6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Good Liberal Party propaganda, but....., April 1 2011
By Kerry Smith (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: The Best Laid Plans (Paperback)
What is one to make of an author who on the one hand bemoans the lack of civility in Canadian political life while on the other seems incapable of mentioning Tory MPs without using abusive language of which 'tool' is by far the most polite?
This kind of schizoid disconnect severely weakens what is otherwise a reasonably deft--I am tempted to say `slick'--comic novel. It shows up again in the author's attitude to ordinary voters; on the one hand he is genuinely concerned for Canadian democracy, on the other, he has the liberal's patrician disdain for the brutal, greedy masses who have the effrontery to actually value tax cuts.
The book's Superman-like hero, Angus McLintock, is a crusty old Scots engineer and strident feminist (a combination I can't say I've often encountered, have you?), and he is so obviously superior, morally and intellectually, to everyone else in the book that much potential dramatic tension is lost. It's mostly just a question of watching this paragon demonstrate his superiority again and again over the gnat-like swarms of lesser beings who annoyingly stand between him and the public good.
Sadly, this political pamphlet took the Canada Reads prize, beating out far better books such as Jeff Lemire's Essex County. This may well say less about the book's merits than about the composition of our opinion-shaping class -- tenured academics, civil servants with indexed pensions, lifetime union-card holders, CEOs of the liberal persuasion, and others who live in gated communities and send their kids to private schools. They will form a large and appreciative audience for the author's message.