by Dave Margoshes
"With Wiseman’s Wager, the prolific Margoshes has done for Winnipeg something like what Mordecai Richler did for Montreal" - Quill & Quire review
"The mark has been set for the best book by a Saskatchewan author in 2014 with this release" - Prairie Dog review
“Pascal – you heard of his famous wager? He put it this way, it’s better to believe in a God that doesn’t exist than not believe in One Who does, and Who might take it personal. It’s not a bad way to live, wouldn’t you agree?” So says 82-year-old Zan Wiseman: brother, son, ‘not-Jewish Jew’, proxy twin, sometime Communist, four-times husband, one-time novelist – and bet-hedging atheist.
From an emergency room in Calgary, where an intern hears his poorly timed joke about suicide, Zan winds up on the psychologist’s couch. But the doctor’s efforts to investigate Zan’s mental state are constantly stymied by his misfiring memory, his wry delivery, and his novelist’s tendency to embellish. Is he misremembering, misrepresenting, crafting a better story – or all of the above? Through the streets of Strike-era Winnipeg, Toronto during the Depression, and the 1980s Calgary of Zan’s new life, Dave Margoshes’s compellingly unreliable narrator treats the reader to a magnificent meditation on aging, family ties, faith, and the liquid concept of the truth.