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How to Be a Canadian by Will Ferguson

How to Be a Canadian (2001)

by Will Ferguson, Ian Ferguson

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Funny, but trying too hard towards the end.

However, there are some great passages - like this one on Canadian fiction writing:

"Handy tip! Write about a family gathering, a funeral or some sort of homecoming. That's the easiest way to bring characters together without having to construct a plot. And make sure to include the free-spirited sister, the recovering alcoholic brother, the other sister (the one who gave up on her dreams and is married to an abusive and/or aloof man) and - last but not least - the standard-issue abusive and/or aloof father figure. Add to the mix some cryptic dialogue about a past betrayal, maybe a dark secret or two, and half-bake at 40F. Do you see how these things just write themselves?"

Sadly, this does remind me of a few books, not all of them Canadian, though. ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
This is constant reading material for when you just want to laugh. ( )
  AnnaKathleen3 | Jan 28, 2015 |
3.5 stars

Will Ferguson and his brother Ian decided to write (with encouragement from Margaret Atwood) a “guidebook” on how to be a Canadian. Humourously, of course. Topics include language, food, politics, sports, sex, drinking and much more.

I enjoyed this. There were times I laughed out loud. Parts I enjoyed most included the breakdown of the provinces and curling. Of course, I am Canadian, so I “got” most of the jokes. I suspect there are plenty of jokes that wouldn't work for those who aren't Canadian. It was originally published in 2001, so some parts are out of date, in particular the political stuff. But still, a fun read. ( )
  LibraryCin | Apr 18, 2014 |
Some very funny digs at Canada and Canadians, especially in the first chapters, and some very flat jokes, especially towards the end. ( )
  jorgearanda | Jan 9, 2013 |
Ferguson is laugh out loud funny, satiric, tongue in cheek. He gets great mileage out of the "fact" that Margaret Atwood suggested the premise for How to Be a Canadian. This gem is to be enjoyed, albeit appreciated on different levels, by Canadians both native and new. In fact, many of Ferguson's quips require the reader to be "Canuck" in order to fully appreciate his nuances. Case in point: Canadian winters, frozen flagpoles, initiation. Yes, I have, and yes, it did. ( )
  lit_chick | Mar 4, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Will Fergusonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ferguson, Ianmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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From Will: For Terumi, who has been putting up with me for so long, and Alex and Alister, for being such great kids.

From Ian: For Kirsten, who laughs at my jokes and makes me laugh.
First words
From an idea by Margaret Atwood!
(In which Will shamelessly milks the name of one of Canada's most respected authors for all it's worth)

So I'm at this cocktail party, right? And Margaret Atwood is there, and she can't keep her hands off me. Everywhere I go, she's clinging to me. And I'm like, "Whoa, lady, get a grip." All night long, she's following me around, spilling her drink and slurring her speech, saying, "Wait, wait. I have this great idea for your next book." And I'm like, "Whatever."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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