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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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5061420,102 (3.77)18

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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 It was originally published in 2001, so some parts are out of date, in particular the political stuff.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 |
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 |
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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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