Winner of the 2013 Canadian Author’s Association Award for Fiction!!!
Released 2012 by ECW Press
A darkly funny, tragic, and ultimately heroic novel set in 1930s Russia, The Last Hiccup is the story of Vladimir, an eight-year-old boy stricken with a case of the hiccups that lasts over a decade.
Put through a series of extraordinary, often bizarre treatments by a famous physician, Sergei Namestikov, Vlad is spirited away from his rural home and doting mother to a hospital in Moscow. But Sergei’s chief medical rival, the brilliant Alexander Afiniganov, believes that beneath Vladimir’s mirror-less eyes lurks a pure, unbridled evil, and Vlad is removed from polite society.
Isolated from everyone and everything — save his hiccups — Vladimir grows up to find inner peace among the hiccupping. On his way back into the world he once knew, through a country now in the midst of war, he encounters many strange people and situations, always wondering what would happen to him should a cure for his now-comforting affliction be found.
In June 2013, The Last Hiccup won the CAA award for Fiction.
CAA Judges’ Comments: “The Last Hiccup is an episodic novel reminiscent of Chaucer’s Tales or the Decameron. At the heart of the story is a hiccup, or more specifically, a boy with the hiccups… This surrealistic novel takes us through the misadventures of Vladimir and along the way the reader gets a good look at society’s foibles. The writing is exquisite, the language poetic and fresh. Although the story takes place in 1930s Russia, it feels very relevant to our times.”
Other authors who have won the Canadian Author’s Award for Fiction include: Margaret Atwood, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Alistair MacLeod, Will Ferguson, Tom Rachman, Patrick deWitt and Douglas Coupland.
“An allegorical tale ripe with symbolism…Meades reveals himself a gifted writer, deft with descriptions splashing surrealistic images.” – Kirkus Reviews
“A strange and surprisingly touching novel about how people find good and evil where they look for them.” — Booklist Reviews
“Wickedly funny…an admirable portrayal of an unlikely hero trying to find his way in an absurd world. This novel will amuse and touch lovers of original literature, both light and serious.” – Library Journal Review
“I absolutely loved this book…a masterful story about curiosity and adventure.”- Broken Pencil Reviews
“A beautifully written novel, part folk tale, part parable, caught between inhalation and exhalation, like a hiccup in the throat.” — Will Ferguson (winner of the 2012 Giller Prize for 419)
“Each sentence in The Last Hiccup is a tiny masterpiece.” — Robin Spano (author of Dead Politician Society)