Greatness, Manitoba is anything but great, and most people would like to escape it, Gabriel Pegg included. Well, he did escape it once, never wanting to return, but one brief, illicit affair sent him right back and restrictive legalities are keeping him from escaping again.
"I did grow up here. I try hard not to remember that, and I'm usually quite successful."
Screenwriter and novelist Jeffrey John Eyamie has created a humorous, but grounded, story on Gabriel Pegg’s fall from his 15 minutes of fame and his climb back to “normalcy” (or what equates to normalcy in Greatness!).
Meet the “Port-O-Potty Guy”
You may be wondering what that port-o-potty is doing on the cover of this book. You see, back in the ’90s Gabriel Pegg hooked up with a comedy troupe that was passing through Greatness, where he was living at the time. He had created a character who performed from inside of a port-o-potty onstage. Hence, he was forever labelled as the “Port-O-Potty Guy”. The troupe became successful in the U.S. and Gabriel was living the life until he had an intoxicated one-night stand with a big producer’s wife and he went from A-list to Q-list pretty fast, eventually declaring bankruptcy. He is allowed to return to Canada (he was facing some charges in the U.S.) under the condition that he return to Greatness and play father for one hour per day with a pre-teen daughter he has never met. Did I mention that Gabriel is divorced and his ex practically runs the town of Greatness? While in confinement to Greatness, Gabriel wants to make a serious documentary of his life. He manages to enroll his nephew to film it (armed with a GoPro camera) and tries to get some of the locals to act in it, with priceless results.
There is so much more to the story than what I have summarized above. To tell more would be to reveal too much, spoiling some of the comical twists and turns the narrative takes. It’s hard to feel sorry for Gabriel, he has made his own bed, so to speak, in a number of ways. He is self-centered and full of self-pity. Yet, his childhood was not a good one, nor was his marriage. Eventually, the various inhabitants of Greatness help Gabriel to see that Greatness may not be great, but it’s not always about where you live and having fame and fortune that matters.
The bottom line, this is a humorous and lively novel. If you like the Corner Gas/Schitt’s Creek type of humour, then No Escape From Greatness will definitely appeal to you.
Jeffrey John Eyamie is a Winnipeg screenwriter and novelist who worked in the writers’ room of Less Than Kind (HBO Canada). His comedy pilot Split Level was accepted by the National Screen Institute’s Totally Television program. Jeff spent his formative years catching gophers in Virden, Manitoba.
- Publisher : Turnstone Press (March 28 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0888015372
- ISBN-13 : 978-0888015372
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James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.