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The Geography of Pluto

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Twenty-eight-year-old Will, a teacher living in Montreal's gay village, has spent the last few months recovering from a breakup with his first serious boyfriend, Max. He has resumed his search for companionship, but has he truly moved on? Will's mother Katherine - one of the few people, perhaps the only one, who loves him unconditionally - is also in recovery, from a bout ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Cormorant Books
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 ·  106 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Catherine McKenzie
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a charming debut.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this little gem of local literature, which hit home on so many levels. The voice rang true and all of my old hangouts are featured in there. Glad I picked it up.
Angélique (MapleBooks)
Some books are able to put you in the shoes of their protagonist, however different this character might ever feel from you. They make you see the world from their eyes, experience life from their point of view, and ultimately show you that we all share the same few fundamental needs. The Geography of Pluto is one of these books. With this novel I spent a day and a half – that’s how fast I devoured it – beside Will Ambrose, a gay man reaching his 30’s, the partygoer I won’t ever be, and shared w ...more
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This well-written and well-structured debut novel is ultimately about five kinds of love: love of family, romantic love, love of friends, love of place, and (ultimately) self-love / self-respect.

The likeable yet far-from-perfect narrator, Will Ambrose, is a gay geography teacher in Montreal facing two relationship challenges: the need to get over his ex-boyfriend (Max), and the desire to take his relationship with his single mother deeper beyond 'surface' matters. As the novel moves back and fo
Alex Handyside
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book.
It's been a long time since a book made me cry. This did so in spades.
Probably the best book I've read in the past two years.

To say it's book about love is to do the author a disservice. And love too - for you think you know all about all aspects of love. But this shows love off at its best, boldest and widest.
It's about parental love (by & for), and about the love for & by partners - partners past, present and future. It also touches on love within friendship - between
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has the rarest of characters: a young man who appreciates his mother; they have a sweet relationship. Another strength of the novel is its frank portrayal of gay and lesbian people in the real world without stereotyping. The story does move slowly, more character study than plot driven. I very much enjoyed the vivid descriptions of Montreal - very well done, as you might expect from a book with “Geography” in the title.
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this book as part of the Goodreads first-reads giveaway.

The Geography of Pluto is the story of a young man named Will who is a geography teacher living in Montreal. He is really struggling to get over the breakup of his relationship with his boyfriend Max. He makes half-hearted attempts at moving on, but can he? Will's mother is also facing struggles of her own. She is a cancer survivor, but the cancer looms like a dark cloud over them, always threatening to come back.

This story
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a pleasure. I appreciate books that respect setting as much as character. I like to feel as though I've been taken to a new place as well to visit new people. The Geography of Pluto definitely does just that. That's geography, after all: people and place. Thoughtful and heartfelt, there's a strong current of irony that adds richness to the story as well. Will is a character I think we can all see ourselves in; his path is one we've all traveled in one form or another - that his story offers ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was very happy to win this small press book from Goodreads. I doubt that I would have had a chance to read it otherwise. This was a very sweet book. The main character and his life experiences were depicted without romance, with all the rawness and naiveté of someone that age trying to make sense of life . His relationship with his mother was especially compelling. And it doesn't hurt that the setting is Montreal in the 1990s (I think). ...more
Daniel Baylis
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my methods of evaluating any given book (or film) is whether or not I feel compelled to cheer for a character. In this case, I felt myself rooting for Will, a 28-year-old Montreal-based teacher dealing with the complexities of love and life. The story was graceful and humorous, gritty and tender. In fact, reading the book didn’t even feel like reading at all — it felt like hanging out with an old friend.
Ivy Courtney
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An amazing story that is heartwarming and simply amazing. The story itself is not complicated but it never feels boring or drags, it flows smoothly and feels authentic to real life. An excellent read and a wonderful first novel. Looking forward to any other novels written by the author.
Cora Siré
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This novel resonated on many levels. It is both an homage to my home city of Montreal and a deep exploration of character, the search for connection and love in a complex world. Brilliant!
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Geography of Pluto has quickly become one of my favourite novels. As someone roughly Will's age, I could relate to a lot of his experiences, bigger existential questions, and even his coming out was remarkably similar to mine. The novel made me reflect a lot on my own relationships - romantic, familial, and geographical - all of which intersect to make up our personal stories.

I thought the descriptions of Montreal were especially beautiful and this novel makes me long for other well-written
Mark Andrew Hamilton
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A gorgeous first novel that pulls equally from a sunset coming of age through to the indelible disappointments of those first broken relationships. DiRaddo paints a portrait of Montréal that truly brings the city's queer underbelly to life – but rather than sounding resigned to sadness or lost to loss, it's clear from 'The Geography of Pluto' that orbits continue and the sun always returns. We might just want to shade our eyes from it from time to time, with a bittersweet look back. ...more
Rachel Umansky
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in Montreal and gay.... worth the read. Heart breaking ending and made me cry so I’d recommend for a quick read.
Bob Werner
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, queer
Moving coming of age story of a gay boy who struggles to cope with life and loss as he grows into his adulthood.
Michael Belcher
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-changers
This is the novel that my heart has written many times, with lines that feel like they’re plucked from so many of its many beats. DiRaddo captures various geographies - early 2000s Montreal, the strange sea floor undulations of the dance floor, the planetary pull of relationships, the rocky terrain of feeling - with prose both poetic and precise. No comparison is wasted, the imagery clear and vibrant, burning with that tingle of magic only the most heartfelt and true writing can engender. Normal ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This compact novel about being a gay man in Montreal in the recent past won me over completely. The protagonist is very much flawed, but a good person at heart, and his life and adventures were not only interesting, but also brutally honest.
Stéphanie Amesse
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
With the introduction that has been given to us I already know this is going to be one hell of a fun ride!
Jul 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It was my first book by DiRaddo and I am ready for more.
Jul 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Normally I am not the fastest reader around, but this one I read fast.
Jul 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The book starts out grabbing your attention then moves into character development and I really like that approach.
Rian Monson
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I won this book from goodreads awhile back 2016. Felt comfortable doing the review finally, and now its 2021. This is no fault of the authors writing.

I loved it. When I did finish it back in 2017, I added him to my favorite author list. Took me awhile to read this little gem, due to life getting in the way. Of course I was reading this at the time I had my 1st SVT, and then my second (heart clocking at 189, and then 200, both times still conscious) so if your anything like me and something happ
Ray Hiltz
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Christopher DiRaddo is the author of the novels The Family Way and The Geography of Pluto. He lives in Montreal where he is the founder and host of the Violet Hour reading series and book club.

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