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Waiting for Columbus

Thomas Trofimuk,

1,106 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385529139 / ISBN 13: 9780385529136
Published by Doubleday, 2009
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Remainder; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 326 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 91322

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Waiting for Columbus

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

About this title


A man arrives at an insane asylum in contemporary Spain claiming to be the legendary navigator Christopher Columbus. Who he really is, and the events that led him to break with reality, lie at the center of this captivating, romantic, and stunningly written novel.

Found in the treacherous Strait of Gibraltar, the mysterious man who calls himself Columbus appears to be just another delirious mental patient, until he begins to tell the “true” story of how he famously obtained three ships from Spanish royalty.

It's Nurse Consuela who listens to these fantastical tales of adventure and romance, and tries desperately to make sense of why this seemingly intelligent man has been locked up, and why no one has come to visit. As splintered fragments of the man beneath the façade reveal a charming yet guarded individual, Nurse Consuela can't avoid the inappropriate longings she begins to feel. Something terrible caused his break with reality and she can only listen and wait as Columbus spins his tale to the very end.

In the tradition of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and The Dogs of Babel, this unforgettable novel mines the darkest recesses of loss and the extraordinary capacity of the human spirit. It is an immensely satisfying novel that will introduce Thomas Trofimuk to readers who will want to hear his voice again and again.


Amazon Exclusive: Andrew Davidson Reviews Waiting for Columbus

Andrew Davidson’s debut novel, The Gargoyle, was published in August 2008. It was one of’s “Best Books of 2008” and was’s “Rising Star” for Autumn 2008. In addition to being a New York Times bestseller, The Gargoyle is being translated into twenty-nine languages. Read Davidson's exclusive Amazon guest review of Waiting for Columbus:

I hate Thomas Trofimuk.

I’m sure this sounds a tad extreme, especially since I’ve never met the man. Mr. Trofimuk could very well be a perfectly charming individual--kind to animals and small children--but I don’t care. I hate him in the small-hearted way that only writers (and perhaps actors) hate another: with a mixture of jealousy and miserable respect, hidden behind giant fake smiles. For the record, I should clarify that I don’t hate all writers, only those who produce books like Waiting for Columbus, which is exactly the worst kind of novel: fantastic, and written by someone other than me.

There are three reasons, specifically, that Columbus causes pain in my soul. First, because I wish I’d written it. Second, because I fear that Trofimuk has stolen all the good words. Third, because he tricked me. You see, normally I dissect novels rather than actually read them; I pull out the story’s entrails and comb through them inch-by-intestinal-inch, because anything I learn, I can steal. But Trofimuk made me forget my larcenous ways, and forced me to rush headlong through his story, reading it simply for pleasure. I’m a writer, goddamn it; I don’t do anything for pleasure!

If you give him the chance, prospective reader, Trofimuk will use his sorcery on you, too. He’ll steal precious hours from your life, which could be used for riding horses or volunteering for charity. He’ll make you ignore your family, and possibly even forget to feed your children. Worst of all, he’ll set you up with all these little details that you think are simply nice touches in the story, but are actually landmines planted in your subconscious, waiting to explode with pathos and beauty when you least expect it.

So go ahead. Let Trofimuk steal your time and explode your head. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. --Andrew Davidson

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