An Almost Impossible Story

An Almost Impossible Story

“An Almost Impossible Story is one of the funniest, funkiest audio-books you will ever listen to. Award-winning author George Tombs takes you on a richly textured sound journey, performing all 45 character voices and some of the music himself, as you discover the Greys … a weird and lovable family straining to understand itself.

“In this magical-realist coming-of-age saga, quirky Grandmother Grieve decides the young hero, Richard Grey, has to wear a gas mask in his own home in Quebec … all because of the family cat. He struggles to find his place in the world, helping Mother Augusta recover her health, having traumatic encounters with ghosts, penetrating family secrets with Brother Andrew, heading for university, and becoming a journalist. Richard experiences ups and downs with the girl next door, Chloé Trahan….

“Despite all these misadventures, he never quite loses hope…. But will anything ever go right for Richard?”

That’s the blurb on Audible for the award-winning audio-book version of my new novel, An Almost Impossible Story.

Writing this novel took a lot of on-location research

An Almost Impossible Story is a hybrid creation. It has come out in three different versions: a 332-page illustrated print edition (Amazon/Kindle), an illustrated e-book edition (Amazon/Kindle), and an audio-book edition (Audible), which I recorded, mixed and mastered. So, this is a novel whose various versions tell the story with words, images, voice, music and sound effects.

Here is the retail audio sample:

Here is a link to the first chapter of the audiobook version, which you can listen to for free. It lasts just over 40 minutes:

Here is a link to the print version:

Here is a link to the e-book version on Kindle and to the audio-book version on Audible, iTunes and Amazon:

This novel is partly based on a true story.

This novel is inspired by real events. Here is a photograph of the protagonist, Richard Grey, at the age of four – before the family chaos starts

But it would spoil all the fun if I told you exactly what I mean by “partly” and “true story!” I don’t intend to present this as a roman à clef, where each character rigorously represents a real person, whether living or dead.

Grandmother Grieve likes cheating at solitaire

Excerpt from the review of the initial text-only version of this novel by Reader Views (Austin, Texas):
This novel by George Tombs is one of the most unique stories I’ve read in some time. With quirky characters, a colorful storyline and an overall feeling you’ve just stepped into another world, it’s a lively, humorous dance revealing the very definition of family dysfunction. It’s a coming of age story about Richard Grey who is basically at odds against the world. Or at least his world…. This is such a fun read! The writing is brilliant, the author creating a world with vivid imagery through his words. It’s witty and engaging with a plot that arouses a natural curiosity – it’s hard to put down once you get started!” – Reader Views

I based some of An Almost Impossible Story on my own hilarious experiences working for the BBC. Peter Butler did this illustration for the book….

Excerpt from the review of the initial text-only version of this novel by Kirkus Reviews:
“The Canadian writer/filmmaker’s first novel is a seriocomic dysfunctional-family saga and magical-realist coming-of-age tale that will put some readers in mind of John Irving’s work—if Irving had a fondness for hockey. The well-drawn characterizations carry along a plotline that seems a bit too bumpy and meandering for its own good. Fortunately, the characters are sympathetic, vulnerable, and oddball enough to make the rocky journey worthwhile, and some of Tombs’ details—especially in his portrait of a shady book publisher—have an impressive realism.
“An effective novel of family and society from a writer with a flair for the offbeat.” – Kirkus Reviews
Link to entire review:

I heard this book in my head before writing it down. I started off by dictating dialogue on audio cassettes. Now that the audio-book version of An Almost Impossible Story has gone live on Audible, it feels like coming full circle.

There is a back story to this novel.

In 2019, I brought out the initial three hybrid versions (print, e-book and audio-book) under the title Mind the Gap, just before the pandemic struck. I developed Long COVID, which was no laughing matter! Then came the global public health crisis, and the whole world took a pause.

Even so, the initial text-only version of the novel won the 2020 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award (based in Texas) for best humor/satire of the year.

The audio-book version won the 2020 Wild Card Award at the San Francisco Book Festival. The Wild Card Award is given to a surprising, out-of-the-blue work that doesn’t fit the festival’s other categories.

Meanwhile, during that fateful year of 2020, I completed a feature-length documentary film, The Blinding Sea. I was increasingly drawn to the power of images, and the idea of adding illustrations to a novel, after the fact, so they would complement but not pre-empt the text.

In weaving text and images together in this new edition, and completely remastering the audio-book version, I decided to change the title of the novel from Mind the Gap to An Almost Impossible Story. By the way, this title is far more accurate!

This novel is an improbable – no – an almost impossible love story – which I have created just for you

ISBN number for illustrated print version of An Almost Impossible Story: 978-1-989484-12-8

ISBN number for illustrated e-book version of An Almost Impossible Story: 978-1-989484-13-5

ISBN number for audio-book version of An Almost Impossible Story: 978-1-989484-14-2

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