Provoked by Gilgamesh
This humorous and idiosyncratic tale - written in autobiographical style as a collection of letters - forms the unusual story of Gilmour Walker, a middle-aged man who, desperately afraid of dying, sets out from his home, somewhere on the Nova Scotia shore, to find a way around death. His inspiration for the mission is his reading of the ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, in which the hero also embarks on a quest for the secret of everlasting life. Following what he believes are the modern equivalents of Gilgamesh's destinations, Gilmour visits such surprising places as Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and Death Valley. Yet this is no ordinary pilgrimage. Gilmour's eccentric flow of thought can switch from Gilgamesh to Henry Miller playing ping pong naked or a rejection of Auden's thesis in The Enchafèd Flood. Moreover, the letters are accompanied by the caustic comments of an editor who finds Gilmour and the entire journey appalling. The letters, together with the comments of the rogue editor, create an outrageously funny mashup.