The Last Year of Confusion 2020-11-08T09:30:46+00:00

Project Description



“Villis gritted his teeth, trying to clear his mind of thoughts, as Bipin had taught him, trying to remember the mantra Bipin had given him years ago during a lesson on meditation. What was it? IMA? OMA? RAMA? BLAM? Did it matter? Surely any nonsensical sound would do. How about PHOOEY?”

Villis—a cranky, retired anthropologist and survivor of Stalin’s GULAG work prisons—walks daily in The Pearl, an unspoiled frill of forest, along with his long-time friend, Bipin. They banter about the nature of man, of gods, and of what Bipin calls the World Wise Web. They dream of a trip to Easter Island to see the stout and silent monoliths that hunker on the cliff edges of that barren south seas place.

Everything is connected, Bipin believes. There are no coincidences. So, when a cerebrally challenged young man invades The Pearl on an obnoxious all-terrain vehicle, chewing up trails and threatening amphibians, Bipin seeks the cosmic meaning inherent in this assault. Villis, on the other hand, wants to wage war. Villis’ and Bipin’s naïve efforts to dispel the ATV-man from The Pearl spiral into a rollicking chaos of confusion, involving celebrity impersonators, visions of cavemen, and a time portal swirling from within the vibrating heart of The Pearl.

The Last Year of Confusion is a humorous, thought provoking—at times dark—commentary on the heaviness of humankind’s boot prints upon this planet. Are we, as Villis laments, doomed to destroy ourselves, given that killing has been intrinsic to our nature since Palaeolithic men first chipped arrowheads from the bedrock of the Earth? Or is the problem, as Bipin sees it, not with our natures, but with our choices? “Beauty and killing,” Bipin says, “and we’ve mostly gone with the killing. Why not choose the beauty? Isn’t it simply a matter of selecting that instead of this?”

The Last Year of Confusion was released by Seraphim Editions (2015). It was short-listed: Hamilton Arts Council Fiction Prize, 2016


“A funny, insightful and refreshing dystopian novel with strong imagery and insights, The Last Year of Confusion is a biting, and yet tender, commentary on life today.”
Hamilton Arts Council, Fiction Prize, Judge’s Comments (2016)

“A ‘Midsummer’s Night Dream’ for the 21st Century”.
Jean Rae Baxter, award-winning novelist

“For those looking to situate The Last Year of Confusion’s place in the Canadian canon, think Stephen Leacock wrapped in a Hudson’s Bay blanket with Joseph Boyden and the late Paul Quarrington.”
Rhonda Dynes (Humber Literary Review, Issue 2, Vol 2, 2015. Pg 56)