I Don’t Know How To Behave combines the true story of Canadian daredevil and stunt driver Ken Carter (1938–1983) with imagined biographical elements from the lives of Canadian film director Bruce McDonald and Canadian poet Gillian Sze. Along the way, this quintessential Canadian story crashes head-first into many related things, from screenplay theory to hip-hop history to the story of early Canadian film to drawings to photographs to bank robberies to chaos theory to technical specs for Detroit muscle cars to re-imagined movies to imagined documentary to advertisements to newspaper interviews to instructions for making molotov cocktails to Evel Kneivel to Steve McQueen’s Bullitt to self-help tomes to “rapper’s delight” to online instructions for how to publish a book, such as the one you are about to read called I Don’t Know How to Behave by Michael Blouin.
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Praise for I Don’t Know How to Behave:
“The book is more than amazing. I find lines that stop me, lines I want to write down, wise lines, sad lines, funny lines … more than lines, a whole universe to be marvelled at here.” —Susan Musgrave
“I Don’t Know How To Behave: A Fiction is a playful work exploring character and expectation, filmmaking and risk, and characters who become trapped in the histories of their failures. And yet, through their failures, Blouin’s characters remain optimistic, or at least moving forward, until they disappear entirely, immune to the reasons why, without even knowing the difference.” —rob mclennan ‘s blog
“The novel [is] a pastiche of literary styles and visual components, including poetry, interviews, fabricated newspaper clippings, storyboards, and screenplay formatting—complete with stage directions and notes on character development.” —Andrew Wilmot for subTerrain
“Blouin is magnificent at creating convincing voices, the engine that propels this entangled narrative to a level of engagement that even, at times, attains to the emotional” —Catherine Owen for Solo Marrow Review
“In typical Blouin style, I Don’t Know How to Behave breaks through all the boundaries, beginning with taking biographical details from the life of Canadian daredevil and stunt driver Ken Carter and melding them with his invented life stories for Canadian film director Bruce Mcdonald and Canadian poet Gillian Sze.” —Open Book Toronto
“This intriguing plot alone makes this a fascinating book. What is truly remarkable, however, is its narrative structure. By combining poetry, the language of screenplays, drawings, historical commentary and straight-on fiction writing, Blouin has created a storytelling format that is significantly more evolved than the traditional novel.” —Alejandro Bustos for Apt 613
“Take a few consecutive hours out of your life, and read, in one sitting, a book that is compelling, insightful, and thoroughly unconventional.” —National Post
“Think of it as a daily devotional. You can pick it up, open it at random, read a few lines, stop, and then ponder the mysteries of life. Tomorrow and the next day, the experience can be repeated; a few more lines can be savoured.” —The Telegraph Journal
Michael Blouin is a ReLit Award-winning author for Best Novel in Canada, has been shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award, the bpNichol Award, and the CBC Literary Award, and is a winner of the Diana Brebner Award and the 2012 Lampman Award. He has been published in most Canadian literary magazines, including Arc, Descant, Branch, Dragnet, The Antigonish Review, Event, Queens Quarterly and Fiddlehead, and has served as an adjudicator for the Ontario Arts Council, the Ottawa Book Awards, Carleton University, and This Magazine.