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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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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 |
Loads of fun! ( )
  Nikkles | Jan 27, 2009 |
The Ferguson brothers give a great overview of Canada's cultural and "social history", to borrow one of their phrases. They then proceed to mock most of it, yielding a very funny book. Any new settler to Canada who relies on this may be in a bit of trouble, but whether recent immigrant or native-born, this book hits a lot of home truths. The reverence of Tim Hortons, the Queen, and hockey can be disconcerting for newcomers to Canada - I'm a recent transplant - but the Ferguson's do a good job of explaining some of the mystique. There are a number of sections where the authors try a bit too hard with the humor - the sex in canoes section, or the Canadian novel - but overall the book is a good laugh. For readers wanting a bit more Canadian history and politics (even as a 2008 edition, this feels dated), Will Ferguson's Dummies Guide to Canadian History is more tightly written and just as enjoyable a read. ( )
  davidpwhelan | Dec 28, 2008 |
The Ferguson brothers poke fun at their national identity with a how-to book on being an authentic Canadian. This follow up to their best-selling book “Why I Hate Canadians” takes a humorous look at everything stereotype from fashion to food and reveals everything a person could need to know about really being a Canadian. In fact, you may already be one--take the quiz in the back of the book to see if you’re Canadian or not! While not exactly a bastion of accuracy, perhaps, this lighthearted introduction to the Great White North begins with a basic overview of the country that reads like a comedic encyclopedia entry. The book is compiled from sixteen chapters on various topics of varying length. Despite the diversity of the topics, covering everything from the inexplicable government to regional mating rituals, the Ferguson’s humor remains the same. Their trademark asides and exaggeration meld perfectly with the dry wit that seems to be a staple of Canadian humor. The understated design and layout of the book offsets the ridiculous satire lurking within its pages. A true guilty pleasure for any public library travelogue section. ( )
  MontglaneChess | Nov 24, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Will Fergusonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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