norman bray in the performance of his life

“A book to be cherished”
— Books in Canada

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Short-listed for The 2004 Governor General's Award

Short-listed for
The Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Best First Book (Canada & Carib.)

Long-listed for
The IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Adapted and performed for the stage in 2015

Adapted for Radio & Audio Book
Trevor Cole’s debut novel garnered rave reviews and comparisons to Truman Capote and Kingsley Amis. Skewering and darkly funny, yet poignant and tender, Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life explores the fragility of ego and the precarious ties of love and family, while finding the humanity and black comedy in the plight of a man who has reached the end of the line — and has only himself to blame.

Note: Cole based the character of Norman Bray, in all his oblivious, narcissistic glory, on his father, the talented actor and singer Bill Cole. That’s him pictured in the banner above, on the right, appearing in a late 1970s production of Lady Audley’s Secret at the Shaw Festival.

Praise for Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life:

"A book to be cherished"
"Brilliant and side-splitting funny.... a remarkable achievement, a book to be cherished both for the depths of its ironies and the breadth of its responsiveness.
— Books in Canada

"Very, very funny"
"Norman's performance is filled with giddy surprises and wonderful set pieces. The book is smart and deft; it zips along. This is fine writing, with a light and generous touch."
— The Globe and Mail

"Trevor Cole, in his debut novel, has created a character as complex, infuriating, unpleasant and funny as any we've seen in a long time."
— Montreal Gazette

"It's really good"
"Cole belongs to the Truman Capote school of stylists; his prose is clear as a mountain stream."
— Toronto Star