Paul D. Gallant launched his new book The Incredible Adventures of Gilbert à Bénie au petit Jésus during a dinner theatre show in April.
Reinventing the way to host a book launch, Gallant organized a bilingual dinner-theatre tribute show to tell, act and sing many of the hilarious stories contained in his new book about his late uncle, Gilbert Arsenault.
“My Uncle Gilbert always had a story or a funny song on his lips; his greatest desire and pleasure was to make the world laugh,” explains Gallant. “Although I have no concrete proof, I remain convinced that my uncle Gilbert would go to bed at night dreaming of what prank, scheme or little trick he could play in order to make the world laugh the next day,” says Gallant in his introduction to the book, “Whether it was bringing a raw turkey on a streetcar in Toronto, fishing in the ditch at the Mont-Carmel corner, walking his lobster on the street, passing the collection basket in front of empty pews at mass or simply taking a drive with his big teddy bear on the back of his moped.”
The book is bilingual (French/English) and contains photos of Gilbert and his family as well as a series of illustrations by Island artist Lucie Bernadette Bellemare. The cover is based on a painting by Bellemare and shows a representation of little Gilbert on his moped with his teddy bear, on his way to the Mont-Carmel Parish Hall.
“Even in the worst of circumstances, even in his own personal life, Gilbert would always have found the humor in any situation. The problem with the world today is that there are not enough Gilberts à Bénie au petit Jésus.”