The Ferryman institute A novel

Colin Gigl

Book - 2016

"In this stunning, fantastical debut novel from a bold new voice in the bestselling traditions of Christopher Moore and Jasper Fforde, a ferryman for the dead finds his existence unraveling after making either the best decision or the biggest mistake of his immortal life. Ferryman Charlie Dawson saves dead people--somebody has to convince them to move on to the afterlife, after all. Having never failed a single assignment, he's acquired a reputation for success that's as legendary... as it is unwanted. It turns out that serving as a Ferryman is causing Charlie to slowly lose his mind. Deemed too valuable by the Ferryman Institute to be let go and too stubborn to just give up in his own right, Charlie's pretty much abandoned all hope of escaping his grim existence. Or he had, anyway, until he saved Alice Spiegel. To be fair, Charlie never planned on stopping Alice from taking her own life--that sort of thing is strictly forbidden by the Institute--but he never planned on the President secretly giving him the choice to, either. Charlie's not quite sure what to make of it, but Alice is alive, and it's the first time he's felt right in more than two hundred years. When word of the incident reaches Inspector Javrouche, the Ferryman Institute's resident internal affairs liaison, Charlie finds he's in a world of trouble. But Charlie's not about to lose the only living, breathing person he's ever saved without a fight. He's ready to protect her from Javrouche and save Alice from herself, and he's willing to put the entire continued existence of mankind at risk to do it. Written in the same vein as bestselling modern classics such as The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde and A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, The Ferryman Institute is a thrilling supernatural adventure packed with wit and humor"--

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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Published
New York : Gallery Books 2016.
Edition
First Gallery Books trade paperback edition
Language
English
Physical Description
426 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781501125324
Main Author
Colin Gigl (author)
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* As an immortal Ferryman, Charlie Dawson excels at escorting the deceased to their afterlives, but a 250-year perfect record has left him feeling listless. When he has the opportunity to stop Alice Spiegel from committing suicide, he takes it, and they become fugitives as the Ferryman Institute attempts to track them down. With zest, debut-author Gigl sends Charlie and Alice on an amusing adventure, which eventually results in a bittersweet (with an emphasis on the sweet) ending. Though cute and fantastical, this tale has a serious core as both protagonists work through their own forms of depression. Gigl's writing comes to life in Charlie's and Alice's sarcastic or self-deprecating quips, and their hyperbolized metaphors and wacky insights will incite chuckles, even as the sadness and truth they express invite reflection. The inner workings of the institute are a whole lot of fun to learn about as Gigl subtly examines the multiple ways people view, fear, and approach death. A witty, heartwarming, modern-day fairy tale highly recommended for fans of quirky stories.--Hyzy, Biz Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

"BE A FERRYMAN OR SAVE THE GIRL. YOUR CHOICE." Charlie Dawson receives a letter with these unusual instructions right before Alice Spiegel attempts suicide. The attention-grabbing scene opens Gigl's strong debut, which is set in present-day New York and New Jersey. The institute of the title is modeled after the job of the mythical Charon; ferryman exist to help newly dead souls find their way into the afterlife. Charlie died on a whaling boat and was recruited to the institute instead of being sent on his way, a deal that seemed too good to be true and has caused him much regret in the following 200 years. Alice Spiegel is so distracted by Charlie's appearance that she postpones her suicide while getting pulled into the web of intrigue stemming from the mysterious message. Perspective shifts between the two give deep looks into their inner lives. The book occasionally gets bogged down by these emotional landscapes, but it recovers quickly with funny, snappy dialogue and decisive action. Gigl successfully mixes human tragedy and comedy and creates a world worth coming back to. Agent: Hannah Brown Gorden, Foundry Literary + Media. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

The tasks of ensuring that souls leave this world and travel to the afterlife is apparently a bureaucratic business like any other. Charlie Dawson is the most successful Ferryman in the history of the Institute, called in whenever a transfer goes sideways. But he's burning out, having been in the position for over 250 years. Then he gets a mysterious message during the job to usher suicide Alice Spiegel, offering him the chance to save the girl and finally stop being a Ferryman. But breaking all the rules of the Institute has consequences, and Charlie and Alice are soon on the run from Javrouche, a fanatical internal affairs inspector. VERDICT While grim reaper stories are not exactly rare in fantasy, this debut brims with wit and thrills. Recommend to fans of Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job.-MM © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.