‘I’ll Be Here All Week’ Reading

Above: Ward Anderson's debut novel, I'll Be Here All Week, is now available from Kensington Books
Above: Ward Anderson's debut novel, I'll Be Here All Week, is now available from Kensington Books

They say that comedians are some of the most depressed people around, and that couldn’t be truer or more brilliantly depicted than in Ward Anderson’s debut novel. I’ll Be Here All Week rips the fabric of standup apart to reveal a job like any other, where isolation takes centre stage and the comedian becomes his biggest punch line.

The author himself is an often self-deprecating working comedian. Now co-host of “Ward and Al” on SiriusXM, Anderson is the only one who could have penned this true to life story. His main character Spence is based loosely on Anderson’s own life touring the standup circuits of North America.

The book opens with Spence stuck in a rut. Performing in dive bars and living off age-old fame, he’s constantly grasping for the next big break and falling short. I’ll Be Here All Week proves that being a comedian is not all glamour. Sometimes it’s just a guy getting roofied and falling on his face. But when Spence meets Sam, a practical Canadian girl, he falls in love with the woman, the country and comedy, all over again.

Anderson writes the book like a good comedy set, with a lot of highs, tons of lows and subverted expectations at every turn. Just when you think Spence will stand out and make it big, he gets overshadowed by an idiot, or gut-wrenchingly offends everyone in the room. These sudden drops in narrative will either cause an outburst of laughter, or painful wincing—but in a good way. In a way that seems to say, “This is real life. Deal with it.”

If the gritty circumstances aren’t real enough, the romance is. With its creeping subtlety, Sam and Spence seem to fit together as naturally as breathing. Or as naturally as standing in front of strangers telling jokes, in Spence’s case. But before he can win the girl, Spence has to learn how to reconcile his dreams to himself, let go of the past and literally, rip what he’s owed out of another man’s hands. And it makes for a pretty good laugh.

Ward Anderson’s I’ll Be Here All Week is available now on amazon.ca

Alicia Kolenda

Alicia Kolenda is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on 29 Secrets, AmongMen, Nexopia, Baby Post, Savvy Mom and Recipe Geek. She can often be found drinking high tea and ghost hunting—though never at the same time, it wouldn’t be dignified. Find her at aliciakolenda.com or catch her on twitter @AliciaKolenda.

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