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The Perfect Order of Things

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  190 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Like a tourist visiting his own life, David Gilmour’s narrator journeys in time to reexamine those critical moments that created him. He revisits the terrible hurt of a first love, the shock of a parent’s suicide, the trauma of a best friend’s bizarre dissembling, and the pain and humiliation of unrelenting jealousy, among other rites of passage. Set within an episodic nar ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 22nd 2011 by Thomas Allen Publishers (first published February 11th 2011)
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Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it
In The Perfect Order of Things, David Gilmour writes a quasi-autobiographical novel, with a narrator we are encouraged to view as being the voice of David Gilmour. However, he very carefully fashions a novel that jumps and skips lightly over moments in a life. Moments that are personally painful. Links to the present day appear through an examination of place, and revisiting a place years later triggers memories of that past event which shaped the narrator's life profoundly.

I enjoyed the conver
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is one of those books with prose I thoroughly enjoyed but with a protagonist who didn't make me care.

The narrative structure is interesting. Gilmour presents a series of vignettes where his main character, a wealthy trust-fund kid turned writer, revisits places and people from his past. He recounts lost loves and obsessions, but I couldn't sympathize with someone who's has had nothing but privilege yet wrecks all that is good around him. When he recounts the story of heartbreak as an older
Aug 11, 2017 added it
DNF page 43

Seems to early to break off now but I'm bored and could care less how the story unfolds
Kristine Morris
Enjoyable read. First time reading David Gilmour. Will most likely some of his other stuff. I liked how human this book was - following some of the characters mental, anxious inner-critic dialogue was funny but also very truthful. I think everyone has some of these thoughts at some point (maybe all the time).
Doriana Bisegna
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Oh, I am so disappointed in this book! I was so looking forward to it being another good read from David Gilmour but it failed miserably for me! It was too much of a guy's book and I just couldn't relate very well! I am not sorry that I read it but let's just say that it fell very flat.
Paula Kirman
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Gilmour's latest novel ties all of his work together by revisiting people and places from the past.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Grauenvoll. Wie kann sich kapitellang über die Bücher anderer Schriftsteller ergießen kann, ist mir ein Rätsel. Um was es in dem Buch überhaupt geht, blieb mir gänzlich verborgen. So viel Grütze auf einem Haufen ist mir schon lange nicht mehr unter gekommen. Wenn es kein Hörbuch gewesen wäre, hätte ich nach spätestens 40 Seiten aufgegeben. Warum gibt es hier bitte keine negativen Sterne?
Peter B
Sep 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
A self-indulgent tale of an older man, reflecting on the tragedies of his life which were the result of too much money and too little humanity.
Friederike Knabe
Oct 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian-lit
Reading David Gilmour's new novel, "The Perfect Order of Things", I was reminded of Mark Twain's take on the well-known Socrates quote about a life that is not "examined". "The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the life too closely examined may not be lived at all." Canadian fiction author and film critic Gilmour, probably best for his internationally most popular book, "The Film Club", and his award-winning novel "A Perfect Night to go to China", may have found the middle ground betw ...more
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
David Gilmour’s novel The Perfect Order of Things deserves far more attention than it is receiving. The fictional autobiography depicts the protagonist’s painful return to sorrowful moments and places in his life. The often humorous, sometimes sad, physical and mental returns to these moments tell stories of love lost and chances missed in the life of man with a detached family, two ex-wives and a strange work ethic.

I found Gilmour’s book by chance, and was honestly drawn to its cover. From a
Paula Dembeck
What an interesting idea for a book.
Assuming the combined identities of the narrators in his previous novels, Gilmour has written a thinly veiled autobiographical memoir in which he returns to places where he has suffered, trying to revisit current miseries, relearn early lessons, and reflect on his failings and loses. He wants to see what he has missed, what his former misery blinded him to and to gain something from those past experiences.

The meditations in the ten separate chapters move back
Kevin Craig
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This review is from my book review blog:

As much as this is a work of fiction, David Gilmour can be gleaned in every sentence. This beautiful story is a trail of breadcrumbs that brings us to the author himself.

Gilmour’s first person narrator walks the reader of The Perfect Order of Things through a complex, well-lived life of a man always on the brink of the brink. We are treated to the narrator’s great loves, including Tolstoy and the Beatles, and we lea
Shonna Froebel
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
This novel takes a main character from a previous book and has him narrate his own life. Revisiting significant places from his past, he reminisces about the events that made those places special to him. He talks about his family, showing us the relationship with his parents and older brother. He talks about his school friends and the escapades they were involved in. He talks about his first love and how that relationship ended. We see his subsequent relationships, including his marriages and ho ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In order to install some such things as perfectness & get some closure for past chapters of his life, David Gilmour sets out to visit places of past failures. Like a tourist looking outside-in on his own life, Gilmour ventures out to re-examine those moments that left him humiliated and ultimately shaped him into the person he is today: 1st love, his dad’s suicide, friendships gone wrong, unrelenting jealousy, among other rites of passage.

Sections of sheer, somehow sweet honesty are interrup
John Hanson
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: my-hardcovers
The associations with the author are too close for me not to consider this autobiographical; which is too bad, as I feel almost no empathy for the main character whose name I don't think I remember. Robert Monday maybe? George? Charles? Pft. The man is empty of consideration, marches to the beat of Beatles tunes and dead Russian authors, objectifies women, and senses a lifelong presence of doom which in the end he misinterprets as an appreciation of life but fails to realize he has completely mi ...more
Nov 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Yet another sixty year old man looked back on his life and viewed events, people, places in a different light. Using that as the structure, the author covered his experience in different places that had meant something to him, positively or negatively, talked about books (War and Peace) and music (The Beatles) , what they meant to him, then and now. It was, as David Gilmour himself said, an attempt to bring some order to things before end of life - hence the title of the book. It was a man tryin ...more
Daniel Kukwa
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian-lit
Well...if this book is semi-autobiographical, I'm beginning to think that David Gilmour has lead one of the most testosterone-filled, archetypal heterosexual lives ever. It drips from the pages so much that you could bottle it up and sell it, and more often than not it comes across as needy & irritating. Then, about one third of the way through the novel, the subject mattert takes a reflective turn, with lovely notes of wry & dry humour that transform the irritating into the wistful. Thi ...more
Sean Kelly
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed The Perfect Order of Things the way I enjoy most of Gilmour's work. He has the ability to temper first-person introspection in his characters with interesting and often humorous storytelling. In this novel, Gilmour successfully uses a protagonist from previous novels and forces him to look back on various failures and embarrassments in his life to lend context to his present situation. This is likely something we all do to some extent, although probably not to the extent Gilmour has hi ...more
Jan 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I can't find a reference to the narrator's first name. His dad was JP Monday, so we know his last name. I'll call him X. He could be any middle aged man revisiting his past. X is a ladies man and has two ex-wives both of whom he is on good terms with and has three children from each of his three wives. At the beginning of the book he talks about his aimless teenage years eventually becomes a writer and works in TV.

X reminisces about his many obsessions, including The Beatles, War and Peace, and
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting that this book is marketed as a novel. It certainly blurs the line between memoir and novel, and it apparently features plot lines and characters from Gilmour's previous fiction and non-fiction books (none of which I've read). It was recommended to me by a male friend who said it might give me some insight into how men think. I suppose it did do that, but more than anything, it was a compelling read--very funny in parts (e.g., chapter on TIFF), moving in others (chapter on coping wit ...more
Wily Writer
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Author Gilmour's veiled autobiography about a mature writer revisiting important times and places in his life. Includes insightful reminiscences about Ontario cottage country, Upper Canada College, The Beatles, the Toronto International Film Festival and "life with Tolstoy." Full of deeply-felt observations and life lessons. Ends with a genuine appreciation of life despite inherent sadness, disappointment and loss.
Sep 26, 2013 marked it as my-snarky-shelf
I guess this probably violates the new super-secret policy that suggests that readers can't or shouldn't make decisions about what to read when authors who say sexist things, but this is coming off my to-read list:
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't mind the stories, but the connections between them lost me. I thought they were a bit contrived, and didn't work so well. I preferred to think of this book more as a collection of short stories, 'cause it just wasn't working as a novel for me.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
The idea behind the book was intriguing (the narrator decides to return to places where he has suffered) but for me, the book fell short. Some personalities and situations were just too far out there, and my sense of humour obviously does not line up with the author's.
Aleesa Sutton
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Didn't really interest me enough to finish.
Aug 21, 2013 rated it liked it
If you liked The Film Club, you will enjoy The Perfect Order of Things.
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
A whole chapter on Tolstoy, need I say more?
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die Geschichte hat mich nicht wirklich überzeugt, auch wenn Rainer Schöne wirklich sehr schön gesprochen hat.
Sandy Iverson
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Better than expected. A few laughs. Some poignant vulnerability from a still rather vain but human protagonist that I doubt I would be friends with, but enjoyed an afternoon with.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

David Gilmour is a novelist who has earned critical praise from literary figures as diverse as William Burroughs and Northrop Frye, and from publications as different as the New York Times to People magazine. The author of six novels, he also hosted the award-winning Gilmour
More about David Gilmour...

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