150 Years of Stats Canada! A Guide to Canada’s Greatest Country, by Andrew Bondy, et al (2017)

150 Years of Stats Canada! A Guide to Canada's Greatest CountryHappiest birthday wishes to the best country on our planet, imho, celebrating just 150 years of giving the world lumberjack shirts, playoff beards, top curlers and hockey for both men AND women, timbits and a hungry market for cheese from all over the world, to name just a few things. I’m so grateful to live here, and wish the rest of the world could adopt a bit more Canadian outlook, including a healthy dose of self-deprecating humour. Which brings me to today’s timely review, from the brilliant satirical team behind the Canadian Twitter sensation @stats_canada, whose hilarious tweets have ill-informed thousands of followers for some five years now. In this book the four authors have out together a collection of unreliable facts that will make you laugh out loud, groan occasionally, and eventually bore everyone around you by reading entries aloud: “Just one more – listen to this!” Each page offers a comical perspective on something Canadian, from “Get to Know Trooper” to “The Real Houseboatwives of Snout Harbour, NFLD.” There’s just enough right information to intrigue you – yes, there really is a Gopher Hole Museum in Alberta; the fares listed for transit rides are correct; and the list of prime ministers is up to date and in right order. (And you will find a helpful and hilarious mnemonic to help you remember the order of our august leaders: “Many Men Made Attempts To Become The Leader But Most Merely Made Many Bumbling Mistakes, Losing Decisively, Persistently. The Candidates That Triumph Make Canadian Citizens More Heavily Taxed.”). On the other hand, Saskatoon is not a mash between Sasquatch and Cartoon, and I’m pretty sure there’s no cover band called Crosby, Staal, Nash & Yzerman. Two minutes for a good idea though! Many of the jokes require a certain level of insider knowledge though, whether it calls on the reader to identify the “bad” Barenaked Ladies band member or “Know Your Gords”: Howe, Downie, and Lightfoot. All in all, fun reading that will probably make the most sense to someone who knows a little bit about us. In short, only give this to another Canadian. And maybe take it out of the bathroom when foreigners visit, or you’ll spend a lot of time dealing with their honest confusion. My thanks to publisher Penguin Canada for the advance reading copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this title: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32815234


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