IMPERFECTIONS by Bradley Somer (Available from Nightwood Editions.)
“There are moments in life that conspire towards making you the person you turn out to be on your deathbed. All of the events, the people, the places you go, the things you do and have done to you, everything foreshadows the person you are in the end. The pieces are all there but they can only be seen in hindsight.”
—Richard Trench, “The Agency” model.
A Bit About the book:
In the opening scene of Imperfections, Richard Trench finds himself reduced to a torso in the trunk of an ’82 Monte Carlo. What follows is a captivating story of how Trench came to be in this situation, with a plot that twists in and out of the lives of circus freaks, supermodels and everyday folk.
At once down to earth and vividly fantastical, Imperfections explores society’s relationship with physical perfection. It meddles with the boundaries between the beautiful and grotesque and blurs the hilarious with the horrific. Underlying themes of beauty and destiny are topped off with an always surprising plot and an eccentric cast of characters—including Trench’s body building, ABBA-obsessed father and an obituary writer. It takes the reader from backyard BBQ’s and barnyard beauty pageants to the world of raucous fashion shows and glittering photo shoots in exotic locations.
Links to Order Imperfections:
Some Reviews and Buzz:
“My psychologist said I have Malignant Narcissistic Personality Disorder”
—Richard Trench, “The Agency” model.
“As they say in the fashion world, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. In this sharp, ribald and surprisingly moving debut novel, Bradley Somer shows he has it and definitely flaunts it. Imperfections is a wild send-up of the modelling industry and our obsession with the culture of beauty. Equal parts absurdism and societal critique, it is a comic romp on par with Mordecai Richler’s Cocksure.” – Quill and Quire Starred Review
“Suffused with dark wit, sideshow freaks and highbrow fashion humour (plus a very creepy ending), reading this book is like sitting in the front row of Barnum and Bailey Fashion Week.” – The Coast Review
“Blurring the line between the humorous and the horrific, Somer’s novel explores North America’s preoccupation with perfection, and pauses, in the final pages, on the ‘creation of a whole new disorder of pretty ugliness’ through plastic surgery… Imperfections in a solid first book. In the final words of Richard Trench, ‘I can’t wait to see what happens next.’” – Alberta Views
“[Imperfections] juxtaposes perfection and freakishness;… it explores what it is to live and not to have really lived; and it examines the ideas of predestination and fate. The paradoxes multiply: In one sense, events seem to occur utterly by chance–by fluke, even. But within the context of the novel, the threads seem interwoven. Real life can be like that.” – Event Magazine
“Bradley Somer has written a transgressive, satirical takedown of the Western obsession with beauty and immortality. Like the unruly child of Chuck Palahniuk and Mary Gaitskill, Imperfections disturbs and haunts by holding a mirror to a part of us we would rather not see.” – Billie Livingston, author of One Good Hustle
“By turns tragic and buoyant, uncomfortable and funny, realistic and zany, Imperfections is a fast-paced exploration of the seemingly random and benign happenings of our everyday lives. From his mother’s cool inspection of his ‘imperfect’ body at birth to the requisite physical critiques that come with a modelling career, Richard Trench gives voice to a colourful examination of beauty—illuminated by exploding flash-bulbs and visceral memory. Bradley Somer is a writer to watch.” – Samantha Warwick, author of Sage Island
“Perfection is something many desire, but no one achieves. Imperfections is a novel that explores the concept of perfection as Bradley Somer follows Richard Trench, who, at a loss for limbs, find himself in an adventure that is unlike anything he would have experienced with those limbs. Touching on the unusual, Somer seeks to look at the duality of beauty and ugly, and how the two aren’t that far apart in what we seek. With strong humor and much to ponder, Imperfections is not a read to be overlooked.” – Midwest Book Review