Set in the late nineteenth century, "A World Elsewhere" is an intricately woven tale of humour and emotion, of family and friendship, of ambition and destitution. At its centre is Landish Druken, son of a Newfoundland sealing captain, who turns his back on family tradition and wishes to become a writer. Well-mannered and eloquent, Landish sets off from St John's to Princeton University, where he is befriended by 'Van' Vanderluyden, son of the wealthiest man in America, and later betrayed by him. Landish is banished from Princeton and his hopes crumble. Returning to St John's, he adopts Deacon, an orphan, the son of his father's first mate. Outcast, fighting off destitution, Landish raises Deacon alone, with no tools other than trust, humour and compassion. But when poverty casts them out of their home, there is only one person left to turn to: Van. They make the long journey to North Carolina, where Van has built Vanderland, a huge, magnificent castle. There they are swiftly pulled into a world of deception and murder, and the mettle of the exceptional Landish, and the bond with his adopted son, is truly tested.
This is a novel of great invention and emotional intensity, "A World Elsewhere" is unexpected and extraordinary, and a work emblematic of Wayne Johnston's brilliance.