Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Best Laid Plans: a Novel

by Terry Fallis
McClelland & Stewart, 2007

When no publisher would take this book, Fallis published it himself. In 2008 it won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and this year it was named the One Book One Community read for the Waterloo Region. While I'd heard of the author's "overnight success" story earlier, it was only when the novel was chosen for the OBOC that I decided it was time to read the book.

As the story opens, its main character, Daniel Addison, is about to embark on life in academia, leaving his post as an aide in the Liberal leader's office on Parliament Hill to become an English professor at the University of Ottawa. Since he will be moving to the riding of Cumberland, a traditional Tory stronghold, he is charged with one last task: to find a candidate to run for the Liberal party in the upcoming fall federal election.

And so the games begin. Unable to convince Muriel Parkinson, a staunch Liberal supporter, to go for a sixth unsuccessful run, Daniel is almost out of time when an unexpected stroke of luck hits. His landlord, Angus McClintock, wants to get out of teaching first year English to Engineering students, and is willing to campaign for the Liberal party in order to get out of it. Of course, that's only because the Conservatives have the riding sewn up and there's no way he can win.

Written with liberal splashes of humour, this political satire is sure to enlighten and entertain. I laughed frequently, and often had to stop to read parts aloud to my husband.

The author's personal experience in the political arena served him well in penning this fantastic tale. I had hoped that a sequel was forthcoming and am delighted to inform you that The High Road will be available this September. I look forward to reading this follow-up to the highly enjoyable original.

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