Book Reviews in December 1988 Issue

Book Review
Animal Crackers
by L.G.
EVERY SEASON there are new names in the publisher's catalogues, the names of first?time authors and illustrators. People wonder who these newcomers are; cynics and critics wonder if they have what it takes to stay in the business. Jo Ellen Bogart, author of last spring's Dylan's Lullaby (Annick) and this season's Malcolm's Runaway Soap, has four more children's titles awaiting publication. Obviously, someone likes what she's writing.
Book Review
Plasticine Queen
by Ann Jansen
BARBARA REID has a catchy image to clarify the distinction between fine artists and illustrators like herself. "Illustrators are like performing dogs. Maybe the fine artist is like a cat; they do their own thing, and if you don't like it, too bad. But an illustrator has an urge to please. They throw you a manuscript and you say," here she speaks breathlessly," 'I'll do it, I'll do it,"' then run back with it in your mouth, hoping they like it.
Best Seat In The House
by Robert Fulford

260 pages $26.95
ISBN: 0002154382
Book Review
Front Row Centre
by I. M. Owen
BERT FULFORD is the best of conversationalists. I`m a bad one myself, but whenever I`m talking to him the conversation goes swimmingly. In his memoirs he writes, as always, exactly as he talks, so that reading the book feels like having a conversation; all I have to do is fill in my side of it. This is a professional autobiography, not a personal one.
Book Review
Dreams Of Home
by D.It Macdonald
CAPE BRETON. For many of us, the name conjures up the glossy postcard image of a rugged landscape where tartan?clad Scots toss the caber, play the bagpipes, and converse in fluent Gaelic. 'Me reality, as wistfully described in Eyestone, D. R. Macdonald's first collection of stories, is something quite different. The Scots heritage is in tatters ? only the middle?aged or older understand Gaelic ? and drinking is for many a full?time occupation.
Book Review
Cops And Robbers
by Roger Davies
THIS BOOK is Jack Batten's current bulletin on his love affair with the legal profession. Batten is fortunate in apparently never having met a lawyer he didn't like. On Trial might have been entitled Litigation: A Fax's Notes. The book is a description of three trials, two civil and one criminal. Their only common feature is that they all add, weight to the cynical truism that the only winners in a trial are the lawyers.
Book Review
Artists Or Autists?
by Brian Fawcett
The new neurological criticism may soon eclipse Prof Frye's notions of literature as middle?class splendour in the Wilderness
Book Review
Market Day
by Norman Sigurdson
THE PREFACE to this anthology tells us that yarmarok is the Ukrainian word for "fair" or "marketplace," the name given to "the noisy gathering of peasant farmers, artisans, pedlars and townspeople in a clearing or public square." This is an apt title for this varied collection of writings by Ukrainian Canadians over the past four decades.
Book Review
I'M Not Same Yer Crazy
by Don Nichol
WHAT is the difference between a language and a dialect? Hamish Whyte cites Anthony Burgess's ABBA ABBA on this: "A language waves flags and is blown up by politicians. A dialect keeps to things, things, things, street smells and street noises, life." The character in the novel who utters this remark, Belli, the romanesco poet, has been more fittingly translated into Scots than into English. Belli's desire to.
Book Review
Lest We Forget
by Lawrence Morton
WHEN Saul Rubinek told his parents he wanted to write a book about their experiences in Poland during and after the Second World War, their reaction was less than enthusiastic. "Everyone knows about the war," they said. "Who needs more stories about it?" Although Rubinek, a respected Canadian actor, insists his book, So Many Miracles, is about his parents and not about the war, their wartime experiences provide the backdrop for much of the story and are ultimately what set it in motion.
The Captain And The Enemy
by Graham Greene

Lester & Orpen Dennys
192 pages $19.95
ISBN: 0886191971
Book Review
Adventurer`S Progress
by Stan Persky
His autobiographical Ways of Escape (1980), Graham Greene snappishly remarks, "Some critics have referred to a strange violent `seedy` region of the mind (why did I ever popularize that last adjective?) which they call Greeneland, and I have sometimes wondered whether they go round the world blinkered." It`s all real, he insists. Later on, he partially relents: "Greeneland perhaps. I can only say it is the land in which I have passed much of my life
The Letters of Thomas Chandler Haliburton
by Richard A. Davies,

University of Toronto Press
300 pages CT
ISBN: 0802026281
Book Review
Letters Of The Law
by Laurel Boone
HAT IS the value in reading other people`s mail, especially mail that is 150 years old? Well, first, let us be frank -- to snoop is human. Second, letters catch the small, personal details that are never part of formal history, and so they tell us more than formal history can about daily life when they were written.
Book Review
Pain For The World
by Gideon Forman
A COLLECTION of papers given at an inquiry into Canadian defence policy and nuclear arms, The True North Strong and Free? is an eclectic work, both in terms of subject matter and point of view. Peace activists, a member of the armed forces, and government officials are the authors of its 15 essays, and while they agree on the priority of nuclear war's prevention they differ as to what means will secure it. Dr. Dorothy Goresky, founding president of the B.C. chap.
Book Review
Picalilli And Gingersnaps: Some Imaginative Cookbooks With Recipes Both New And Traditional
by Pat Barclay
WHEN CHRISTMAS comes, can a clutch of new cookbooks be far behind? Not on your metric measuring cup. Here's a taste of recent titles in this vast and varied field: Barbecuing Atlantic Seafood, by Julie V. Watson (Nimbus, 100 pages, $9.95 paper) is a collection by "P.E.l.
by Timothy Findley

221 pages $22.95
ISBN: 0670822973
Book Review
The Overthrow Of Silence
by Rupert Schieder
YEAR and a half ago, barely recovered from a gruelling cross-country tour to publicize Vie Telling of Lies, Timothy Findley talked to the Toronto weekly Now about two well-advanced manuscripts. One was a "large" novel, the other a "joined sequence" of short stories. "I`ve fallen upon two characters who don`t appear to belong in a novel but in episodes that are more story-like in shape and size," he explained.
Book Review
Against The Current
by Roger Burford Mason
Was the Holy Grail brought to Nova Scotia in the Middle Ages, and kept hidden therefor more than 200 years? TO INTERVIEW Michael Bradley is to be deluged with arcane knowledge, esoteric theory and earthy opinion. He seems to know so much, in such detail, about such diverse worlds, that you wonder how he has ever found the time to write.
Book Review
Wind, Dust, And Weddings
by Michelle Heinemann
SECTION LINES are rail lines that run off the main track, often to small?town grain elevators. If the title was intended as a metaphor to indicate that Manitoba writing is unconventional ? not of the mainstream then it doesn't quite work. The literary boundaries are not defined precisely in Section Lines, but then, it is an anthology, a literary cross?section, and that is not generally a form that ]ends itself to uniformity. Ibis is a collection of the oldest and the newest of Manitoba writing.
Book Review
Hard To Find
by Jack Mcleod
PLEASE, I don't need more books about politics that are small and mean, like Clare Hoy on Mulroney or Greg Weston on Turner. What I do want is more honest and perceptive books by political participants and insiders, like Eddie Goodman's candid autobiography. There are not enough of these: apart from several ghost?written volumes, only a few valuable contributions by C. G. "Chubby" Power and Dalton Camp and Paul Martin spring instantly to mind.
Book Review
Jazz Maharajah
by Ray Filip Oscar
OSCAR PETERSON was born with two hands ? though 20 or 30 fingers often seem to sprint across his keyboard. "His hands and wrists dazzled with gold gold cufflinks, gold wristwatch band, gold identification bracelet, and large beveled gold wedding band on his left hand." So writes Gene Lees in his comprehensive biography of Canada's most famous jazz musician. Peterson was raised in the grey St. Antoine district of Montreal.
Married Love
by Kent Thompson,

95 pages TP
ISBN: 0864920776
Women Of Influence
by Bonnie Burnard

Coteau Books
109 pages $21.95
ISBN: 0919926819
Book Review
Dialogue Of The Deft
by Diane Schoemperlen
EMOTIONS -- which are what we live for -- are so exhausting that sometimes we think we`d rather die. Even love can tear you apart." So writes Kent Thompson in his new novella, Married Love: A Vulgar Enter tainment. `Me book is the story of Labour Day weekend, 1983, at the Fredericton home of Alice and Harry and their six year-old son, Jake.
The Return Of The Crazy People
by Peter Buitenhuis
TIMOTHY FINDLEY IS the author of six novels: The Last of the Crazy People (1967), The Butterfly Plague (1969), The Wars (1977), Famous Last Words (1981), Not Wanted on the Voyage (1985), and The Telling of Lies (1986); a play, Can You See Me Yet? (1977), and two collections of short fiction: Dinner Along the Amazon (1984) and his most recent book, Stones, published last month by Viking/Penguin Canada (reviewed on page 22).
First Novels
An Original
by Douglas Hill
TO BEGIN, a pair from Newfoundland, where writing novels seems to have replaced chasing seals as a supplementary occupation. Both Alan Fisk's The Strange Things of This World (Harry Cuff Publications, 150 pages, $9.95 paper) and Ishmael Baksh's Black Light (Jesperson Press, 255 pages, $12.95 paper) are cleanly written, well?thought?out books that accomplish their modest aims with modest success. Neither, however, rises far above competence.
Field Notes
Memories Of Montparnasse
by Cary Fagan
When Morley Callaghan's first novel, Strange Fugitive, was published in 1928, the Toronto Globe didn't bother to review the book, but did print a long letter condemning the work for libelling the city of Toronto AS THE FIRST subject of a tribute to a living writer held at the Wang International Festival of Authors in Toronto, Morley Callaghan was an admirable choice. Not only is he still active at 85, but he was the first modern Canadian writer in English to find an international audience.
Children's Books
Of Tropical Jungles And Runaway Soap
by Linda Granfield
AFTER THE wrapping paper has been shredded and the Christmas dinner eaten there's little more satisfying for a child than settling down away from the chaos with a brandnew, probably inscribed book that smells deliciously new, and one of the most enjoyable shopping expeditions of the book? lover's year is the excursion to select these Christmas gifts. This season's offerings are substantial enough to leave plenty to savour long after the tinsel decorations have been packed away.
Great Authors
Tense Times
by I. M. Owen
ACQUISITOR: I took too much credit to myself in the last issue in claiming to have introduced this word. A journalist friend reminds me that this was done by Peter C. Newman in 1981, when he gave the title The Acquisitors to the second volume of The Canadian Establishment. So that's why, as I said last month, it seemed so familiar. My apologies to Newman, who is of course one of our leading innovators.
Great Authors
Precious And Semiprecious
by John Oughton
GIFT BOOKS are like diamonds: they look impressive, cost a lot, and are advertised as a way to show the recipient how much you care. But they?also resemble the gems in that they have little intrinsic value under their glitter. Many $50 tomes are read once, and then repose in stately slumber on the shelves. In assessing this year's somewhat modest crop of coffeetable volumes, I'll pay some attention to whether their lures are superficial or lasting.
Laws of Media The New Science
by Marshall McLuhan, Eric McLuhan,

258 pages TC
ISBN: 0802057829
Great Authors
His Father`S Ghost
by Mavor Moore
ONE NIGHT about 20 years ago, I sat in a Toronto television studio expecting to conduct an interview with my friend Marshall McLuhan, and to moderate the ensuing discussion with a live audience. Five minutes before we were due to go on the air, the star had not yet arrived. We began the program without him.

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