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Kerry Smith (Toronto, Canada)

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The Best Laid Plans
The Best Laid Plans
by Terry Fallis
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.43
57 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Liberal Party propaganda, but....., April 1 2011
This review is from: The Best Laid Plans (Paperback)
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.

The Complete Essex County
The Complete Essex County
by Jeff Lemire
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.75
33 used & new from CDN$ 19.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully imagined -- despite the ugly drawing, Feb. 10 2011
Deserves all the praise it has received for its fine feeling for people, place and history, and for technically brilliant storytelling. But even Expressionist art doesn't have to be as ugly as this. Despite all the good buzz, I hesitated for weeks before buying the book because I found the drawing just so repellent. That said, if it had been drawn in Hal Foster's style it would have been less, not more effective than it is, and on a second reading, the drawing - though I'll never love it - is beginning to grow on me. The (section containing a deliberately badly drawn) parody of a child's first attempt at writing and drawing a comic book is bang-on accurate and hilarious.

Things Go Flying
Things Go Flying
by Shari Lapeña
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.75
20 used & new from CDN$ 9.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, accessible and moving first novel from a writer who will surely find a much larger audience, Aug. 25 2010
This review is from: Things Go Flying (Paperback)
This fanciful, funny, deeply humane book has not received nearly the play it deserves. Lapena writes like a dream and those of us who have discovered the book are eagerly awaiting her next. Highly recommended!

Andru And Esposito Partners For Life
Andru And Esposito Partners For Life
by Mike Esposito
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.74
9 used & new from CDN$ 21.74

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning job, and inexpensive too!, May 28 2010
Full of essential information for admirers of these two very gifted artists, and boasting gorgeous, sharp reproductions from original artwork. Andru and Esposito were complete professionals who brought quality to every genre they touched. Bravo!

Mothra [Import]
Mothra [Import]
3 used & new from CDN$ 29.86

3.0 out of 5 stars The other film with those unforgettable twins...., March 16 2004
This review is from: Mothra [Import] (VHS Tape)
...which another viewer asked about was, I believe, Ghidrah: the Three-Headed Monster.

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