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Why I Hate Canadians [Paperback]

Will Ferguson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.95
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Book Description

March 8 2007

First published in 1997, this hilarious book launched satirist Will Ferguson's career. Challenging the notion that Canadians are "nice," the book asks, "Do we as Canadians deserve a country so great?" Tackling subjects from Canada's favorite inbred royals to the mighty beaver as national icon, from sex in a canoe to all-Canadian "superhero" Captain Canuck, Ferguson rampages across the cultural landscape. The book also provides a fast-paced, opinionated overview of telling moments in Canadian history, including its run-amok Mounties and "fun-loving days" of the country's (unacknowledged) slave trade.

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Why I Hate Canadians + How To Be A Canadian + Canadian History for Dummies
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Product Description


"A scathingly funny polemic." (Globe & Mail 2007-06-05)

About the Author

Will Ferguson is the best-selling author of Bastards and Boneheads: Canada's Glorious Leaders Past and Present, Canadian History for Dummies and the tongue-in-cheek survey Why I Hate Canadians. His eleventh book, Spanish Fly was published in 2007.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a deeper look at canadians Jan. 26 2004
There's something very refreshing about the way Will Ferguson looks at Canadians. Here is a writer who isn't afraid to tackle both sides of our national character -- to acknowledge the bad along with the good. Like any other country in the world, we've got plenty of black spots on our record ... and we're terribly bad at admitting that they exist.
Ferguson raises a number of questions about our national fixations and delusions. Why do we think we're so nice, and why are we so proud of it? Why are we so obsessed with how much land we've got? Why do we persist in claiming that "Superman is Canadian!"? And when are we going to stop constantly comparing ourselves to the United States?
If you are Canadian, or if you know a lot of Canadians, odds are that you will find yourself, over and over again, shaking your head, laughing out loud, and saying to yourself, "that's so true!" The frank, honest humour in Ferguson's writing makes the terrible truth about ourselves surprisingly easy to accept.
Despite the title, it's quite clear that Ferguson is, in his own way, very patriotic. This book is not all about saying "Canadians suck." We have it in us to be a great people, and there are plenty of things we really SHOULD be proud of. Ferguson doesn't hesitate to point these things out. We are one of the few countries in the world to be born without a bloody revolution. We are the founders of peacekeeping and the home of multiculturalism. So why is it that we always point to the fact that we're not American when we want to demonstrate how great we are?
"Canada is Canada," says Ferguson. "You can't understand it. Don't try." But try he does, and succeeds better than any other writer I've read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important voice for our generation... June 25 2000
By Caz
Will Ferguson is an important voice emerging from my generation. This book was unputdownable, and I think the big reason was that the author put to paper my adolescence and young adulthood (he and I are the same age and remember exactly the same things, it seems).
Don't let the title of this book fool you - Mr. Ferguson actually has a secret love affair with his home country going on in the background... and all the warning signs are revealed as one reads through the pages of this book.

In the oh-so-atypical-typical self-deprecating style of that which makes Canadians so Canadian, Will has deftly revealed the heart'n'soul of his fellow countrymen through our bizarre osmosis-style of taking in pop culture and deviant political practices from other countries and making them uniquely our own. But Canada has also generated some original 'content' as well, and Ferguson lovingly rips those things to shreds as well.
His humour is sharp, his wit equally sharp, and his observation of all things Canadian is dead on the mark.
A great read, this book... and it's started me on a literary oddyssey with Mr. Ferguson's work. I always browse the shelves for his latest tomes and never hesitate to pick up a copy for myself.
Great read - go get yourself a copy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny, wise work of genius May 13 2000
This was given to me by a Canadian, and I'm eternally in her debt as a result, because this is one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read. Ranging from laugh-out-loud funny to non-schmaltzy poignance, this is Will Ferguson at his best: dismantling myth piece by piece to give us a better view of what really lies at Canada's heart.
A Canadian himself, Will decries Canadian 'niceness', skewers Canadian attitudes towards America, despairs at the country's politics, and (in my favourite section) takes a merciless and hilarious look at Canadian popular culture. He doesn't hate Canadians - he loves them, and it shows.
Beautifully written, insightful, touching, and entertaining, this book should be read by everyone interested in what nationhood really means.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why I Agree With Will Ferguson Nov. 15 2002
By Pierce
It's about time somebody asked the right questions, poking holes in all of the delusions that Canadians base their identity upon. If you define your identity as a Canadian by negation (I am not American, I am not British, I am not that cold, I don't live in an igloo) then this book may offend you deeply.
The author is not entirely insensitive. In fact, he's probably more proudly Canadian for the right reasons than any of us. It is our delusions that he attacks and, as is evident in our beer commercials, our delusions are held onto fiercely.
Ghandi said, "I like your Christ, just not your Christians."
Ferguson seems to say, "I love Canada, but I hate Canadians."
Are we worthy of the beautiful country we live in?
Are we as "nice" as we think we are?
Hockey, The Royal Family, Beer, Guns, keeping the Americans out, the French in, and making the Natives disappear. All of the nastier sides of Canadianism, Ferguson brings to the surface and forces us to face the demons of past and present.
Definately worth the read.
If you get a chance, check out Ferguson's article in a recent Maclean's. Camping with his son in the great Canadian wilderness.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Starts off well, but..... June 27 2002
The first few chapters of this book are flat-out brilliant, and often laugh out loud hilarious. Ferguson lists all the classic myths Canadians tell themselves, often with hilarious, Dave Barry-esque exaggeration (the bit about terrorists storming the bus and offering the Canadians tea and crumpets had me near tears with laugher).
During the first few chapters of the book you'll find yourself nodding a lot, repeatedly saying "that's so true" in your head. Ferguson gets off to a great start, but then sadly he begins to lapse into the very same cliched "What it means to be Canadian" dribble that he supposedly detests so much. I didn't really care, or learn anything from his long rambling stories about Quebec, or student-exchange programs, or old friends of his.
By the end of "Why I hate Canadians" I felt like I was reading an entirely different book. The humor had slowly disappeared, and the traditional Canadian self-gratifying sentimentality had increased. In fact, the very last sentences of the book seem to blatantly contradict everything he says in the first few chapters.
This book is well-written, and contains many excellent points and debate topics. But Ferguson lost me when he went to great lengths to praise Canadians and their values, which, quite frankly, was not exactly what I wanted from a book with the phrase "I hate Canadians" in the title.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars funny
This a very funny, very Canadian book. It will make you laugh out loud and at yourself many times. This was my second time reading this book and I recomend it to anyone who thinks... Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Ray Chretien
2.0 out of 5 stars why I Hate authors who pick intriquing titles for dull books
his book was listed in the humor section but it was not funny. maybe an interesting historical look at the political and social scene of the 60's -70"s for someone who was... Read more
Published 13 months ago by margo jakobsen
3.0 out of 5 stars Candid satire
I am an American living and working in Canada, my wife is Canadian. This book is an easy read, comical, full of satire and candid comments and stories. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2011 by Jim Arthurs
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining.
This book is very entertaining. If you are looking for more distinctly Canadian humour look to Beaver Tales and a Canada Goosing (see ArtisanPacificPublishing Website)Beaver Tales... Read more
Published on May 19 2010 by Reign Chelsin
5.0 out of 5 stars Chip and Dale
I read this book ages aka years ago and it gave me a channel for my angst about being a Canadian which I only identify with when it suits me to do so. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2009 by Kelly Mawhinney
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, lots of laughs
I really enjoyed this book and at times belly-aching-hilarious. Canada is a great place to live and the people are wonderful regardless of what reviewer KIRKLAND, WA says. Read more
Published on May 16 2004 by K. Buchanan
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed
This was a great book. If you want a satirical opinion of Canada it's great. It critcizes the right points. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by Tricia
2.0 out of 5 stars His humor tends to be sophomoric
Will Ferguson had a good idea, attack the unassailable image Canadians have of themselves. It takes a traveled ex pat to see that Canadians swallow a lot of their own propaganda... Read more
Published on April 9 2002 by Mindme
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertational!
I have learned more about Canada from reading Will Ferguson's books than I ever did in school. School was boring.....Ferguson is hilarious! Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2000
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