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Canada and Other Matters of Opinion Paperback – Sep 7 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada; Revised ed. edition (Sept. 7 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385667272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385667272
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Wit, sarcasm, humour, verbal gymnastics . . . are here, together with some surprising post-scripts added with the benefit of hindsight. . . . Murphy begs — eloquently, of course — to be read."
— The London Free Press

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Rex Murphy, who needs no introduction, left his outpost home in Newfoundland to attend university at the age of fifteen. Since that time, which includes a spell at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, he has been writing and talking. His skills in that area have made him one of Canada’s most-watched and best-read commentators, while his speeches have earned standing ovations from coast to coast. A frequent presence on CBC television and radio, including a regular commentary spot with “Point of View,” Rex writes a weekly column for The Globe and Mail.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rex Murphy's latest book, _Canada and Other Matters of Opinion_, is a fun read. The book is a potpourri of newspaper columns written by Murphy over the past five years or so. In the spirit of an Oscar Wilde dictum, Murphy finds the practice of ranting, railing, and raging a real pleasure, not just a moral duty (p. xix). Accordingly, Murphy opines on sundry matters related to Canada including literature, Newfoundland (the province where he was born and raised), climate change, terrorism, Obama, human rights, etc.

Beyond his exceptional wordsmithing ability (which, as the reader will observe, tends to melodrama betimes), Murphy has some sort of accompanying metaphor for every point he makes. And this is what I love about Murphy, even if I don't always agree with his opinion. His creative pen takes the reader to interesting places.

Here's a favorite example:

"The great national response to winter, and the greatest shield against its many glooms and ravages, was, of course, the invention of hockey. Hockey may be seen, in its earliest manifestation, as a means of turning winter against itself; of giving a very great number of people, who were definitely not masochists, a reason to look forward to the time when all lakes and ponds were frozen and the wind chill bit the soul. Hooray, we're freezing! Let's play hockey." (p. 217)

_Canada and Other Matters of Opinion_ is, to say it again, a fun read. Each "chapter" is two to three pages in length. Because the chapters are newspaper columns, the book can be treated as a magazine. Reading from any part of the book will do since each column, although grouped with others of a similar subject matter, is free-standing.

It's my view that Murphy generally comes down on an issue a smidgeon right of center.
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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 21 2009
Format: Hardcover
Vintage Murphy, November 21, 2009
By Ian Gordon Malcomson (Smithers, Canada) - See all my reviews

The reason why Rex Murphy is such a celebrated name in Canadian journalism is his unique ability to provide well-thought-out opinions on a variety of public issues that cover the diverse views of his readership. While Rex is his own master, his latest eclectic publication of views show that he is very much in touch with the big world out there. As a savvy public commentator, Murphy has that compelling need to take his thoughts to the next level where he expresses a moral certitude in a language that is graceful, charming, witty yet unforgiving. His enemies, to name a few, are religious bigots, political tyrants, and environmental wingnuts who claim to be speaking on behalf of a cause they know little or nothing about. It is Rex's job to share an intelligent opinion that exposes these very public figures and their ideas as bogus. Read any one of the articles in his latest collection, "Canada and Other Matters of Opinion" and you'll quickly appreciate that nothing stands in the way of Murphy attacking blatant ignorance and manipulation of what is decent and reasonable. To make sure the reader knows by which rational and moral standards Murphy employs his pen, there are a few greats singled out for praise in his postings. But on the whole, this book is pure polemics at its best as the man sizes up, pulls pulls apart and casts out. Numerous public policies and grand ideas receive Murphy's scrupulously critical attention as to their real human value. His commentaries are laid out in a well-organized fashion. The reader is first treated to an interesting problem, followed by a clearly defined argument which is topped off with a reasonable conclusion or judgment.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the reviewers "recommend(s) this book to any Canadian who is seeking to get a stronger grasp of political, economic and social reality during these trying times." I'm not Canadian but I found this collection startlingly erudite. Even the last decent Prime Minister of my own country is quoted. The author's compression of meaning and his mastery of language is often poetry and its content ably straddles one's full volume of emotion from rage to laughter. This book is a treasured find.
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By D Glover TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 7 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a compendium of Rex's opinion pieces from radio, newspaper and TV. When Rex is good, he is eloquently good, like when he is critiquing the vacuousness of our celebrity culture or the oxymoronic human rights commissions in Canada or taking on one of the reigning orthodoxies of our age, like global warming. But when he is bad, like when he is gushing about the public speaking skills of Barack Obama or when he is hanging all the Liberal's hopes on Michael Ignatiff (boy, did he miss call that one), at least he is still eloquent. Rex is an old school liberal, which is to say he is more conservative than most Democrats or even many Republicans (for a state-side comparison). He is great on his critique of the so called "arts" community and the work they frequently produce, but then mysteriously inconsistent when he criticizes the Conservative government for wanting to cut or eliminate tax-payer funding to "the arts" in Canada when they so often produce the unmitigated crap (in many cases, near pornographic) they do. But, by and large, Rex is a far better guide through the moral and political morass of modern politics and culture in Canada (and occasionally abroad) than the majority of pundits out there and he is far more down to earth and "everyman" and balanced than most editorial or opinion piece writers. Rex clearly loves his country and his province. Overall there is more good sense here than one usually finds in someone who has to write a regular column. I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could. Several of the pieces deserve a 5, some a 2. But there are more chapters worthy of a 4 than there are worthy of a 1 or 2.
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