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Up and Down

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,526 Ratings  ·  290 Reviews
David Stewart, fresh from the Canadian Space Ministry, proposes NASA revitalize their PR with a Citizen Astronaut. A lottery for one Canadian and one American to visit the International Space Station chooses a too-perfect Texan, and a aged lesbian bush doctor pilot. How can he keep his job and still do the right thing?
Paperback, McClelland & Stewart, 414 pages
Published 2012 by Random House
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(showing 1-30 of 2,573)
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Jun 08, 2013 Marieke rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I enjoyed this so much and it was exactly the book I needed to be reading at just this time. I want it to be a movie and I have casting suggestions. :)
Sep 07, 2015 Andree rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Well, this is just fun. Sometimes I love CanLit.

A guy working at a PR firm helps organize a competition to send two citizen astronauts up to the space station, one Canadian, one American. The Canadian is a seventy-one year old woman who lives in rural BC (and I mean seriously rural BC), is a former doctor, and flies a bush plane. All while harbouring a lifelong dream of being an astronaut. She is also a diehard Sherlock Holmes fan, has spent years searching for her father who died in a plan cra
Beth Peninger
Nov 17, 2013 Beth Peninger rated it really liked it
I seem to just really like Terry Fallis. I read his first two breakout novels back in 2011, The Best Laid Plans and The High Road, and knew that I would want to read anything else he publishes. Lucky for me he published last year with Up and Down. Fallis' titles aren't carried in my library system so I have to get his books through inter-library loan. Thank goodness for that option.
In this novel Fallis departs from official politics and focuses on a different kind of politics, the PR world. Dav
Jennifer D
Jan 04, 2016 Jennifer D rated it really liked it
humour in literature is difficult. at least, i have a hard time with it on occasion. terry fallis is a funny guy. i have met him and enjoy him, so it was easy for me to imagine him telling me this story. but, on the page, i sometimes got a bit tired of david stewart (main character) being so prone to pratfalls and one-liners. for me, this served to detract from a great story. overall, i had a lot of fun with this quirky novel. some moments, i laughed out loud but overall, i was more taken with t ...more
Oct 12, 2012 Philip rated it really liked it
After reading Terry's first two books I was actually waiting quite anxiously to read "Up and Down". I was not disappointed in this book but I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as "The Best Laid Plans". This may just be because I, personally, am not quite as knowledgable about the reality of life in a PR agency or in NASA as I am about the Canadian Parliamentary system thus taking a bit of the bite out of the satire. I did think Up and Down returned to more of the humour of The Best Laid Pla ...more
Jennifer Rayment
Sep 11, 2012 Jennifer Rayment rated it it was amazing

The Good Stuff
•Descriptions of the PR world - dead on accurate. Ok, I only worked in a PR agency for a year, but I think I worked with some of the characters in this novel
•Oh so very Canadian - and I mean that in a good way
•Could not put the book down, eventhough it wasn't my usual fast paced type novel - it was just so damn interesting and funny I was affected that very same way. I stayed up way too late reading it and would even read it while brushing my teeth and drying my hair
Nov 22, 2012 Jaclyn rated it did not like it
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

Up and Down is less slapsticky than The High Road, but unfortunately also much less charming. There were moments of mild humour, but they felt too forced to really elicit a laugh. Most of the story plodded from one plot point to another -- perhaps it was just that the conclusion seemed inevitable. The narrative earnestly wants us to cheer for certain characters, and in doing so ends up with stock character types that are occasionally charming but mo
Oct 18, 2012 Carole rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Terry Fallis' tale of "citizen astronauts" going for a ride on a NASA space mission was laugh-out-loud hilarious, touchingly heartwarming, and quintessentially Canadian.

It is impossible not to love David Stewart, the PR man who plays the role of the naive narrator to perfection. The heroine, Canadian astronaut Landon Percival, is one of the most memorable fictional characters I have met in a long time.

Aside from the wonderful humour in the story, it is also a real page-turner
Connie Tang
Jun 30, 2015 Connie Tang rated it really liked it
I was trying to decide between 4 or 5 stars (so 4.5), because it's not exceptionally profound or life-changing (as I feel like 5 stars should be), but it is... incredibly enjoyable to read. Highly so, easily one of the most delightful books I've read this summer. Without a whiff of mystery, it maintains its intrigue. And for a book about a PR firm trying to re-brand NASA, it was definitely an adventure.

While it doesn't start off as anything special, it rapidly grows on you, and it's an utterly
Jul 10, 2013 Ronni rated it really liked it
Terry Fallis, you've wooed me again. I just love his style of writing, his ability to make me laugh our loud (no small feat my family will tell you), and his talent for creating such loveable characters. I didn't think it was possible for him to make a character as unique as Angus from Best Laid Plans, but he equaled Angus with Landon. I only wish she was a real person, because I'd love to share a good cup of her minestrone and chat about the stars.
Nov 07, 2012 Marisa rated it it was ok
A light and fun read, especially if you work in the field of Communications. The characters are a bit too one-dimensional (although quite likeable) and the humor is obvious at times. Still, it's enjoyable enough. I liked Terry Fallis' first book "The Best Laid Plans" far more.
Nov 22, 2012 Beverley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It takes great skill to write a comic novel that feels light but has serious undercurrent. Terry Fallis has mastered it. He gets better and better.
Tania Gee
Jun 30, 2014 Tania Gee rated it really liked it
The first thing I thought of as this novel began was “has Chris Hadfield read this book?” It’s all about social media and re-invigorating the public’s interest in the space program and it was published the same year Hadfield went up. If he didn’t read it, someone on his team sure as heck did. The book certainly invigorated my interest in the space program.

This was a great light read, with quite a few genuine laughs and a few moments of real warmth. I had a great giggle at David’s experiences wi
Debra Komar
Jul 23, 2014 Debra Komar rated it liked it
I enjoyed this one more than any of Fallis' others, although I still find his books "intellectually frothy," as reviewer Andrew Pyper once wrote. Fallis asks nothing of his audience, which is fine for a summer beach read. There are still all the trademark overt manipulations and obvious plot devices. I hesitate to call them twists, because that would imply they are unexpected and they never are. The token love interest is telegraphed early and the romance never really builds to much. Like Grisha ...more
An Odd1
Aug 17, 2013 An Odd1 rated it it was ok
After "three years for the Science and Tech Minister" p2 in Ottawa, narrator David Stewart is hired by international PR company TK (Turner King), to win their bid, joint with Washington DC branch. NASA wants to "re-engage the public" p19 after "the majority of survey respondents would rather go out for lunch than watch a shuttle launch" p15.

A space geek from forever, I looked forward to this subject, but overall ended disappointed. The first 1960s telecast was unforgettable, the terrorist Twin
Sep 24, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing
This new novel by award-winning Terry Fallis is hazardous! I say that only because I was listening to part of the novel while driving and was laughing so hard that I almost got in an accident.

In all seriousness, having been a fan of the author's first two books, which were a satirical look at politics, I was eager to read this latest stand-alone novel. Fallis completely impressed me with this novel about a PR agent who takes on the task of trying to re-vitalize the public's interest in the space
Oct 10, 2012 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own, canadian
Told from the point of view of David Stewart, a newbie in the PR world, this hilarious new novel from Terry Fallis follows David’s experience working on his first campaign – with none other than NASA as his firm’s client. David and his team need to create a plan to revitalize North America’s interest in the space program, and the idea he comes up with is, well, out of this world: a lottery contest that would send one Canadian winner and one American winner on a mission to the International Space ...more
Nov 09, 2014 Joanne rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Amusing, though narrative jumps around, story about a PR executive in Canada who comes up with the idea to send "citizen astronauts" into space so that the public becomes interested in space again. The Canadian astronaut is not what anyone expected.
Apr 27, 2014 Shelley rated it really liked it
It's been a long time since I chuckled while reading a book. I loved the writer's style, this plot and all the characters, especially Landon. It was hard to put down and I will definitely read more books by this author.
Mar 17, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: canada
This is what I've learned about Canadian literature since moving to Canada: no matter how far-fetched a plot line seems to an American, once you've lived in the north for a bit, it becomes strikingly plausible. I read this while following Commander Chris Hadfield's rise to social media fame (finished it prior to the recording of his song with the Barenaked Ladies) and it became hard for my mind to sort what was real and what was fiction. I'm not sure if that means that the book is particularly r ...more
Tina Siegel
Dec 16, 2012 Tina Siegel rated it liked it
If there was a half-star option, I'd give it three and a half. As always, I enjoyed Fallis' writing (which is clean and clear), his characters (who are endearing and memorable) and his story (which is fantastical in a charming way).

However, he still hits his jokes too hard. He's ham-handed. He gives us a funny incident, then tells us that it's funny, then explains WHY it's funny. And his foils, his antagonists, are one-note stick figures. They're boring, and therefore their contributions to the
Jul 22, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it
Every time I read Terry Fallis I am reminded just how much I love Canadian literature.
Wendy Hearder-moan
Jan 15, 2015 Wendy Hearder-moan rated it really liked it
I didn't find this as hilarious as his previous books that I had read, but it was certainly just as engaging!
Apr 18, 2016 Sharon rated it it was ok
I felt like the author was trying too hard. Jokes were utterly lame and ideas about Canadians were a bit cliche.
Mar 14, 2016 Lynn added it
The humour is great and although the plot is rather far fetched, it does provide food for thought.
Sep 30, 2012 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canlit, humour, satire
If you are Canadian and haven't read Terry Fallis, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of any of his books and savour the pure and unadulterated feel-good rush that comes from reading them.

Up and Down is about NASA trying to reinvigorate their image, and how the Canadian branch of a PR firm stumbles into getting the job. Its a laugh riot from beginning to end, yet there are some serious and profound moments that ground the story.

Like his other novels, this a book I would recommend unreservedly
Janet Berkman
Jun 14, 2013 Janet Berkman rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
A thoroughly enjoyable read, Fallis' third novel hits the hot spots. Canadiana, Sherlock Holmes, feisty elderly female bush pilot, public relations, and the International Space Station are all part of this fast-paced novel that kept me engaged right to the end. It lost a star for predictability, but even though I knew where it was going, it was a fun ride nevertheless. His rather broad humour is not for everyone, but i found it didn't quite cross the line into slapstick (although it comes close ...more
Sep 05, 2014 Diana rated it it was amazing
David Stewart left his dream job at the Canadian Space Agency to work for a private advertising agency in Toronto. He is part of the Canadian advertising team working with their American counterparts devising an advertising strategy for NASA. A contest is held to train and send one Canadian and one American citizen on the next space shuttle trip to outer space. David travels to a remote part of British Columbia to meet Landon Percival, the successful Canadian candidate who is a 71 year old femal ...more
Michael Trick
Mar 16, 2014 Michael Trick rated it really liked it
Fallis is a wonderful writer, and his books are a lot of fun to read. The are intelligent and uplifting, and he has a great way with a phrase.

While the names of the characters in this book are different than those in the previous books, there are a lot of similarities. The narrator in both cases worked in Canadian politics; there is a lovable, curmudgeonly old person who has all the best lines; there are ample opportunities for the good guys to correct the grammar of the bad guys, and much more.
Patricia Post
Sep 22, 2015 Patricia Post rated it it was amazing
I love Terry Fallis's humour, so beautifully supported by his expertise in weaving a fine story. He can make me laugh out loud, right after bringing a tear to my eye. In Up and Down he takes his public relations knowledge to great heights, when his main character, David Stewart, is put on the spot to pitch a PR campaign for NASA. The rabbit he pulls out of the hat is to send an American and a Canadian civilian into space. Through a glitch, the Canadian winner of the draw is Dr. Landon Percival,a ...more
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ELEVEN READER'S CLUB: Update#2 1 8 Jan 20, 2013 11:20AM  
ELEVEN READER'S CLUB: Update 1 1 6 Jan 20, 2013 08:22AM  
ELEVEN READER'S CLUB: Up and Down 1 15 Oct 04, 2012 01:31PM  
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Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of five national bestsellers, including his latest, Poles Apart, all published by McClelland & Stewart. His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the "essential Canadian novel of the decade." In January 2014, CBC aired a six-part television miniseries based ...more
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