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Nowhere in Mondo Canuck will you find what the authors of this indispensable guide to Canadian arcana dismiss as "that conventional Canadian middlebrow disinclination toward popular culture." Instead, Geoff Pevere and Greig Dymond contend that "Canada is every bit as distinct in its approach to schlock as it is to art, and that the former may indeed reveal vastly more of a distinctly national distinction than the latter." They handily make their case with this snide but affectionate series of tributes and potshots, leaving few aspects of Canadian pop culture unexplored. Topics range from the greatness of SCTV to the rise of Trivial Pursuit to the glorious careers of William Shatner, Stompin' Tom Connors, and many other noble Canadians. This may be the one book whose scope is wide enough to encompass both the Guess Who and the Galloping Gourmet.
Though the subjects are wildly diverse, Pevere and Dymond believe that the purest manifestations of Canuck junk-culture have much in common. For instance, they write that the "blithe indifference to trend and fashion" of fabled power-trio Rush makes it distinctly Canadian. Furthermore, the band's "refusal to pack up and go away even though it's constantly criticized for not being 'Canadian' enough" is evidence of "the same sheer Northern stubbornness" possessed by figures like filmmaker David Cronenberg and television innovator Moses Znaimer. Mondo Canuck also ridicules the most inane varieties of Canada's cultural output (e.g., the countless ice-skating spectaculars, the Rene Simard specials, the Celine Dion ballads). The authors describe the disastrous movies spawned by the tax-shelter film boom of the late '70s as what happens "when Canadians attempt to be just like the Americans, except without the history, money, population, promotional savvy or market base." Rigorously researched and frequently hilarious, Mondo Canuck illustrates that Canadians are no slouches when it comes to schlock. But at least it's our schlock. --Jason Anderson
The phenomenal success of Mondo Canuck has finally put to rest any doubts about Canadian pop culture consciousness. Canadians love this irreverent celebration of Canuck attitude and the book has assumed its own place in the pop culture pantheon. A best seller from coast to coast, the book is in its fourth printing and it's considered the essential reference for all would-be Canuck hipsters.
"Not to put too fine a point on it, Mondo Canuck is simply Mondo Mondo."
Mary Walsh, actor, This Hour Has 22 Minutes