Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

On November 16th we will have a Skype conference with Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Day the Falls Stood Still.  Members decided to add a "Bonus Book" for November - if we have time to talk about it, we will, otherwise we'll  post comments.   Following you will find information on our Bonus Choice.

Selected as the 2011 CBC Canada Reads Winner!

This book beat out work by Douglas Coupland and Will Ferguson because it is very, very good — a terrific Canadian political satire.

Here’s the set up: A burnt-out politcal aide quits just before an election — but is forced to run a hopeless campaign on the way out. He makes a deal with a crusty old Scot, Angus McLintock — an engineering professor who will do anything, anything, to avoid teaching English to engineers — to let his name stand in the election. No need to campaign, certain to lose, and so on.

Then a great scandal blows away his opponent, and to their horror, Angus is elected. He decides to see what good an honest M.P. who doesn’t care about being re-elected can do in Parliament. The results are hilarious — and with chess, a hovercraft, and the love of a good woman thrown in, this very funny book has something for everyone.

Terry Fallis grew up in Toronto and went to McMaster University. Drawn to politics at an early age, he worked for Cabinet Ministers both at Queen's Park and in Ottawa. His first book, The Best Laid Plans, began as a podcast, then was self-published, won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour, was re-published to great reviews by McClelland & Stewart, and was selected the 2011 winner of CBC’s Canada Reads competition. His follow-up novel is The High Road. Terry Fallis is a skilled public speaker who relishes book promotion. He is the head of the public relations agency Thornley Fallis. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children, and blogs about his writing life at

Book Reviews

The National Post 
The Montreal Gazette et al 


  1. I picked up this book after it won the CBC Canada Reads last year. I must admit at first I was skeptical - how could a political novel be dubbed the "quintessential Canadian novel" when up against the likes of The Birth House and Canadian great Carol Shields?? I was quickly brought in line however. Fallis' use of comedy and satire to bring us behind the scenes in federal politicking was masterful and entertaining. What a fab read! Thanks.

  2. I've always believed that as a citizen it was my duty to follow the news, particularly OUR news, and to keep informed about our country and its governance. In the year preceding this last election, the "debates" in the House of Commons, policies determined by polls, and the ongoing repetitive work of the spin doctors, finally disgusted me to the point that I just stopped reading, listening and watching.

    Terry Fallis has broken through that malaise - I can again laugh at Canadian politics and politicians and, more important, he has given me hope that somewhere out there one or two real-life Angus McLintocks are just waiting in the wings.

  3. Very humerous- so descriptive of characters and events, eg., Angus' first take-off in hovercraft with swim goggles on and that hair, slowly turning his head and grinning; well written; Angus' diary entries started awkwardly; enjoyed mention of Arnprior (furniture purchased for Daniel's boathouse) as I was born there and also of the inside of the Parliment Building as my family toured it in April of this year-Angus' favourite room, the library-mine too!; immediately started reading next book, The High Road.

  4. While in Niagara Falls (during our meeting with Cathy via Skype), I saw Cathy in Tim Horton's and got her to autograph my copy of her book. I learned that Terry Fallis and Cathy are friends. He coaches hockey-the same team Cathy's sons are on.