Seven Good Reasons Not to Be Good

Seven Good Reasons Not to Be Good opens with a cryptic postcard from Matt to his oldest friend, Zane. It’s the opening move in a bid to save Zane’s life. Zane is determined to die – for “good” – and Matt’s heading home from Vancouver to Toronto to talk him out of it. Matt is also keen to make contact with his father before the old man disappears entirely into the colourful world of his own dementia. With Matt’s marriage in tatters and his career as a movie critic gone sideways, it’s clearly time for this trip, so he can save his friend, wave off his dad and maybe find something of himself he lost long ago.

In this piercingly funny and wise novel, John Gould treats mortality, morality and modernity with equal parts empathy and wit. His prose dazzles even as it reveals the story’s complex heart: the imperfect art of letting go.

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A marvel of delicacy, depth and insight. . . . This is a damn-near perfect book.
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Robert Wiersema, Vancouver Sun

There is a complex plot at the heart of Seven Good Reasons Not To Be Good, but Gould has filled the pages with such familiar-feeling characters that the story flows along almost effortlessly. ... Seven Good Reasons Not To Be Good proves that John Gould is not just a great short story writer, he is simply a great writer. (read more..)
Colin Holt, Victoria Times Colonist

In his debut novel, the follow-up to 2003's Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated story collection Kilter: 55 Fictions, John Gould delivers punch after emotional punch, pulling readers into his characters' manic and often tragic lives.
Chelsea Murray, Quill & Quire

An insightful and humourous examination of human foibles, placed within a plot that always entertains and oftentimes zigs where a zag was expected. ... Anyone who enjoys a good story well-told will be well-satisfied. (read more..)
Corey Redekop, Shelf Monkey

At once heady and humorous, this is a book contemplating what it is to be alive.
(read more..) Amy Reiswig, Focus

In a computer-driven age in which everyone pounds away at the keyboard, Gould's writing is extraordinarily thoughtful and contemplative – like a monk meditating in the middle of Times Square. (read more..) Adrian Chamberlain, Victoria Times Colonist

Buy the book

Seven Good Reasons Not to Be Good
HarperCollins Canada
ISBN-13: 978-1554686322