"Running on Fumes is a Canadian legend processed as Canadian mythology"
Ronald Charles Epstein, PRAIRIEFIRE
RUNNING ON FUMES
In Running on Fumes, the debut novel by Christian Guay-Poliquin (translated into English by Jacob Homel), we follow an increasingly punch-drunk driver on a road trip across an apocalyptic version of Canada. At the outset of the narrative, the electricity inexplicably goes out nationwide, and gradually the mundanities of life shift to the rigours of survival. An unnamed mechanic jumps into his beat-up car and drives 4,736 kilometres east to reach his dying father. As the narrator’s journey becomes one of essentials – gasoline, water bottles, and gas-station food – and as the crisis around him begins to weigh more heavily, he seeks refuge with a woman, and later, a fellow traveler he meets on the road. But these two souls seem to seek a different sort of redemption …