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Reader Reviews

As more reader reviews accumulate at amazon.ca, amazon.com, chapters.indigo.ca, and the various book review sites out there from Shelfari to Facebook applications like Visual Bookshelf, I thought I’d gather them here in the same way as I’d assembled reviews from podcast listeners over on the Listener Reviews page. I know it’s cliche, but head-swelling comments like these really do make it all worth it.

“The Best Laid Plans has to be one of the best books this year. The author has an insiders knowledge of the Canadian political system. Without boring us with the day to day minutae he is able to give us a clear picture of what is wrong with the system and lets us form our own opinions on how it might be changed. Mr. Fallis has a delightful sense of humour and has no difficulty letting us in on the joke. How wonderful life would be if only we really did have a few politicians such as are described in this book. I shall be seeking more books by this author.”

Burtine Kendall, Alberta (Amazon)

“Best Laid Plans, by Terry Fallis, is, in my opinion, a perfect novel, deserving of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and of every accolade it receives. If you haven’t yet read it you must, right now, rush out and purchase your very own copy; no, don’t borrow one, buy your own because it will be a mainstay on your bookshelf for years to come. Now, it’s best to understand it’s not easy to make me laugh, and I’m also a very critical reader; despite that Terry had me laughing myself silly with the opening scene, to the point I couldn’t speak and still break into spontaneous giggles when I think about it. Terry’s characters are endearing, real, deftly crafted, his plot tight and seamless, the ending the perfect bow on the perfect package. I’ll never again think of Parliament Hill in quite the same manner.”

Author Lorina Stephens

“One of the best comedic novels I have ever read.  And I’m not just referring to this year, or lately, I mean ever… I don’t often say this or even mean it literally, but you will laugh out loud as you read this book, and I challenge you — whether your political colour be blue, red, orange, green or neutral — to admit that you would not vote for Angus McLintock if he were running in your next federal election.  Outstanding effort by Fallis, and to think that it started out as a mere podcast!”

Life’s Rich Pageant blog

“Terry Fallis weaves a funny yet tender tale that gives us all hope for the future of democracy. Hilarious and thought-provoking, I literally could not put this book down. I finished it in one sitting, with a full heart and sore sides. With an insider’s knowledge of politics, beautifully developed characters, and a page-turning plot, Terry Fallis has written a winner. Get it, read it, now!”

The Hon. Elinor Caplan, former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

“When I first picked up Terry Fallis’ novel, which is described on the cover as a “satirical novel of Canadian politics,” I wasn’t expecting it to be very compelling — I’m not much into politics, after all. But this novel was compelling from the first word. I was immediately hooked by narrator Daniel Addison and his departure from the Canadian political scene to teach English to Engineers at Ottawa University. I particularly enjoyed the hilarious and uniquely creative description of walking in on his girlfriend and a cabinet minister and describing their tryst in “parliamentary language.” Rick Mercer couldn’t have done a better job of setting up the laughs from this scene. But once Fallis introduced stodgy old engineering professor Angus McLintock I was double-hooked. Watching this unlikely Liberal candidate’s rise to power marks one of the best books I’ve read this year. The main plot and sub-stories wind perfectly together, providing a wonderfully balanced and thoroughly enjoyable tale. While I actually did laugh out loud several times reading this satirical novel, I was also moved and touched by the characters who live long after I have turned the final page of the book.”

Mark Leslie Lefebvre (author), chapters.indigo

“This is right up there on my absolute favourites list! I loved crusty old Angus McLintock, rooted for Daniel Addison, and laughed out loud so many times my husband read it as soon as I was finished. I can’t hear any news about Ottawa and Parliament now without wishing there really WAS an Angus McLintock.”

Kate Ferris, Facebook Visual Bookshelf

“Full of interesting and engaging characters, this book appears, at first blush, to be a fun and very funny book about the craziness that is politics and election campaigning. But in the hands of the author it surpasses this description and becomes a really heartfelt novel full of characters one really gets to know. Especially lovely are the journal entries that Angus writes to his deceased wife – who he clearly loved and still loves. They are beautifully written and help to round out the complex picture of this character. But don’t get me wrong, you will laugh out-loud several times reading this novel – it truly is funny and entertaining. The narrative is interesting and full of fun surprises along the way culminating in a comic and satisfying ending. You will like this book.”

Mauer Chiarello, Amazon

“As someone who has worked in the wierd world of politics, I loved this book – it’s real, real funny, and closer to the “way things work” than even some non-fiction Ottawa books. All with outstanding humour and a pace that makes me only hope there is a sequel in the offing. Move over Ian Rankin. There is a Canadian political series equivalent in the making – I hope. A great read, funny and certainly could not put this one down. Who is this Terry Fallis? I think we’ll be hearing a lot more of him.”

David Paterson, chapters.indigo

“The Best Laid Plans is a completely satisfying novel. The narration flows easily, the characters are recognizable and the plot is compelling. Best of all, the battle between political ideologies is fought by equally strong opponents and the outcome is a complete surprise. The descriptions of Parliament Hill from behind the scenes were fascinating. I especially enjoyed the glimpses of real political maneuvering. Obviously written by someone “in-the-know”. Highly recommended.”

Peter Nosalik, Amazon.ca

“My fellow bus passengers must have thought I was crazy laughing out loud at a particular passage that described the dalliance between our hero’s then girlfriend and her boss! In between the laughs,the wonderful prose and imagery, there are serious issues raised about the role of the elected official in our modern democratic institutions. I heartily recommend this book.”

Gabriel Sekaly, CEO of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada

“While the book is obviously about Canadian politics, the author provides enough background information that it is certainly understandable – and enjoyable – for the non-Canadian. In fact, as someone very interested in US politics the book was an interesting view in how politics works in our neighbor to the north. Politics aside, the book is just a great ‘story.’ I enjoyed the characters and how they evolved over time. I enjoyed the various different side stories… and I very definitely enjoyed the “Diaries of Angus McLintock” that ended each chapter. At the end of the day, no matter what our political system or country, I think we all would love to have a few more politicians out there with the character and principles of Angus McLintock! Now we just have to wait to see what might come next for Angus, Daniel and friends.”

Dan York, Amazon

“Terry Fallis has found the cure for Canada’s political malaise: a stubborn, old, irreverent Scotsman with nothing to lose. Until Angus McLintock walks out of fiction and into public office, where he would surely save the nation, the only place to find him is right here among The Best Laid Plans.”

Tom Allen, CBC Radio host and author of The Gift of the Game

“This book manages to walk comfortably a very fine and funny line between taking a serious look at Canada’s political system, warts and all, and telling a truly funny story. It could have so easily slipped into the cynical and ridiculous, but it instead makes us want to root for the system and the poor guy who is trying with all his might to run a losing campaign. It is sensitive, fun, an easy read and leaves you wanting more. Humour may be the hardest thing to write, but Fallis has a knack that forces you at points to laugh out loud. His description (using Parliamentarty language) of finding his girlfiend in an her MP’s office late at night engaged in “proceedings” is a classic that will be quoted for years by anyone who has ever worked in Parliament. Buy this book for anyone you know who has an interest in Parliament. Buy it for anyone you know who has an interest in politics. Buy it, even for those we all know who are cynics about our political system. It will make them laugh out loud and make them care about our democracy.”

Michael James, Amazon

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