Gil Courtemanche, the author of A Good Death (translated by Wayne Grady; Douglas & McIntyre), is best known for his first novel, A Sunday by the Pool in Kigali, on which the critically acclaimed film A Sunday in Kigali was based. In this, his second novel, Courtemanche creates a claustrophobic atmosphere within which the adult children of a family—whom their father identifies by their professions, not their names (the Buddhist, the Tragedienne, the Homeopath, the Banker, the Geographer and the Actor) —deal with the slow and ugly death of the patriarch from Parkinson's disease. Most of the novel takes place in the family home on Christmas Eve as the adult siblings and their own families congregate for the traditional feast with the yule log, expensive wine and favourite extravagant foods like orange mousse. Complex dynamics between the siblings sputter and explode throughout the day. The question "Are you trying to kill your father?" is repeated by different family members at different times as each sibling tries to convince the others what is best for their dying father to eat, drink, say and do. André, the protagonist and narrator ("the Actor") is nearly sixty years old. He is almost an old man, he is engaged to be married (to his mother's relief) and, after five fruitless years sent on his therapist's couch, he is determined to find answers to questions about his father—whom he compares to Stalin—that have tormented him throughout his life. His father is still a beast of a man, but in a different way than when he ruled over his family with an iron will and fist. Now the patriarch is weak—he spills things, he makes a mess, he grunts instead of speaking—but even in this debilitated state he still gets his way. And he has few, if any, answers for his son. The beauty of A Good Death is in Courtmanche's deft exploration of André's love for his father, even as he denies to himself that he feels this love. His quest for understanding, and the conflicting needs of parents and children, make for an intense emotional journey that is raw and honest.