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Crazy Town [Hardcover]

Robyn Doolittle
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 30.00
Price: CDN$ 18.77 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Feb. 3 2014
His drug and alcohol-fuelled antics made world headlines and engulfed a city in unprecedented controversy. Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s personal and political troubles have occupied centre stage in North America’s fourth-largest city since news broke that drug dealers were selling a videotape of Ford appearing to smoke crack cocaine.
Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle was one of three journalists to view the video and report on its contents in May 2013. Her dogged pursuit of the story has uncovered disturbing details about the mayor’s past, and embroiled the Toronto police, city councillors, and ordinary citizens in a raucous debate about the future of the city.
Even before those explosive events, Ford was a divisive figure. A populist and successful city councillor, he was an underdog to become mayor in 2010. His politics and mercurial nature have split the amalgamated city in two.
But there is far more to the story. The Ford family has a long, unhappy history of substance abuse and criminal behaviour. Despite their troubles, they are also one of the most ambitious families in Canada. Those close to the Fords say they often compare themselves to the Kennedys and believe they were born to lead. Doolittle says that regardless of whether the mayor survives the current crack-cocaine scandal, the Ford name will be on the ballot in the mayoralty election in 2014.
Fast paced and insightful, Crazy Town is a page-turning portrait of a troubled man, a formidable family, and a city caught in an astonishing scandal.

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Product Description

About the Author

Robyn Doolittle is a city hall reporter with the Toronto Star. She began her career covering crime and moved to the municipal politics beat during the 2010 mayoral elections. A graduate of Ryerson University’s journalism school, Doolittle has lived in Toronto since 2002.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
There are a number of sad 1-star reviews on Amazon, obviously written by people who have not read the book and are likely members of Ford Nation who are upset that the playground bully is subject of more (completely fact based) criticism. This book details months - years - of work that was behind the scenes leading up to the story that we all know.

The business of "anonymous" sources is completely off-base, most of the sources in this book are named. There are only two or three - OF MANY - who are not identified, and that is only because the investigations around Ford are still ongoing.

This book is not a rehash of a bunch of already published articles, it is a thoroughly researched piece that references many of the facts we already know of this very sad story, but adds a significant amount of back-story and details on how these facts came to light - much of which has not been talked about. For instance, the history of the family business was very interesting and the sheer amount of collective "troubles" the Ford siblings have been in will make your head spin.

This story is far from over, and we will likely have enough material to fill several more volumes of books even before the election, but for a thoroughly researched tome on the story (so far!), this is a very interesting read.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging & well paced Feb. 4 2014
By Stuart MacDonald TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this as soon as it came out and wasn't disappointed. Doolittle walks a fine line between "nothing but the facts" dryness and the sur-reality she seems to have been feeling being in the middle of the madness. If you're looking for additional bombshells you are likely to be disappointed but there's a great depth to the story presented, including a more compassionate look at the Ford family history and context than you might expect. If you're looking for a "beat up" piece, this really isn't it. It's a good read.
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67 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done ! Feb. 3 2014
By Craig
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have always been confused (often with great frustration) about how Rob Ford got to where he is. Robyn does a fantastic job of illustrating the dysfunctional family behind the man.

Bought this book on day 1 - and finished it the same night. A great read ...almost too bizarre to be true !
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First day of release ... Feb. 11 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I spent the entire first night of publication reading this book. It is an insightful read into the reality and mystery, doings and undoings of a very strange family.

Perhaps Doolittle's publishers made her write many "nice things" or they fended off the lawyers with things nicely written but the reality is this is a man with no moral compass.

Personally, I am truly hopeful that Rob Ford and all his family can get the professional help they need.

However until that time arrives and he faces his reality or demons, he should not be the mayor or an elected official of any town. I'm reading it a third time with greater attention to the detail and it is still a wonderful read.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Compassionate But Still Shocking Feb. 6 2014
By M. Wildman TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I live in Western Canada and travel a fair bit. While in China, Tokyo, Mexico and in the US the last 6 months, every time I admit I'm Canadian, I'm inevitably asked about 'our' mayor.
While it's disconcerting just how many people are aware of the news story - at least superficially - it's more troubling that they are associating our entire country with the Mayor of Toronto's troubles.
I bought the book (kindle edition) in an attempt to understand how it was possible he was elected in the first place and why on earth he still seems to have such wide support.
I couldn't put the book down, it was a fascinating look at a politician's ability to keep addiction and criminal activity hidden for so long.
The author seems to bend over backwards to show compassion for Ford, and I'm frankly not sure why. But after reading it (all in one setting - much to my husbands irritation!) it left me feeling saddened that rich, spoiled boys with the right family connections can achieve so much in Canada.
So much for earning your position through hard work, integrity, honour and diligence - ideals we work hard to instill in our children. It's a lesson in how bullying and privilege are a free pass in our society, regardless of merit.
I highly recommend the book though - it's well-written, thoughtful, insightful and an excellent, fast-paced read.
No matter what your thoughts are about this situation - it's certainly worth a read.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for people with different interests Feb. 4 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A well put together read that is definitely not a 'bash book'. It has great historical references that build from early Toronto thru to current times with behind the scenes of Toronto's now most notorious (infamous) Mayor, his family, 'friends' and how it all unraveled in the media.

Well balanced in tone but is a little long in a couple of places. I still read it in one day. The 'connecting the dots' was fascinating as is the newsroom boardroom meetings/discussions.

It should. and will probably, be used as a study reference for schools in a few different courses.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like a car wreck, you can't look away. Feb. 7 2014
For anyone wondering how someone like Rob Ford could ever have been elected, this book gives a very good overview of the economic, political and, crucially, cultural environment that swept him to power.

The author displays a cautiousness and civility that her subject couldn't possibly concieve of let alone possess, and that makes the book a bit milder than it might be.

I have no doubt a sequel will have to be written. The Ford horrowshow is nowhere near over.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-written, well-researched, entertaining & informative work
I reluctantly bought this book because I didn't want to give the Crack Mayor more mind-space (am burnt out by the excessive media coverage), but wanted to support the author who is... Read more
Published 11 hours ago by Eva McDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars Insite into Ford nation
I like this book because it is giving me some insite into who Rob Ford is and some of what contributes to his being the person he is. Read more
Published 10 days ago by S. teeves
1.0 out of 5 stars Robin Eats Her Words
This is the most boring rehash of public information to ever be bound. There's nothing to read here folks move along. Boring Boring Boring. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Co-op
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative read
I think this book is thorough. I gave me a lot of background information into the Ford family workings. Hopefully Crazy town (Toron...) will become great town again!
Published 12 days ago by S.
3.0 out of 5 stars No proof
Very Sloppily wrote. . . There is not a lot of proof behind what is said in the book. Its almost like hear say.
Published 16 days ago by Drew Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dirt on the Fords
Talk about turning things upside down in a jiffy. It is 2010 and Torontonians are preparing to elect a new mayor. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Ian Gordon Malcomson
4.0 out of 5 stars It never stops
It was interesting and told you items that you may not have read in the newspapers. I still feel personally that the media is after him. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Josephine
4.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Mayor, Crazy Town
I'm from the area & am embarrassed for Toronto & Canada that this guy is mayor of the largest city in our country. Read more
Published 26 days ago by charlene chambers
2.0 out of 5 stars Petty and boring
Petty Canadian local politics - Ford adds a bit of interest and drama to an otherwise boring subject. Thank goodness!
Published 27 days ago by adele mansell
5.0 out of 5 stars a real page turner
i ordered this book on a whim. believe it or not i love it. i was born and raised in etobicoke so i am familiar with people and places that are talked about. Read more
Published 28 days ago by marilyn saracini
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