A multi-faceted story told in four dramatic sections that explores how small actions and changes can give rise to startling and unintended consequences, and how human lives are connected in myriad ways.
Trajectory. Declination. Impact. Escape Velocity. These are rocketry terms that could also describe aspects of the human experience.
A lumberjack obsessed with space travel loses three different wedding rings, and each of the lost rings symbolizes something different to each person who finds it.
There are the members of a rich family whose dramas overlap with those of the homeless people living right next door, under the bridges of the Rosedale Ravine. The wheelchair-bound teen who declares war on a man parking his luxury car in the handicapped parking spot. The would-be rockstar selling insurance, whose terminal diagnosis sets his life on a new and dizzying path.
And many others. Every person is connected to every other — genetically, coincidentally, necessarily, or randomly. Every action has a consequence, seen or unseen, from the sublime to the catastrophic.
“Richard Scarsbrook’s Rockets Versus Gravity is a novel of confluence and departure, bringing characters together or pulling them apart through twists of fate and circumstance … (it) creates its own small universe of hope, frustration, love, lust, tragedy, and comedy. Each chapter adds to a quirky wholeness, forming a haunting pattern evocative of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio … Scarsbrook’s tight world is held together by distinctive characters, ranging from powerful to penniless, and from working-class to the idle rich… Though the tone of Rockets Versus Gravity is often relevantly poignant, an underlying humor adds to the novel’s appeal. 5 Hearts (out of 5)”
– Foreword Review, 2016 (read the full review here)
“Scarsbrook expertly weaves these seemingly unrelated characters into one larger story – a technique reminiscent of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad. Rockets Versus Gravity is Scarsbrook’s eighth book … his best yet. Just like his other books, he infuses witty humour within each chapter. But what makes this evocative novel so unique is how it demonstrates that our lives are more connected than we ever imagined.”
– Novella Magazine, 2016 (read the full review here)
“I don’t think I have read a book quite like Rockets Versus Gravity by Richard Scarsbrook, but it was such a fun ride that I would do it all over again… Each story weaves from one to another and it is fun putting them all together. 4 Stars (out of 5)”
– Coffee and Books, 2016 (read the full review here)