Review: The Best Laid Plans
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Best Laid Plans, from Robbie Burns' To A Mouse 1785, is a popular title. Terry Fallis, experienced in engineering and public relations, penned a podcast that grew and won the Steven Leacock Medal. Humor and honor, "passion for proper English" conquer the compromised democracy of Canadian politics. Yet p193 "through the ringer" should be wringer, two rollers that squeeze water from laundry.
At first, apparently autobiographical, disillusioned heartbroken Ottawa political aide Daniel retires to teach university English. To fulfill his last job committment, he asks his brilliant eccentric new landlord to be the local electoral candidate. Every night, engineer professor Angus, 60, Einstein-hair, food-filled beard, builds a hovercraft. He mourns his "deep abyss" aloud, in a warm Scottish burr, converses with his one-year-departed famous-feminist wife Marin. When journal/ letters to her close each chapter, we know we're in the realm of fiction. Adult content warning: the betrayal of Dan's heart and the Canadian public by their Finance Minister are slapstick silly - and explicitly euphemistically earthy, not to mention burgeoning romance with Lindsay, meeting of "minds, hearts, and more tangible parts". Muriel 80 "gives great voice" or swears like a "sailor", helped Prime Minister Mackenzie King, now matchmakes her bright pretty granddaughter. Two pierced punk rocker undergrad Petes canvass (scare) voters.
Despite Dan's guarantees - no lawn signs, interviews, appearances, or win - the outcome is guessable, no canditate is named Spoiled Ballots.
says #2 is High Road, more Angus fun (I feared such a paragon would perish by hovercraft)
#2 High Road excerpt
(Chapters 1&2 mostly recap the victory of honest integrity that changes the rules of "the game", so either #2 can stand alone, or has nothing new.)
#3 untitled manuscript is just finished.
gotchies are guy's underwear, why?
"The university usually operated in geological time, but not that day."
"The old and the rested watched The Young and The Restless."
"one of the most famous split infinitives ... To boldly go"
"As Canadians' respect for democracy declines and their disdain grows, we tend to abandon the greater good, follow the politicians' lead, and grab what we can for ourselves... it's a mess."
"the use of profanity for effect to be a practice of the weak-minded"
"as useful as a seamstress in a nudist camp"
"Were not Canadians all about tolerance and acceptance ... progressive and enlightened views"
"food fragments from his beard ... part of charm ... actually part ... of last night's dinner"
"sarcaustic" (sic) tone
"'It's nice finally to meet you too' ... deftly rejoining the infinitive"
"blatherskite is a Scottish term of endearment"
"antipolitician" cares only for public interest
"there IS none"
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