Burridge Unbound | Penguin Random House Canada
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Burridge Unbound

Publisher: Emblem Editions
After surviving a terrifying ordeal at the hands of terrorists in the South Pacific island of Santa Irene, Bill Burridge returns home to Ottawa and casts himself single-mindedly into building a human-rights organization to stand watch over the world’s most troubled areas. Yet, plagued by memories of his incarceration and by the strain of his disintegrating marriage, he is a man struggling to hold his life together. When a democratic revolution stands Santa Irene on a knife-edge between chaos and healing, Burridge reluctantly agrees to serve on a Truth Commission there to investigate past atrocities. Taut, intelligent, and written in the compelling, often sardonic voice of Bill Burridge, Cumyn’s gripping novel immerses us in a shadowy world of betrayals and shifting loyalties, and reveals the intricate, rejuvenating bonds of human relationships. Bill Burridge’s voice is infectious, his story a remarkable one as the novel builds to its climactic final scenes.


Burridge Unbound is a story about the fragility of life, life pushed to the edge. It is a brilliant depiction of a man at a precarious crossroads. The novel is breathtaking, almost impossible to put down. Alan Cumyn is a writer of remarkable talent.”
–Alistair MacLeod

“Though it charges forward like a thriller, Burridge Unbound also unfolds like a prayer.…If you were dazzled by the film The Year of Living Dangerously, you will admire Cumyn’s finesse at steering you out of Burridge’s domestic drama and into a jungle of intrigue.”
National Post

“An exceptional achievement.…All I can think of is how chillingly real the core of Mr. Cumyn’s story is.…
Ottawa Citizen

“A riveting story.…”
Globe and Mail

“A worthy achievement.…Cumyn is a promising author, worth following. He can write – his convincing portrait of Burridge alone, in all his psychological complexity, is highly original and no small feat.”
Toronto Star

“In electrifying prose, by turns violent, manic, and deeply sad, Alan Cumyn charts his lurching, rubble-strewn, chaotic, and strangely heroic course.”
–Jury Citation for The Giller Prize by Margaret Atwood, Alistair MacLeod, and Jane Urquhart

Burridge Unbound is a thrilling piece of literary fiction. Cumyn has taken an explosive subject and made a fine novel out of it.”
Edmonton Journal

“Cumyn’s writing is breathtakingly good. . . . He develops Burridge as a darkly humorous Everyman.…The novel is a beautiful and painful slice of reality.…”
Ottawa Life

“The book takes on the dimensions of a thriller, taut, mesmerizing, horrific. It isn’t easy reading, but Cumyn is such a fine writer that he holds us fascinated.”
Quill & Quire

“Cumyn is a writer who engages his readers with provocative ideas and situations from world events.…”
Ottawa X Press

“The pain, suffering and chaos of a world turned topsy turvy is superbly mediated through the sardonic voice of Burridge, and the result is a novel which both moves and educates.”
Amnesty International

“Powerful.…Hard to put down.”
Windsor Star