Mark Sampson is the author of the novels Off Book, Sad Peninsula, and The Slip, as well as a short-story collection, The Secrets men Keep, and a poetry collection, Weathervane. He has published fiction and poetry in literary journals across Canada. Mark lives in Toronto.
In this wickedly funny novel, one bad afternoon and two regrettable comments make the inimitable Philip Sharpe go viral for all the worst reasons.
Dr. Philip Sharpe, absent-minded professor extraordinaire, teaches philosophy at the University of Toronto and is one of Canada’s most combative public intellectuals. But when a live TV debate with his fiercest rival goes horribly off the rails, an oblivious Philip says some things to her that he really shouldn’t have.
As a clip of Philip’s “slip” goes viral, it soon reveals all the cracks and fissures in his marriage with his young, stay-at-home wife, Grace. And while the two of them try to get on the same side of the situation, things quickly spiral out of control.
Can Philip make amends and save his marriage? Is there any hope of salvaging his reputation? To do so, he’ll need to take a hard look at his on-air comments, and to conscript a band of misfits in a scheme to set things right.
The Slip is a fresh, funny, and thought-provoking book. In the tradition of Amis, Richler, and Wodehouse, Mark Sampson satirizes everything from contemporary gender, marriage, and parenting issues, to academe, politics, mass and social media. It all adds up to an entertaining and "penetrating" read.
[R]iotous but astute ... Sampson’s gift to his protagonist is not judging the 49-year-old 'compulsively type A' prof as a hopeless jerk. Like Robertson Davies, he grants him the ability to direct his prodigious intellect inward, with satisfying results.