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The Best Laid Plans [Paperback]

Terry Fallis
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Book Description

Sept. 5 2008
Selected as the 2011 CBC Canada Reads Winner!

This book beat out work by Douglas Coupland and Will Ferguson because it is very, very good — a terrific Canadian political satire.

Here’s the set up: A burnt-out politcal aide quits just before an election — but is forced to run a hopeless campaign on the way out. He makes a deal with a crusty old Scot, Angus McLintock — an engineering professor who will do anything, anything, to avoid teaching English to engineers — to let his name stand in the election. No need to campaign, certain to lose, and so on.

Then a great scandal blows away his opponent, and to their horror, Angus is elected. He decides to see what good an honest M.P. who doesn’t care about being re-elected can do in Parliament. The results are hilarious — and with chess, a hovercraft, and the love of a good woman thrown in, this very funny book has something for everyone.

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Product Description


“Amusing, enlightening — and Canadian, and it deftly explores the Machiavellian machinations of Ottawa’s political culture.” - Globe and Mail

“This is a funny book that could only have been written by someone with firsthand knowledge of politics in Canada, including its occasionally absurd side. This is a great read for anyone thinking of running for office, and especially reassuring for those who have decided not to.” – The Hon. Allan Rock, former Justice Minister and Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations

About the Author

Terry Fallis grew up in Toronto and went to McMaster University. Drawn to politics at an early age, he worked for Cabinet Ministers both at Queen's Park and in Ottawa. His first book, The Best Laid Plans, began as a podcast, then was self-published, won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour, was re-published to great reviews by McClelland & Stewart, and was selected the 2011 winner of CBC’s Canada Reads competition. His follow-up novel is The High Road. Terry Fallis is a skilled public speaker who relishes book promotion. He is the head of the public relations agency Thornley Fallis. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children, and blogs about his writing life at

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Daniel Addison, the narrator, decides to quit his job as head speechwriter for the opposition leader to teach English at the University of Ottawa. As a condition for deserting his beloved Liberal Party, Daniel promises to find a candidate for a local riding held by the popular Conservative Finance Minister. In desperation, Daniel promises an old professor that he will teach his English for Engineers' class in exchange for the professor's name on the ballot. On the campaign team, he's joined by a retired candidate living in a senior's home and two punk alternative students from his English class. It seems like an unlikely winning combination but of course, the outcome is not as predictable as anticipated. 'Best Laid Plans' is an enjoyable romp that takes the predictable and still makes it fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious! Dec 1 2011
Well, I certainly agree with those who said this book isn't very funny. I've been struggling with this book for over a month now. It tries but just doesn't cut it. For humour it can't compare to the Leacock Awrd winner Ian Ferguson's, 'Village of the Small Houses", a man who I think is funnier than his brother Will.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Political Satire at Its Best Dec 20 2012
By Barry Francis TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The Best Laid Plans
By Terry Fallis

It's not hard to see why author Terry Fallis won the Stephen Leacock Award for his first book "The Best Laid Plans." It is hilariously witty.

A satire on Canadian politics, the book chronicles the rise of reluctant (and supremely unlikely) political candidate and Liberal MP ‒ Angus McLintock ‒ through the eyes of nerdy professor and former political operative David Addison.

McLintock earns fame and respect by defying every conceivable Ottawa convention and speaking truth to power. Aided by an ugly sex scandal and a dishonest budget, he casts the deciding vote that topples the Tory government. Ultimately deceit is punished, honesty is rewarded and the good guy gets the girl.

All in all, a great read. There is a sequel. Watch for it!

Barry Francis
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Politics at its most wonderfully absurd Dec 10 2007
This book manages to walk comfortably a very fine and funny line between taking a serious look at Canada's political system, warts and all, and telling a truly funny story. It could have so easily slipped into the cynical and rediculous, but it instead makes us want to root for the system and the poor guy who is trying with all his might to run a losing campaign. It is sensative, fun, an easy read and leaves you wanting more. Humour may be the hardest thing to write, but Fallis has a knack that forces you at points to laugh out loud. His description (using Parliamentarty language) of the finding his girlfiend in an her MPs office late at night engaged in "proceedings" is a classic that will be quoted for years by anyone who has ever worked in Parliament.

Buy this book for anyone you know who has an interest in Parliament. Buy it for anyone you know who has an interest in politics. Buy it, even for those we all know who are cynics about our political system. It will make them laugh out loud and make them care about our democracy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By R^5
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am at best a non-fiction reader - what my family likes to call "Dad's boring books!" But when I tell them about this one they may have to tweak the line - it will need to include some reference to brilliant political satire as a type of truthful fiction (and anything but boring).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad May 16 2011
If you're Canadian and into Canadian politics, you just might like this book. There are jokes in here, and some of them are actually funny. The premise is basically "what would happen if somebody who didn't care if they were elected actually was elected, and didn't owe anything to anyone, and could just speak their mind and do whatever they thought was best". Of course, that wouldn't necessarily be a good thing, but in this book it is. The Scottish thing is a little weird if you're not Scottish, but that's pretty minor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review "The best laid plan" by Terry Fallis Feb. 16 2012
A fun and good read. You know what is going to happen very quickly, but don't know how. Fallis makes it an interesting road to travel down. As a "below the 48º'er, I found the contrast bewteen governments intersting. Bought it for my US book club.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best for a long time April 16 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent writing, great humour, and well-woven plot on Canadian politics and politicians. A winner all 'round - could'nt put it down.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book alot
I enjoyed this book alot. Taught me something about our government. I like Terry Fallis's style of writing and humour.
Published 23 days ago by daisymae
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read!
Even if you're not a huge fan of Canadian politics, if you know even a little, you'll love this political satire! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robin Siegerman
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
had it already and returned it.
Published 1 month ago by Bernice Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Carol Droeske
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny book about politics?
Yup, it's true. A friend recommended this book to me and I have to admit I was very skeptical. Politics is not a genre I seek to read about. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gail B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Witty and educational. We read this book for our book club and most everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.
Published 4 months ago by Lily girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Plans that go astray the best way
The first of two books dealing with a 60-something engineer who by a fluke gets elected to Parliament - and then begins to set it on its ear - in all the best ways. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Judith
4.0 out of 5 stars A must 'Canadian' read
A great tale for political lovers. Refreshing to read about Canadian politics rather than our cousins south of the boarder.
Published 6 months ago by FRJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
With very few exceptions (notably House of Cards in its original British and current American versions), attempts at political fiction fall flat. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gordon Ritchie
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!
Well written, humerous and probably a fairly accurate account of parliament.......sad though it is to believe. Good characters and lots of action. Worth a read.
Published 6 months ago by Leslie
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