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Jake and the Kid Paperback – Oct 24 2008
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Based on the short stories that Canadian original W.O. Mitchell began publishing in the 1940s and more than 300 radio scripts created for broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national radio airwaves between 1950 and 1958, Jake and the Kid has won a special place in the mythology of the Canadian Prairies. Mitchell didnt just conjure up life in the 1940s in the fictional community of Crocus, Saskatchewan. He made Jake Trumper and the unnamed Kid a part of Canadians' lives. They could laugh at Jake's homespun thoughts on everything from "wimmin" to the Riel Rebellion of 1885 (Jake claiming that he helped take care of "Looie" Riel) to Canadian heroes like Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier (better known as "Wilf" to Jake). A gentle satire pervades Mitchell's evocative recreation of small-town life as seen through the eyes of a wide-eyed little boy and the hired man who becomes his hero. The stories were compiled in book form in 1961 and won Mitchell his first Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal. They still have the magic that captured the Canadian imagination for nearly two decades. --Jeffrey Canton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“W.O. Mitchell’s writing…touches the hem of genius. He is devoid of cliché, his narrative is as smooth as corn syrup, his plot is rarely predictable, while his talent for inventing situations fraught with humour seems limitless.”
–Globe and Mail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Odd enough, my grandpa was born on the exact same day as W.O. Mitchell and many years ago, he happened to bump into Mr. Mitchell at the optometrist. My grandpa told him of my family's love of this novel and I am very glad of it as it is a true Canadian masterpiece that can be read silently by the fire or aloud to your children. It is uplifting comedy at it's purest and serves as the highest benchmark for this genre. You will not be disappointed.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
W.O. Mitchell is a highly regarded Canadian prairie author who wrote about life in Canada. We wrote with a great deal of passion, humor, and emotion. His stories are often simple, but very entertaining. They leave the reader laughing or crying or both. Few have his talents for writing. In his day when Canada had a population of fifteen to twenty million or so, he sold a bit less than one million books and if he had been an American writer he probably could have been an equal to John Steinbeck or similar.
This is a great collection of 13 short stories, under 200 pages long. They are narrated by Jake and alternately by "the kid." They are stories about their life on a Saskatchewan farm near Crocus, Saskatchewan, which we can assume is realistic but fictional. The kid's ma is alive, but the father is dead and Jake is a surrogate father of sorts, and of course he is the "hired hand" on the farm. He does most of the work and manages the planting and harvesting, etc. The stories are set in a time spanning the WWII era up to the early 1950s.
The stories touch a lot of current and universal issues and themes including the people who fought in WWII, school teachers, medical care, the courts, getting old, etc. most of these issues are still at the front of the social agenda. I liked all the stories; but, I especially liked the one where the kid got a new horse at the auction. Also, Mitchell is able to create a lot of charm and attraction in his descriptions of the life on the sometimes bleak prairies.
As a comment, Mitchell has a new 1989 collection also named after the famous 1950s CBC radio series and the earlier book titled "According to Jake and The Kid." The newer book is about 50% bigger than the original collection of short stories from 1962. This new collection has mostly all new stories, but not 100%, and a few of the stories are based on the original stories and have altered and improved plots.
This is a wonderful collection. It is highly entertaining and most will love the book. Suggested follow up reading are his other two famous books: Jake and the Kid (1989) and Who Has Seen The Wind (1947), both of course by Mitchell.