Away from Everywhere (2009)

The Back Cover

Brothers Owen and Alex Collins are brought together when mental illness claims their father and sets off a chain reaction of heart-breaking events. Both tender and bold in its delivery, Away from Everywhere cuts no corners in telling the story of their crushing childhood, the reasons the brothers become different men, and the unthinkable act of love that tears them apart.

Nearing thirty-five, Owen is plagued by childhood demons, the ghosts of failed relationships, and a persistent feeling that his life lacks meaning. When Alex arranges for Owen to stay with his wife and family, what feels like a new beginning becomes one last wrong turn. Part warped love story, part family tragedy, Away from Everywhere is a heart-stomping pageturner.

Selected Accolades

Film Adaptation underway!

Winner of the NLAC’s CBC Emerging Artist of the Year award.

Shortlisted for the Canadian Authors’ Association Emerging Writer of the Year award.

Shortlisted for the 2010 ReLit Award

A Coles bestseller

Listed as a “Best Book of 2009” in places like The Scope and Current Magazine.

Praise for Away from Everywhere

“Gripping from page one, Away from Everywhere is a finely crafted novel from one of the most talented young writers to come out of Newfoundland in recent years.” – Kenneth J. Harvey, Internationally bestselling author of Inside and Blackstrap Hawco

“This emotionally wrenching story made me cry. It also made me lament not having written it. His writing is both articulate and lyrical. A fascinating and tender portrait of a soul in torment.” – M.T. Dohaney, award-winning author of The Corrigan Women

“A book that will continue to call you back to it. A book you could read many times over. A book that requires a lot of pauses. Pauses to think, reflect, discuss, and most importantly, breathe. Pelley’s great talent lies with his descriptions.” – Kathleen Spencer, Ryerson Free Press

“What shines from this novel is Pelley’s ability to convey his lead character’s pain and inner turmoil; his misery lifts real from the page. We should look forward to the honing and unfolding of this writer’s evolving voice.” – Bruce Johnson, Atlantic Books Today

“Complex themes woven tightly together … There is a streamlined dynamic to the structure and the prose, as riveting and inevitible as a car flying off the wet highway. And the structure is tightly built as a racecar chasis. [A] very good book.” – Joan Sullivan, The Telegram

“It opens up in the aftermath of a car crash, and does not let up from that brutal, mid-crisis opening.” – Ashley Fitzpatrick, The Telegram

“Chad Pelley’s new novel is a beautiful bruising experience. There is humor in these pages as well as tragedy and deep humanity, all tied together with great storytelling. Read it.” – Award-winning author Samuel Martin, Dark Art Cafe

“Award-winning short story scribe Chad Pelley has gone all-out in his first full-length novel Away From Everywhere … [a] stunning and somber portrait of the family ties that can both bind us and tear us apart.” – Stephen Clare, The Chronicle Herald

“Cuts deep … a searing story … Pelley’s work is finely-tuned and picks up on the many subtleties that characterize family relationships and romatic love … this is one absorbing read that will have you hooked from the opening lines and have you haging on.” – Darrell Squires, The Western Star

“You know you’re on the right career path when you have the likes of Kenneth J. Harvey calling you ‘one of the most talented writers to come out of Newfoundland in many years.’ … a powerful and poignant look at the ups and downs of love.” – From the feature article, The Next Wave, in Atlantic Books Today

“One of those books that wound and stab us … a riveting first novel … this book is a hard and honest view of relationships; of love and what we lose to it … Be forewarned — forget the tissues, you’ll need band-aids after reading this one!” – A Season to Read.com

“Pelley’s writing style is attention grabbing. From page one he sucks you in and gives you a world of hardship and struggle that is excitingly gritty and keeps your attention throughout. Certainly a new fictioneer to keep your eyes on. A recommended read for sure.” – Stephen Rowe, Award-winning poet and book blogger.

“Pelley is a gifted writer who, no doubt, we will hear a lot from in the future.” – Sue Carter Flinn, The Coast

“A good eye for description, with an almost poetic air to the physicality of his characters. Pelley achieves some affecting moments of true transcendence; his is a talent to watch for.” – Corey Redekop, The Shelf Monkey

“Artful and gripping writing. I can turn to any page and instantly feel despair and longing within any one sentence. This book is for the passionate.”Caitlyn McCann, The Brock Press 

“Newfoundland writer Chad Pelley has written the most powerful novel I have read in some time. The characters are full of both the wonder and anguish of life and the writing is crisp and doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life in 2010.” – Staff review (Kerri) at Bryan Prince Bookseller

Selected Radio Interviews

Interview with CBC’s Angela Antle here:

Clip from interview with CHMR’s Mike Minor Here:

Book Trailer:

Away from Everywhere:
an Unofficial Soundtrack to the Novel:

These songs fit on an 80-minute CD, and can all be purchased at iTunes. Makes for great music to read and fall asleep to. All bands on this CD were mentioned by name in this novel, in one draft or another (though may not be in the final novel). See page numbers below.

100 physical copies were made and distributed to media.

01.) The Weakerthans – Left & Leaving

– In a deleted scene, Owen used lyrics from this song for the epigraph of his short story collection.

02.) Joel Plaskett – Heartless, Heartless, Heartless

– When I first wrote the scene where Hannah and Owen come to St. John’s, they went to a Joel Plaskett show at the Ship, and were spotted being a little too friendly by an old friend of Alex’s.

03.) Pilot to Bombardier (Bryan Power) – Lifetime Behind

– This song captures some elements of the book well. It’s brooding and reflective in an atypically warm, disarming way. Like a few parts of the book.

04.) The Album Leaf – Always for You

– Thematically encapsulates much of the book’s premise.

05.) Damien Jurado – Sheets

– See page 58, where Hannah mentions he is Owen’s favourite musician and they lay on her couch listening to and discussing him. (And lyrically, this song really suits the book.)

06.) Blair Harvey ft. Joel Hynes – Dozen Beer

– See page 176. ” … get a drink downtown. Get out of the house. Blair Harvey and Mark Bragg were playing at The Ship.”

07.) Brian Borcherdt – Motel

– See page 276. Emily was listening to Brian the night Andrew stumbled into her studio and …

08.) Mark Kozelek – Up to My Neck

– See page 284, when the power goes out. “We could go out in my truck and chat. Maybe take a few CDs out with us and flick the dome light on. I’ve got some Mark Kozelek, I think you’ll like him. And The Great Lake Swimmers.”

09.) Mark Bragg – Amanada Lies

– See page 176. ” … get a drink downtown. Get out of the house. Blair Harvey and Mark Bragg were playing at The Ship.”

10.) Eric Bachmann – Lonesome Warrior

– See page 282. What Owen and Emily are listening to when the power goes out.

11.) Hayden – Home by Saturday

See page 256, where Hannah talks about her crush on Hayden / the night Alex took her to a Hayden concert.

12.) Great Lake Swimmers – Changing Colours

– See page 284, when the power goes out. “We could go out in my truck and chat. Maybe take a few CDs out with us and flick the dome light on. I’ve got some Mark Kozelek, I think you’ll like him. And The Great Lake Swimmers.”

13.) Damien Jurado – Everything Trying

– See page 58, where Hannah mentions he is Owen’s favourite musician and they lay on her couch listening to and discussing him. (And lyrically, this song really suits the book.)

14.) Wintersleep – Listen (listen listen)

– Not mentioned in the novel, but lyrically, and mood-wise, it was the perfect song to use in my trailer for the novel. But, then, didn’t.

15.) Songs: Ohia – Being in Love

– See page 120. The Jason Molina lyrics Owen quotes are from this song. Songs:Ohia are also mentioned by Hannah on page 20.

16.) The Frames – True

– Mentioned in a rough draft, this song just really captures a few different elements of this novel.

17.) Hayden – Between Us to Hold

– See page 256, where Hannah talks about her crush on Hayden / the night Alex took her to a Hayden concert.

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About chadpelley

Chad Pelley is a multi-award-winning author, photographer, and a closet musician from St. John's,
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