If You Liked X Read Y: David Whitton’s Seven Down

Fans of Matt Haig’s bestselling novel The Midnight Library, should add to their TBR shelf David Whitton’s first novel Seven Down (Dundurn Press) — a novel that that makes us consider our life choices and forces us to think about the choices of those around us.


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Readers who enjoyed the bestselling The Midnight Library by Matt Haig will fall in love with David Whitton’s first novel, Seven Down. The book is an atmospheric story about the choices human beings make and how the people around us are affected by them. It is also an account of a failed assassination attempt, which is told through interview transcripts with its participants — all employees at a large hotel. Funny, absurd, and mysterious, the work is a thriller, satire, geopolitical commentary, and literary experiment all in one off-beat package. Whitton’s epistolary-style narrative treats readers to quirky literary crime fiction, which the Winnipeg Press says, “combines the paranoid atmosphere of Don DeLillo with the bureaucratic procedure and spy tradecraft of John le Carré.” Seven Down illuminates seven characters who were sleeper agents assigned to the failed assassination, and for which they knew almost no details, other than what each of them receives as code words about their respective roles. The Midnight Library is the kind of fiction that makes us consider our life choices and forces us to think about the choices of those around us. In Seven Down, David Whitton depicts how the various decisions that the seven hotel employees made years earlier ultimately end up affecting their situations when they begin to participate in the unsuccessful assassination. The novel paints a picture of how the seven characters’ earlier actions influenced the choices and actions that they make during the story’s fateful violent event. Seven Down portrays regular people who end up making bad decisions, what led up to those decisions, and the circumstances and influences that motivated their later actions. If the enchanting and existential atmosphere of The Midnight Library and the quirky yet loveable characters of Anxious People had a child together, Seven Down would be the result.

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