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Home from the Vinyl Café Paperback – Sep 29 2009


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Home from the Vinyl Café + Vinyl Café Unplugged + Stories from the Vinyl Café
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada (Sept. 29 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014316970X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143169703
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

As the storytelling host of CBC Radio's The Vinyl Café, Stuart McLean has become one of Canada's best-loved broadcasters. His tales are heartwarming and brimming with real-life humour, and the Vinyl Café collections are perennial best-sellers in Canada. Home from the Vinyl Café, the second in the series of stories collected from the show and the winner of the 1999 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, revisits the lives of Dave, owner of a downtown Toronto record store, his wife, Morley, and their children Stephanie and Sam.

The stories take the reader through a year in the life of the quirky family, beginning with the hilarious Christmas story "Dave Cooks a Turkey." Having forgotten his promise to buy the Christmas turkey, Dave finds a frozen one at an all-night convenience store and thaws it with a hair dryer (and a glass of scotch for him). "Emil" is the touching tale of a homeless man who, much to Dave's chagrin, shows up one day in front of the Vinyl Café wearing ripped pants and slippers. When Emil wins $10,000 in the lottery and gives $500 of it to Morley, she finds a way to return the money to him with little gifts and offerings. In the end, it's Emil who enriches the lives of Dave, Morley, and the children. Other subjects include summer camp, life at the cottage, music lessons, and one fiasco of a Christmas party at which all the parents stay strangely sober while the children accidentally get drunk. McLean's stories vibrate with warmth, laughter, and compassion. And because they had their beginnings in spoken storytelling, these slices of daily life are wonderful to read aloud with friends and family members of all generations. --Mark Frutkin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Colloquial, interlocking stories chronicle the ups and downs of a suburban Toronto couple in this warm-hearted latest by Canadian author and broadcast personality McLean (Stories from the Vinyl Café). "Holland" considers the courtship and marriage of Dave, the owner of the eponymous record store, and his wife, Morley; early differences in perspective (she thinks eating raw onions is gross; he can't stand those frou-frou chive snippets in his eggs) lead them to a spontaneous skating trip to Holland to cement their romance. "Sourdough" concerns what happens when a neighbor asks Dave to baby-sit the starter for his precious sourdough bread; the sweet, charming "Burd" charts the consequences of Dave's decision to feed an unlikely avian visitor. Dave's daughter and niece enter the picture in subsequent stories, and McLean includes funny scenes about holiday dinners and road trips as well as poignant thoughts about the inevitable failing of Dave and Morley's parents. McLean's natural flair for storytelling helps overcome the limitations of the Lake Wobegonesque conceit, and while he reaches for overly cute, contrived humor in several entries, the overall package is highly enjoyable.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Burgoine on July 2 2001
Format: Hardcover
In "Home from the Vinyl Cafe," Stuart McLean gives us a rousing journey of one year in the life of Dave, Morley, Sam and Stephanie. From one Christmas to the next, we step in an check up on the family a few times each season, with such fantastic stories as "Dave Cooks the Turkey," and "School Days." Rousing, amusing and touching in turn, McLean's tales are as much a joy to read as they are to listen to.
Now, if you have no idea who I'm talking about, you're in for a real treat. Stuart McLean is a humourist who speaks on the radio twice a week with his wonderful Canadian prose short narratives, which always manage to make me laugh out loud. I've bought a few of his tape collections so I can listen to them whenever I'd like; he's that good. You follow the lives of this small family through their idiosyncratic - and wonderfully Canadian - trials and laughs throughout this book.
Stephen Leacock award winner McLean has put together a wonderful collection here, and if you can get a copy, do.
It is important to note that this book is not out of print, it is merely published in Canada. You could get it through a Canadian source with no troubles.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Caz on Oct. 8 2000
Format: Hardcover
McLean's book, 'Home from the Vinyl Cafe,' is a hoot from start to finish. It's a sorry day in Canada that this title is now out of print, it really is. McLean's a national treasure of humour.
If you do manage to find this title (I've got my fingers crossed for you), then beware - do not read this while on public transport or eating out. You'll be laughing out loud, long and hard, from the get-go.
The opening sequence is one of the funniest pieces of prose I've read in a long time; you will never look at Christmas dinner in the same light again.
McLean has an easy-going, conversational writing style that engages the reader immediately - he draws you in as a willing voyeur, anticipating the next hilarious calamity to strike the book's protagonist.
If you live in the north climes where it gets cold at night, the final sequence in the book will harken back your days of daring... ever stick your tongue to cold metal? Not so funny for the poor soul who dares such trickery, hilarious for those who're watching.
This book gets a big thumbs up - it's not a challenging read, but it's tremendous fun nonetheless!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
This book is not only a very good read, but a truly memorable experience. It made me almost want to pet cats, smile at my unruly 6-yr.old neighbour, and actually consider a neighbourhood block party. (Fortuanately the mood soon passed).
The characters in it are lovable and recogizable. The teenage daughter in it was very much like my own teenager, and it was with relief and interest to see how other families interact with such a character. (Often with trepidation!)
The stories really are quite wonderful----I don't often laugh out loud whilst reading, but I certainly did with this book----so much so, that my husband checked my night table to make sure my tea cup actually did have tea in it, and not something a little more adult like.
A great book---I want all my friends and family to read it;however I am insisting that first they lend me a prized possession of theirs to be returned only when I get my book back.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Claudia TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 4 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Home from the Vinyl Cafe brings you 16 delightful stories, covering Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter again..,,enjoy the signature piece Dave Cooks a Turkey to start it off. Followed by more folksy, hilarious stories of regular Canadians in everyday situations. Stuart McLean, Winner of the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour is one of Canada's most beloved story tellers. Take a step into the world of Dave, Morley, Sam and Stephanie as they experience wild, weird and wacky adventures. Some aspects of the stories can be wistful, endearing and often poigant. Any fan will find this a great collection to add to their library.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
If you lend this book out, you will definitely want it back! June 19 2000
By emmarose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is not only a very good read, but a truly memorable experience. It made me almost want to pet cats, smile at my unruly 6-yr.old neighbour, and actually consider a neighbourhood block party. (Fortuanately the mood soon passed).
The characters in it are lovable and recogizable. The teenage daughter in it was very much like my own teenager, and it was with relief and interest to see how other families interact with such a character. (Often with trepidation!)
The stories really are quite wonderful----I don't often laugh out loud whilst reading, but I certainly did with this book----so much so, that my husband checked my night table to make sure my tea cup actually did have tea in it, and not something a little more adult like.
A great book---I want all my friends and family to read it;however I am insisting that first they lend me a prized possession of theirs to be returned only when I get my book back.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An hilarious accounting of a year in the life... Oct. 8 2000
By Caz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
McLean's book, 'Home from the Vinyl Cafe,' is a hoot from start to finish. It's a sorry day in Canada that this title is now out of print, it really is. McLean's a national treasure of humour.
If you do manage to find this title (I've got my fingers crossed for you), then beware - do not read this while on public transport or eating out. You'll be laughing out loud, long and hard, from the get-go.
The opening sequence is one of the funniest pieces of prose I've read in a long time; you will never look at Christmas dinner in the same light again.
McLean has an easy-going, conversational writing style that engages the reader immediately - he draws you in as a willing voyeur, anticipating the next hilarious calamity to strike the book's protagonist.
If you live in the north climes where it gets cold at night, the final sequence in the book will harken back your days of daring... ever stick your tongue to cold metal? Not so funny for the poor soul who dares such trickery, hilarious for those who're watching.
This book gets a big thumbs up - it's not a challenging read, but it's tremendous fun nonetheless!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Stuart McLean is *the* Canadian Humourist... July 2 2001
By Jonathan Burgoine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In "Home from the Vinyl Cafe," Stuart McLean gives us a rousing journey of one year in the life of Dave, Morley, Sam and Stephanie. From one Christmas to the next, we step in an check up on the family a few times each season, with such fantastic stories as "Dave Cooks the Turkey," and "School Days." Rousing, amusing and touching in turn, McLean's tales are as much a joy to read as they are to listen to.
Now, if you have no idea who I'm talking about, you're in for a real treat. Stuart McLean is a humourist who speaks on the radio twice a week with his wonderful Canadian prose short narratives, which always manage to make me laugh out loud. I've bought a few of his tape collections so I can listen to them whenever I'd like; he's that good. You follow the lives of this small family through their idiosyncratic - and wonderfully Canadian - trials and laughs throughout this book.
Stephen Leacock award winner McLean has put together a wonderful collection here, and if you can get a copy, do.
It is important to note that this book is not out of print, it is merely published in Canada. You could get it through a Canadian source with no troubles.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining and heartwarming Oct. 6 2004
By Sarah Sammis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I can see why Stuart McLean is one of Canada's beloved storytellers through the warmth, humanity and humor of his stories. My favorite stories came early in the book, one of them being "Turkey" which starts off both the book and the Winter section. The description of the turkey before it was roasted had me and my husband howling with laughter. Another favorite is the one about the birthday party, especially the scene where Dave tries to frost the cake while it is still warm. My husband recently made the same mistake when he was frosting my birthday cake. I think there is enough depth to this collection of stories that most any one can come away with a favorite story or at least a favorite scene.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A great diversion from ... Dec 1 2002
By CT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
... a very ordinary family. Now, I don't mean ordinary in the boring sense of the term, quite the contrary. This is a collection of short stories spanning a year in the lives of a middle-class family. Everyone will be able to recognize themselves or others in these people to whom funny things tend to happen.
A quick read that will have you smiling (and giggling) on the bus.
You won't regret picking it up, and will look for McLean's other collections of stories about this wonderful family upon completing it.


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