Bill Gaston’s characteristic keen insight and wit dazzle in this new collection. Here, we see the world through the prism of unfamiliar perspectives: a bank executive whose excellent sex life might in fact be killing her, an amorous tree surgeon better attuned to the values of his “patients” than to other people, a vacationing schizophrenic wary of his housemates, a pizza-delivery boy convinced he’s witnessed magic—all struggling with the world as they see it. This versatile collection—at times darkly playful, absurd, or shockingly real—illustrates how we can fail to understand the simplest of truths and how we are trapped by the peculiarities of our own points of view. In Gaston’s hands, the outlandish becomes comprehensible and everyday life begins to look strange. What unifies these stories and their characters is the underlying faith in the humanity of even the most dangerously misguided among us. Brazenly entertaining, but just as often heartbreaking, Juliet Was a Surprise portrays the humour and unfairness of life through the blunders of quixotic men and women with whom we can’t help but sympathize.