Falling Hour

By (author): Geoffrey Morrison




All talk, no action: The Mezzanine meets Ducks, Newburyport in this meandering and captivating debut

It’s a hot summer night, and Hugh Dalgarno, a 31-year-old clerical worker, thinks his brain is broken. Over the course of a day and night in an uncannily depopulated public park, he will sift through the pieces and traverse the baroque landscape of his own thoughts: the theology of nosiness, the beauty of the arbutus tree, the pathos of Gene Hackman, the theory of quantum immortality, Louis Riel’s letter to an Irish newspaper, the baleful influence of Calvinism on the Scottish working class, the sea, the CIA, and, ultimately, thinking itself and how it may be represented in writing. The result is a strange, meandering sojourn, as if the history-haunted landscapes of W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn were shrunk down to a mere 85 acres.

These digressions are anchored by remarks from the letters of Keats, by snatches of lyrics from Irish rebel songs and Scottish folk ballads, and, above all else, by the world-shattering call of the red-winged blackbird.

“From the first page to the last I felt wholly captivated by Falling Hour and Hugh’s sensitive and far-ranging digressions. Morrison has captured the magic of Sebald and made it entirely his own, a curiously anti-capitalist exploration of what it means to live in a “fake” country. ” – André Babyn, author of Evie of the Deepthorn

Falling Hour is a profound incantatory exhalation – a quiet triumph; to read it is to engage in a smart, humane and at times very funny conversation that you will never want to end.” – Simon Okotie, author of After Absalon

“A stellar debut novel by a stellar new talent. Falling Hour is written in a prose style that enlivens every page.” – Mauro Javier Cárdenas, author of Aphasia: A Novel

“In Falling Hour, an immensity is condensed into a single day, a single park, a single empty frame. To themes of loss and dispossession that recall in scope and sensitivity the work of Teju Cole and W.G. Sebald, Morrison brings the attentive eye of a poet and a truly impish sense of the absurd.” – Jen Craig, author of Panthers and the Museum of Fire

“Falling Hour deserves mention as a notable debut along the estuary of modern fiction.” – D. W. White, Atticus Books, Phoenix, AZ


Geoffrey Morrison

Geoffrey Morrison studied English literature at Simon Fraser University (BA), the University of Western Ontario (MA), and, for a year, the University of Toronto. His poems have appeared in Grain, PRISM, The Malahat Review, Lemon Hound, and elsewhere. He was a longlist finalist for the 2014 Lemon Hound and 2016 PRISM poetry contests, and an honorable mention for the Blodwyn Memorial Prize. He also writes reviews and other odds and ends which can be found at Debutantes, The Rusty Toque, and The Town Crier. He lives on unceded Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh territory.

Matthew Tomkinson is a writer, sound designer, and doctoral student in Theatre Studies at the University of British Columbia. His essays have been published in ?The Town Crier? and Performance Matters,? and his chapbook, ?For a Long Time?, is available through Frog Hollow Press. Matthew has worked as a composer and sound designer with Company 605, Kinesis Dance somatheatro, and a number of other local dance artists, and his music has been presented at multiple festivals including PuSh, Dancing on the Edge, and Vines. He lives in Vancouver on the unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.


“It is rare to come across a debut novel that feels so unapologetically intellectual and, at the same time, so alive to what is beautiful and terrible in human life. Falling Hour is more than just the record of a character’s thoughts over the course of a day; it is a kind of literary ghost bicycle chained to the spot where a cyclist was killed, an anthem of the defeated, a howl of rage at a violent machine. It is also, I’m afraid to say, a masterpiece.” – André Forget, Literary Review of Canada

Falling Hour is an existential feast, a satisfying banquet of innovative fiction, ripe with free-flowing associations that astound, all with the cohesion of a lucid dream.” – Danial Neil, The British Columbia Review

Falling Hour is a densely woven text of rhythmic sentences and shifting metaphors, of righteous rants about colonialism, capitalism, and Methodist-minded Canadians, of lyrical meditations on the natural world, of facts that beget more facts. Reading it broke my brain, and I mean this as the highest compliment.” – Marisa Grizenko, Plain Pleasures

“The perks and pleasures are innumerable in this, the memories of the disgruntled protagonist on a single, lonely day.” – Brett Josef Grubisic, Vancouver Sun

“In Falling Hour, Geoffrey D. Morrison’s impressive first novel, a ruminative young man named Hugh Dalgarno takes an old picture frame to a public park where he has an appointment to sell it to a stranger.” – Kevin Canfield, Necessary Fiction

“Morrison offers a tender portrayal of loneliness amidst the ravages of late capitalism, where everything, including the most basic forms of human relation, have been subsumed under market logic.” – Aaron Obedkoff, Canadian Notes & Queries

“There is impressive control in the deployment of these mind spirals, with Morrison integrating link after link into a narrative that grows more complex but keeps all its many balls in the air, the kind of juggler who satisfies and surprises with what he is able to toss into the mix.” – Emily McBride, The Rumpus


  • Dublin Literary Award 2024, Long-listed
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    224 Pages
    8.5in * 5.5in * 0.75in


    February 07, 2023


    Coach House Books



    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Literary

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