The Edmonton Journal reviews The High Road

October 24th, 2010

Just when I thought we’d finished with the reviews, the Edmonton Journal pops with a nice take on The High Road. While the headline looks like the Ottawa Citizen review, the actual article itself is completely different.

The Ottawa Citizen reviews THR

October 3rd, 2010

Hot on the heels of The Halifax Chronicle Herald review, the Ottawa Citizen also read The High Road and published a review today. Memorable lines for me were:

“Fallis is actually intent on making a serious point, or maybe a few serious points.”

“Fallis writes in pictures and even his bit players are well-defined characters that the mind’s eye can see clearly.”

“…an easy-reading page turner.”

“…anyone with even a passing or cynical interest in the political process should emjoy The High Road and after the romp be left with some food for thought, as the author clearly intends.”

As you might have gathered, I tend to gloss over the lines in reviews that aren’t quite so encouraging, but there are some.

This is one of the few reviews acknowledging that I am trying to make a point in the novel, beyond telling a funny story — that this is satire, not just comedy. I’m heartened by that. Here’s the review:

Halifax Chronicle Herald reviews THR

October 3rd, 2010

My father-in-law called me this morning from the Annapolis Valley to let me know that I’d “made the big time” with a review in The Chronicle Herald. When I found it online, the PR guy in me looked for positive, cover-worthy phrases that could be pulled out for future promotional use. I can’t help it. That’s what PR guys do. There were a couple lines that worked for me:

“The High Road will surely make you laugh.”

“There will be snickers, occasional snorting and hooting, and almost certainly rip-roaring belly laughs.”

Nice. Here’s the review:

Winnipeg Free Press reviews THR (Wow!)

September 27th, 2010

Reading reviews is often a heart-wrenching, stomach-turning exercise that can leave you elated, enraged, or any point in between. I’m happy to report that I’m squarely in the “elated” category after reading the Winnipeg Free Press review of The High Road that ran this past weekend. One line in particular is already etched in stone in my memory:

“In The Best Laid Plans, the Toronto-based former Liberal Party strategist introduced us to a new brand of political satire– the most irreverent, sophisticated, and engaging CanLit has seen since Stephen Leacock.”

Wow. I’m bowled over and grateful. Here’s the review:

Guelph Mercury Reviews THR

September 6th, 2010

When we dropped off my older son for his first year at University of Guelph this past Saturday, we picked up the local paper, the Guelph Mercury. I was delighted to see that the very positive review of The High Road that ran in the Kitchener Waterloo Record, also ran in the Mercury. It’s wonderful to have positive reviews, although I expect they won’t all be like this one!

The Record in KW the first to review THR

September 3rd, 2010

Books: Angus McLintock, the reluctant MP, is back in Terry Fallis’ sequel to The Best Laid Plans

September 03, 2010
By Jean Mills

The High Road

by Terry Fallis

(McClelland & Stewart, 352 pages, $19.99 softcover)

When we last saw political aide Daniel Addison, the narrator of Terry Fallis’ Leacock Medal-winning novel, The Best Laid Plans, he was trying to recover from the results of an election campaign which both he and his candidate — engineering professor Angus McLintock — were determined to lose.

Fallis’ debut novel was a blast from start to finish and in the sequel, The High Road, to be released on Tuesday, he picks up exactly where he left off, chronicling the next steps in the journey of the reluctant parliamentarian and his sidekick.

Still grieving his recently deceased wife, McLintock approaches his new political career as a way to survive. Riding shotgun is Addison, a talented politico who would rather be an English professor. The two men share a love of chess and of correcting others’ grammar errors, but while Angus prefers to sail straight into the fray, Daniel is kept busy in the background steering the boat.

Fallis’ talent for alternating between slapstick and sentiment (the good kind) proves that the accolades for The Best Laid Plans were not misplaced.

In Addison, the politically savvy but sometimes bumbling narrator, Fallis is able to combine his own experiences as a political aide at Queen’s Park and on Parliament Hill with a wicked satirical view of the Ottawa most of us will never see. And in McLintock, we meet an MP who epitomizes the public servant we all crave: hardworking, honest and fiercely Canadian.

The High Road includes other familiar faces: Muriel, the diehard Liberal octogenarian who knows the game inside and out; Pete1 and Pete2 who bring punk and politics face to face; Lindsay, who has become Addison’s partner in crime (and other places); and the players of Parliament Hill, the good, bad and sometimes ugly. Fallis nails every scene with a deftness that prevents characters from turning into caricatures — and that’s no small feat in a book featuring an American First Lady from hell and a political adversary known as “Flamethrower.”

An interesting note: Fallis, a Toronto writer, self-published and podcast The Best Laid Plans before winning the 2008 Leacock Medal for Humour and drawing the attention of publishers McClelland & Stewart. The High Road has already been made available as a podcast, but readers will want to savour Fallis’ unique gift for written storytelling.

The big question remains: will there be a book three?

Jean Mills is a Guelph writer and the author of the young adult novels Abby and the Curling Chicks and Toymaker’s Son (Pugwash Publishers).