The Pyx

John Buell
With an introduction by Sean Kelly

When heroin-addicted call girl Elizabeth Lucy dies in a fall from a swanky penthouse terrace, homicide detective Henderson is assigned to the case. Was it murder? Suicide? Through his investigation, Henderson uncovers a frightening underworld that is far more dark and dangerous than those of prostitution and the drug trade. But more than anything, this is Elizabeth’s story. Told through flashbacks and those who knew her, revelations unfold, revealing a life that ends with a struggle unlike any other.

A masterful debut, The Pyx has earned considerable praise in Canada and abroad. It served as the basis of the feature film of the same name starring Karen Black and Christopher Plummer.

The Pyx was first published by in 1959 by Farrar, Straus & Cudahy. For three decades, it enjoyed numerous translations and editions before going out of print in the early ‘nineties. This Ricochet Books edition marks the first in a quarter-century.



“Mr. Buell proves he has real talent…. The author’s choice of a mystery or suspense story format to serve his serious purpose reminds one of Graham Greene’s novels, but The Pyx is not just another in a long line of imitations.” --The Critic

“One of the most unusual novels of the year.” -- The Los Angeles Times

“Shockingly powerful.” -- The New York Times Book Review

John Buell(1927-2013) was a native and lifelong resident of Montreal. He studied at Loyola College (later Concordia University) and Université de Montréal, teaching English and Communication Studies at the former. Upon his retirement in 1987, he was made professor emeritus. Buell’s five novels – The Pyx (1959), Four Days ( (1962), The Shrewsdale Exit ( (1972), Playground ( (1976) and A Lot to Make Up For ( (1990) – were lauded by Edmund Wilson amongst other prominent critics. Three of Buell’s novels have been made into feature films.

Sean Kelly was one of John Buell’s students. Originally from Montreal, he is a former editor at National Lampoon, and is the co-author of more than a dozen books, including Slightly Higher in Canada (1978) and Saints Preserve Us! (1993). His television work includes The Magic School Bus, Shining Time Station (and Between the Lions ). Kelly lives in Brooklyn and teaches in the Pratt Institute’s Humanities and Media Studies department.

Other books by John Buell: Four Days: A Novel
Trade paperback
160 pp 7" x 4.25"
ISBN13: 9781550654653

CDN $14.95
US & International
US $11.95

ISBN13: 9781550654721

CDN $14.95