on April 1, 2007
This story is one much richer and deeper than I had initially suspected. It starts slowly but builds with increasing pressure and drama.
Told from the perspective of the King's advisor and friend, his chronicle shows how John transcends his "accidental" placement on the throne to become a much loved and influential monarch.
While elements of the book show a wistfulness for a leader with John's character and moral certainty, the plot is plausible giving us the ability to follow the story rather than laugh at it's absurdity.
I would definitely recommend King John of Canada not only to political junkies (like me) but to any who love the ordinary man doing the extraordinary.
on May 17, 2007
This book started easily enough (as one reviewer on the US site suggesed) but about 1/4 way in got bogged down by having to plough through too much contrived plot strategems just for this "preaching to the choir", in my case anyway. Having sought the help of online reviews and confirmed in my impatience with Gardiners contrivances, i decided to just skip to the end and be done with it. Well, the surprise ending intrigued me to go back and try harder! At about the half way point, Gardiner started to score some good points, so I stuck with it. By the end of the book, I felt I'd got my money's worth (despite never getting comfortable with his "artifices") and felt admiration for what I'd guess to be an older author's first attempt, his chutzpah to develop such an outlandish proposition and the imagination/fortitude to figure out how to make it even half way plausible. The urgent subject matter and the author's attempt to deal with it will hopefully inspire more work from Gardiner (more subtle charactar development!) and from others among us with similarly latent writing talents. Canada needs it.
on May 3, 2007
A great read. As a previous reviewer has said, this book is for everyone not just politicos. It is funny, trenchant, satirical, and even a bit of a whodunit. While this is a joy for anyone to read, i think it would make a fantastic book club selection.