منتظر بماند."-"با خودم فکر کردم، به خودت فشار نیاور، عجله‌ای نیست، امشب دوباره برگرد، فردا شب دوباره برگرد. فرقی که نمی‌کند. چراغ خواب را خاموش کردم. نزدیک سپیده بود. آن نور قوی را که روی شهر می‌خزید فقط می‌توانستی از پنجره‌ی هتل‌ها ببینی. نور روی میدان مسابقه‌ی دو پخش شد، روی ساختمان دانشگاه، ساختمان مجلس، داشت به طرف قسمتی از شهر می‌رفت که زیاد با آن آشنایی نداشتم، منطقه‌ای که گاهی روی پیاده‌روهایش خون دیده می‌شد. یک دونده روی مسیر بیضی شکل میدان مسابقه می‌دوید، دور می‌زد و دور می‌زد و دور می‌زد. (زندگی چه‌قدر تکراری است) من بدون لباس جلوِ پنجره ایستاده بودم. با خودم فکر می‌کردم، دلیلی برای عصبانیت وجود ندارد، خواب به سراغت خواهد آمد، خواهد آمد، خواهد آمد."

  • Brittany
    2018-12-05 10:12

    How I Came To Read This Book: It was nestled in my bookshelf from unknown origins. Likely the boyfriend read it for Can Lit in school.The Plot: Roman is a self-absorbed TV host who makes the casual mistake of going out for a drink one night, only to return home to find his six-year-old missing. The rest of the book basically follows his mental and physical deterioration as he grapples with the immense, overpowering feeling of guilt that consumes him after his son's disappearance. The Good & The Bad: This is one of those books where you can tell every word is meant to count for something - and indeed, it does have a rather compelling, chilling, haunted feeling to it. Even though Roman is kind of a d-bag, you also feel his self-awareness, the huge amount of blame that's crushing him, and the madness that is inescapable madness that's consuming every part of his life. In short, it's very well-written, particularly in terms of the dialogue, and the dream sequences were interesting and heartbreaking as opposed to distracting.It got a little weird by the end...and the super ambiguous ending was a little grah! But overall this was an easy read with a very complicated, painful world rooted in reality.The Bottom Line: A sad little book that will resonate with most for emotion, if not plot.Anything Memorable?: Nope.50-Book Challenge?: Book #20 in 2011.

  • Mohsenkhosro
    2018-12-07 12:20

    شاید بهتر بود این کتاب را یک شبه بخوانم ! تا حس سفر کردن به چین آن هم در شبی عالی را داشته باشم !هر چند "شبی عالی ..." با تغییر فضاها از توهمات به واقعیات و از واقعیات به توهمات به صورت آنی ، ابتدا کمی نامفهوم به نظر می رسد ، اما بعد از آنکه در چند قسمت نخست به این رویه عادت کنید چنان داستان روان میشود که حتما از خواندن آن و متوهم شدن به همراه تنها شخصیت و راوی داستان ، لذت خواهید برد...به نظر نگارنده محترم! اشخاص زیر از این کتاب لذت بیشتر خواند برد!بیماران روانی . آنهایی که ذهن بیمار دارند. آنها که خسته و درمانده و شکسته و ... هستند .- بعد از خواندن این کتاب عادت همیشگی و البته قدیمی و منسوخ به سراغم آمد ، اینکه در خیابان راه بروم و سعی کنم پاهایم را روی خط سنگ فرش خیابان ها نگذارم و بین آنها بگذارم ! و مردم را ببینم و کمی هم در تاریکی خیابان اشک بریزم ...

  • ZaRi
    2018-11-30 17:29

    روی كاناپه دراز كشيده بودم و در شگفت بودم كه آن چه جور نوری است، در واقع به جای آنكه ملايم باشد نوری خشن بود. امكان نداشت بتوانی توضيح بدهی كه يك نوع از نور خورشيد چقدر افسرده ات می كند و باعث می شود صدايت چقدر عجيب و غريب به گوش ديگران برسد. او ادعا می كند نور خورشيد افسرده اش می كند، نه، فقط نوع خاصی از نور خورشيد او را افسرده می كند. چه تنهايی مطلقی، همه چيز در تنهايی مطلق است. بگذار بی پرده بگويم چه آسايشی است كه همه ی اينها را ول كنی تا از تمام اضطرابها رها شوی. زيرا تنهايی يك احساس است، احساسی مثل آويزان بودن وزنه ای در ميان سينه ات. چرا بايد كسی بخواهد با نوك انگشتان خودش آن را بچسبد و محكم نگه دارد؟ ...!

  • Shane
    2018-11-29 15:20

    The GG's must have had slim pickings the year Gilmour won the award for this (very) short novel.While I empathize with the protagonist, Roman, for losing his son due to bad timing, he does not come across as a likeable man. He is famous, but he has no friends. He is estranged from his wife. He does not give a shit about his job. The only two people important to him are his mother and his son - both departed from this world, and only to be found in a dream space resembling a French-speaking Caribbean Island. And Roman is so lonely. Why? That was the piece unanswered. Does Roman symbolize the loneliness and isolation that plagues our media crazed universe?Roman drifts about the Toronto landscape in search of his son: into the home of an immigrant, into a graveyard, a lumberyard, an old coffeehouse, his TV studio, a church, a strip joint, a greasy spoon, hotels - no place or person leaves an imprint on him. He reminded me of Leopold Bloom walking the streets of Dublin, but at least old Leo kept his hands busy during his peregrinations. Roman even dumps the attractive woman trying to seduce him on the Caribbean Island (Heaven?) and embraces a bottle of tranquilizers instead. The only interesting character to me was the police investigator who mysteriously turns up everywhere and who is convinced that Roman has spirited away his own son. Has he? I have difficulty with novels that do not offer hope. And Roman's trajectory is overtly hopeless; he can't even kill himself. Or does he? Giving the author the benefit, that he indeed has written a hopeful story, albeit disguised from the understanding of us mortal plebes, I surmised in the end that Roman did indeed spirit his son away to the island via that immigrant chap who's house he invaded (at the end of the novel, wasn't Roman seen stepping through a door into a house on the island where he had just seen a little boy?), and by faking his death has foiled the cops and his wife who goes by the rather James Bond'ish name of M. Hey - if you write an open-ended novel, the reader will come up with a myriad possibilities! Maybe that was Gilmour's motive after all!

  • Caleigh
    2018-11-23 10:06

    I read the reviews on the book jacket of A Perfect Night to Go to China and most of them I completely disagree with. I didn't find it "luminous" or "refreshing" in the slightest. I agree that the "spare and darkly funny" style made it an "uncomfortably pleasurable read", but I won't say that's entirely a compliment. I think that my first issue with the book is the premise that a young boy is kidnapped while his father goes to a bar and has several drinks. I realize this is key to later events - like the mother's inability to forgive her husband - but it also made Roman an unsympathetic character and I had a hard time caring whether he lived or died. Again, that was probably the point, but I would also say it negatively affected my reading experience. I felt detached the entire way through.I'm not sorry that I read this book, but I'm very glad that - at 179 small pages - it was really more of a novella. IMO it could have been turned into an excellent full-length novel by changing just a couple of minor things. Like the beginning and the ending. No big whoop.

  • Maryam Malkian
    2018-11-19 10:21

    نصف شب بود که به خانه رسیدم. در اتاق خواب بسته بود. به اتاق مطالعه رفتم. دفترچه خاطراتم را بیرون کشیدم، آن را ورق زدم. تمام آن نوشته‌ها دربارهٔ زن‌ها بود، چه قدر تشنهٔ بدن‌‌هایشان بودم. مثل خاطرات مردی بودند که دچار بی‌نظمی در غذا خوردن باشد، مردی که نمی‌تواند جلو رویا‌هایش را در مورد شکلات و نان خامه‌ای بگیرد. حالم از خودم به هم خورد، از آن همه حماقت، فقدان آینده نگری. اما نمی‌توانستم دست از خواندن بردارم، نمی‌توانستم دفترچه را ببندم چون در تمام صفحاتش، وقتی آن‌ها را می‌نوشتم سایمون‌‌ همان نزدیکی بود. یا آن طرف سرسرا بود یا در وان حمام، و یا در تختش خوابیده بود، با خواندن آن صفحه‌ها لحظات و ساعت‌هایی را احساس می‌کردم که او به من نزدیک بود. حتا آن ورق‌ها را بو کردم. اما بوی کاغذ کهنه می‌دادند. به اتاق سایمون رفتم و لباس خوابش را که روی تخت پرت شده بود برداشتم و به صورتم گذاشتم... برگرفته از کتاب «شبی عالی برای سفر به چین» نوشته دیوید گیلمور ترجمه می‌چکا سرمدی

  • Hamid Salehi
    2018-11-18 12:23

    کتاب "شبی عالی برای سفر به چین" برای من یادآور کامو (و البته از نظر سبک ، مودیانو) بود: ولگردی های ذهنیِ بی‌ پایانِ انسانی گم‌شده. تفاوت بیگانه‌ ی کامو با این اثر در این بود که شخصیت اصلی کامو و مودیانو بی‌نیاز از هیچ شوک یا ضربه‌ ی اولیه‌ ای روایت ذهنی را شروع می‌ کنند. گیلمور مانند مودیانو یا کامو هرگز سعی نمی‌ کند شخصیتش را داوری کند و به محک خوب یا بد بودن از نظر اجتماعی یا شخصی، بزند. بلکه به نظرِ من قصد دارد از راهِ پرسوناژِ اصلی، بی‌ مایگی و گمگشتگی جامعه و در‌کل بشر را نشان بدهد. برای من زیبایی کتاب در سبک روان و طنزآمیز اثر و همچنین سکون و بی‌تحرکی آن بود.

  • Pedram
    2018-12-11 15:11

    Drilling,sensational and outstanding.An intellectual journey through labyrinth of a mind preoccupied with morbid visions.The backfire of bitter old memories,the constant torment of an overactive imagination,and a life rushing to an ambigous appaling closure,all lead to the protagonist's self-destruction. One of the best images in contemporary literature depicting the sense of apathy .A pathetic image of a depressed man who searches for redemption in hallucinations,But it seems even by altered perception, peace remains far out of his reach.

  • Paulapenkala
    2018-12-07 11:14

    Not that it is bad. it just does not have much memorable about it and there are so many i prefer.

  • Gjurgica
    2018-11-24 09:11

    I cried my heart out while reading this book. I felt all the pangs of the loss of a child on my own skin even though I myself have none. Surely enough, this means the author has reached his goal by touching the soul of the reader.However, I felt like some parts of the story were unclear and incoherent enough. The story went in a completely different direction than what I expected at the beginning.Nonetheless, it's a nice and fast read, but warning: if you are an anxious parent, do yourself a favour and do not read this book. It will mess with your already concerned head.

  • Sheila
    2018-11-23 16:03

    A young father leaves his young son to go down the street to the bar. After about fifteen minutes, he thinks but two, maybe three beers, he returns home to find his son gone. His wife is out of the country. The rest of the book covers the man’s downfall as the search for his son continues. An interesting book, one we read for our book club. Will be interesting to hear what our members have to say about this one!

  • Dorothy Mahoney
    2018-12-12 09:09

    Having left his six year old son, Simon, alone to go to the bar down the street, the narratorreturns to find him gone. The novel deals with his guilt as he regularly dreams of seeing his sonwith others deceased, and wonders if he should also join him. It could have been a longer novelto create a resolution.

  • David
    2018-11-13 17:18

    One of the few books I have ever read in one sitting. Heartbreaking, terrible, perfect book, with an incredibly unlikable main character.

  • Stefani
    2018-12-10 13:11

    Read in Macedonian. It was somewhat Ok, but so open-ended...like I want to know what happened haha :D

  • Arlene Richards
    2018-11-20 15:02

    Another tragic novel with tragic conclusions. Well written, powerful short novel.

  • Christine
    2018-11-16 13:08

    A fantastic title (though not necessarily for this story) and glowing cover reviews lead me to pick up this story from a pile of donated TBRs. I was excited to settle into some Canadian fiction, and as a new parent myself, ready to be uncomfortable and on edge based on the premise of a lost child. Gilmour is an intriguing writer with a unique style and the plot drew me in to continue rapidly flipping pages, however it was not an enjoyable read in any sense. The emotion in the story is that of stress, a deep hurt, and an undertone of heaviness. The main character Roman seems to behave in a very disjointed fashion, which, after the literal loss of a child, may be more appropriate than I am willing to allow. There is a definite feeling of being thrown into the midst of a larger story, along with a sinking feeling of missed completion. What we are left with is haunting, but not enough to be fully engaging.

  • Jen Fabico
    2018-11-15 13:29

    A Perfect Night to Go to China by David David Gilmour is book #2 of my 2016 reading challenge.I had began to read this novel a few years ago while teaching grade 10 and I recall this book drawing me in immediately. In this novel, the main character, Roman, loses his son. The novel is quick to set up this turn of events with Roman returning home from the bar only to find his son missing-- this occurs in the very beginning of the novel. Quickly, the rest of the setting is painted for us as Roman's wife, M., is overcome with grief, Roman is closely followed by a police officer who accuses him of hiding his son and he loses his position at work. One page at a time, we watch this mediocre life fall apart and be stripped of mundane and ordinary accomplishments. Roman begins to isolate himself from society while he himself enters a new and delusional reality-- he could visit his mother, his son and others who are deceased through his dreams.The narrative and protagonist were very easy to approach, welcoming almost, when the plot itself was quite twisted. There was nothing formal or ostentatious about the writing style and overall, it was simple yet intrinsic, just like how our minds work. And as I read through the pages again, I felt myself devouring each detail. Its setting was downtown Toronto, so I found myself creating hybrid landscapes of Toronto architecture and a romanticized film-noire setting. Naturally, I found myself seeking for hard answers, "Where did Roman's son actually go?", "Did Roman murder his son?", "Was Roman actually able to communicate with his son through these dreams?", and of course, "Was Roman successful in his suicide attempt at the end of the novel?"Upon finishing the novel, I found myself extremely disappointed and without answers. I had invested my time into this character only to feel so un-resolved. I sat with the novel for a few hours, rereading the ending, just in case I had missed a minute detail. And it was not only until shortly before writing this review that I had realized: the minute detail that I had missed was not the one that was written on the pages. It was the emotion that I was left with; that was the same emotion that had trailed our protagonist while we had trailed him in his journey. There would be no resolution; there would be so final answer; only longing. And that emotion is much more powerful than any singular answer that could have been given to us at the end of the novel.Just as life undulates for us everyday, giving us step forwards and taking steps away when she wants, this novel did the same for me and my mental state when reading. I would have rated this novel 3 stars once again; however, this time I am choosing to rate my reading experience, and for that, I give A Perfect Night to Go to China 4 out of 5 stars.

  • Rachel Deeming
    2018-11-19 15:20

    I wanted to read some Canadian literature and not Margaret Atwood but I was a little disappointed in this really. A mix of the real and the ethereal, it tells the story of a boy who goes missing in the night while his dad, a TV celebrity is out at a club. It deals with the search for him and how Roman, the dad, knows Simon, his son, is alive but can't find him in the physical world, only being able to locate him when he sleeping.This deals with the idea of a man paying the worst price for fifteen minutes of indulgence and shows his steady decline as he loses wife, job, home - all the staples to keep a normal existence and Gilmour shows how he becomes detached more and more from the solid world around him into a dreamy utopia based on a Caribbean island which appears to be Heaven/heaven depending on your interpretation of the narrative.The book has a reasonably open ending and because of the introduction of morphine pills towards the end, it is difficult to discern what is real and what is merely the hero's perception of what is real, which, I think, is the point.This book was okay. It has not made me want to rush and read more by Gilmour but I would consider it.

  • Jim Puskas
    2018-12-06 11:03

    David Gilmour, you need help! Either you've yet to regain your personal equilibrium after having endured an emotionally abusive relationship or you're under the misapprehension that readers are apt to identify with a protagonist who is preoccupied with being a victim. Have you actually experienced a marriage gone so badly wrong as that of your protagonist, Roman? His wife's degree of venom is almost beyond belief -- passages such as "I must have been pretty arrogant back then .. when I met you .. because I believed that no one could wreck my life" or "Why don't you kill yourself?" It's interesting that you only identify the wife as "M".And how could you then dedicate this diatribe to your own wife??Faced with a life crisis, the unexplained disappearance of his six year old son, Roman retreats into a dream world of fantasy, wandering the streets, his behavior becoming increasingly bizarre; no wonder the police suspect him of having orchestrated his child's disappearance. Where is his rage, his grief, his desperation at the lack of progress in the investigation?I don't buy it, Mr. Gilmour.The GG Award people blew it.

  • Crystal Allen
    2018-11-14 12:18

    The entire time I was reading this book I had eeriest sense of Deja Vu. I think I must have read it a few years ago. I saw it at the library and thought to myself "Oh, I've been meaning to read this!" The premise of this book is interesting. A man makes a tragic choice one evening and leaves his son home alone for 15 minutes while he goes down the street to the neighborhood bar. When he returns the boy is missing. The police are able to turn up nothing and when another child is kidnapped media space and police attention quickly shift elsewhere. Frustrated the father starts escaping by whatever means possible into a dream world where he looks for his son.I really liked the idea of the book but I didn't connect with the main character and therefore really didn't enjoy the book. I kept with it even though I felt like I had already read it because I couldn't remember the ending. I probably should have devoted my valuable reading time to something else. Oh well... on to the next book!

  • Kate
    2018-11-25 17:05

    At the beginning of A Perfect Night to Go to China, Roman is at home with his six-year old son Simon. His wife M. is out of the country on a business trip. After he's put Simon to bed for the night, Roman hears strains of music coming from the bar on the corner of his street. It's only a block away, within sight of his house. Roman steps out. Fifteen minutes and two quick beers later, he returns home to find the front door of his house open and his son gone.Throughout the rest of the novel, Roman grapples with the loss of his son and with his guilt for letting it happen. I'm not sure how anyone musters the resources to cope with this kind of tragedy. Roman, an utterly self-absorbed character, is perhaps even less equipped for it than most. The story is told in the first person in spare, clean, evocative prose. The reader gets an inside view of a life, and a mind, unraveling without any histrionics. The effect is fascinating, chilling, and heart-breaking.A Perfect Night to Go to China is an astonishing, powerful book.

  • Angie
    2018-11-20 11:28

    I am only giving this winner of the 2005 Governor General's award a 3.5 because while I enjoyed reading this story and appreciated the writing, I could not really feel sympathetic for the main character even though he has suffered a great loss. His 6-year-old son has gone missing and is never found. After he puts him to bed he goes out to a bar on the same block as his apartment, for what he says is only 20 minutes, and when he returns the door is open and his son is gone. The story does not go into any detail about the search for his son. Rather it is told from the father's own perspective and he is not a very nice guy. He naturally falls apart and feels to blame for his son's demise, though he never expresses that. Instead he writes about his dreams of heaven and finding his mother and son there, and begging his son to let him join him. It is not surprising that he does try to kill himself. I appreciate the writing but I can't connect with the father.

  • Emi Bevacqua
    2018-11-18 10:19

    Roman the self-centered television "personality" hosting a mid-day magazine format program. As the story begins, the mother of his child is away on business and because he wants to, Roman ventures out in the middle of the night for a drink or three. When he returns, Simon his 6-year old son is gone; police interview neighbors who report having seen the boy, outside barefoot in the snow calling for his daddy. This book tells the story of the ensuing days and months, as hope turns to dread, lucidity vanishes, and all semblance of normal life crumbles for all involved. It is astonishing, that David Gilmour is able to make this morbid premise into such a colorful, engaging read. The only fault I found is that the boy on the cover sports a crewcut, while Simon's hair was said to be long and very blond.

  • Erika
    2018-12-08 11:05

    I used to become very irritated by David Gilmour's books. It seemed like he couldn't write about anything besides his obsession with sex and (usually much younger) women. This was only exacerbated by his appearances on TV, hosting shows about the arts, where i found out he was also arrogant and self-obsessed. He also used to overuse these two words - 'adore' and conversely 'loathe'. BUT. Maybe aging his done him good. His last two books, the one about watching movies with his son and this one, have really taken a turn. This one is about the disappearance of a six year old boy from the point of view of his father. Believable, readable, beautifully written, a real page turner.

  • Miranda
    2018-11-21 13:26

    I was immediately hooked into this book. The author's style of prose makes you feel like you've jumped into the middle of an interesting mystery and you're hoping to unravel more details. While the story was compelling and without spoiling anything, had a good hook...I felt like I was waiting for it to flesh out the whole time rather than actually enjoying what I was reading.I did enjoy the author's descriptions of certain things, as they were original and vibrant, but everything else felt shallow and undeveloped.The author clearly had back stories for his main character and the other bit players but we are never privy to them. Perhaps we are to fill in the blanks ourselves.

  • Iris
    2018-11-12 15:18

    I found this short book on the curb yesterday down the street from my house. I finished it today. It was that compelling. The protagonist may be brutish and a lout and flouting the dissociative disorder made famous in Albert Camus' short absurdist book l'etranger (only this one really loves his mother), but who cares? Most of my favourite central characters have a salty streak: From Philip Roth's Mickey Sabbath to Salinger's Holden Caulfield. I was gripped by the narrator's singular focus. By the way he was able to write about loss in a way that didn't come off as maudlin. I thought it was poetic and perfect and crude. I highly recommend it.