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The Canadaland Guide to Canada Hardcover – May 2, 2017
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"The Canadaland Guide to Canada seeks to shatter the idyllic image that outsiders have of the country and expose its little-known dark side. The volume is a humorous (or is that humourous?) journey through Canadian history, politics, and culture accompanied by illustrations, diagrams, maps, quizzes, and timelines." (Entertainment Weekly)
"The Canadaland Guide to Canada is that perfect Stewartian mixture of scathing and hilarious...This is a book of weaponized jokes about a country that has spent more than a century burnishing its credentials by blithely asserting its moral and temperamental superiority to its erratic and flamboyant southern neighbour—and every shot hits its mark." (BoingBoing.net)
About the Author
Jessie Brown is a journalist and public irritant. The creator of the #1 Canadian podcast, CANADALAND, he has won awards for humor and investigative reporting. The existence of his wife and children may humanize him to some degree. Follow him on Twitter @JesseBrown.
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Top Customer Reviews
Frankly, Jesse's next book should be a transcript or collection of some of his great podcasts. But that's one man's opinion.
Some of these stories are just silly. Like when American Civil War Veterans invaded Canada in 1866, the head of our military and soon-to-be first Prime Minister, John A. MacDonald, spent the entire battle drunk in his office. Or the fact that in the early days, the government tricked people into moving here by never mentioning the weather or the word "snow" in their immigration material.
Some of the stories are also horrifying. For example, did you know the Indian Act was actually the inspiration for South African government's apartheid policy?
It just goes on and on like that. Page after page of hundreds of short stories, facts and quotes, just hitting you like a machine gun full of Tim Hortons donuts. It's hilarious and cringe-worthy, but it's almost too much. I had to take breaks from it a few times because it was an onslaught of information overload. It's probably better to be read in snippets and funny chunks instead of trying to power through in one sitting. Much like a fine poutine, one cannot gorge oneself too deeply lest one risk throwing up all over the place (I think I screwed up that metaphor, but you get my point).
The level of sarcasm is orbital, which kind of actually distracts from the sheer ridiculousness and extreme unbelievability of some of the true stories. My one complaint is that Brown tries to be a bit too cheeky at times; the stories are over-the-top and funny by themselves, his snide remarks and sarcasm actually made me question which parts were actually true and which were his exaggeration, which led me to have to look up a few of the crazier-sounding facts. Which, come to think of it, may have been his point.
All in all, this is a terrific reference that every Canadian should read. So should every non-Canadian actually. God knows we can stand to be taken down a peg or three; we spend enough time mocking Americans that it's only fair we take a good hard look at ourselves, too.