Bill and Julie live in thrifty middle-class wedded bliss with their 12-year-old son Sean. Julie brings home the bacon while Bill keeps house and frets over his never-ending PhD thesis: an anthropological study of the role of men in society. All is relatively well until Julie's ex-fiancé, the dashing and successful Blake Morgan, returns to Winnipeg--with his wife and kids.While Bill takes solace in Blake's premature grey and pot belly, next to Blake's professional success Bill feels emasculated and questions what it means to be a man--especially a domesticated one. Suddenly he starts seeing himself and his neighbours--also stay-at-home dads with successful working wives, as research subjects for his thesis.Having reached a breakthrough in his PhD procrastination, Bill launches into a series of embarrassing, ridiculous, and goofy attempts to finish his "research," prove himself a mature and capable husband and father, and above all, prove his manliness.
Bill Angus is a Morrissey-impersonating, Foucault-quoting, Clash fan. In other words, my kind of dad. In a maddeningly funny twist on Iron John, Bill begins a journey of mind and deed. He struggles to find his place in the world as his virility drops, his belly sags, and a rival circles the homestead. This witty meditation on manly manliness is also a head-butt at academic pretension and the Sword of Damocles that is the PhD thesis. A new novel so good, you'll actually finish it.
Al Rae, Artistic Director and Co-founder, CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival
Although this is a comic novel, Armstrong takes on serious social issues in his story of Bill and friends.
Karen Green, Prairie Books Now
In Bill Angus, Armstrong has created a character who is fallibly human, complex and likeable.
Shawn Syms, Winnipeg Review
[Armstrong’s] book pokes fun at all kinds of local [Winnipeg] settings and cultural quirks, from St. John's-Ravenscourt and the Winnipeg Folk Festival to Mountain Equipment Co-op and Mennonites' affinity for garage sales.
Alison Mayes, Winnipeg Free Press
Through it all, Armstrong's characters never cease to amuse…The result is pure, page-turning hilarity—and, for Bill, a little bit of enlightenment.
Ria Julien, Winnipeg Free Press
Dadolescence is entertaining and amusing. But like all good novels, it can be read on several levels. Beneath the surface humor, it raises profound questions about meaning and identity in contemporary North America. It is a packed, layered work that should be read more than once.
Graeme Voyer, Prairie Fire Magazine
Short-listed for the 2012 John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer
Turnstone Press acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba through Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage.