You know a book is good when you’re at your destination in the blink of an eye and you don’t remember how you got there. That’s what happened when I was reading Terry Fallis’ book, “The Best Laid Plans”, which is currently a contender in the CBC Canada Reads Award that is handed out yearly. As soon as you open this book; you are drawn into a world of politics, antics and humor. Terry Fallis has created two amazing characters in this novel, Angus McLintock and Daniel Addison. Characters that form an unthinkable bond where each relies on the other without thinking they’re using one another for moral support.
Most of the story is told from the perspective of Daniel Addison, a young writer for the Liberal Leader in our nation’s capital, Ottawa. After discovering the love of his life and coworker isn’t faithful, he vows to get out of the world of politics and make it in a different line of work. The only catch is that upon leaving he has to find a candidate to run for the Liberal party in order to be let go from his position. He moves into a boat house owned by the witty and charming Angus. Angus is a professor, who not only rents his houseboat out to Daniel, but helps him snag a job at the University as a professor in the English Department. Somehow, Daniel convinces Angus that he should run for the Liberal party to help him get out of politics, ensuring Angus that there is no way possible that he’ll win based on the numbers and the popularity of Eric Cameron.
When an unexpected wrench is thrown into their plan, Angus is voted into the office as the new Liberal leader, leaving both Angus and Daniel shocked and left to quickly conjure up a new strategy. With wit and humor, Angus surprisingly eases into his new role and both he and Daniel are forced into a world of politics and leaves them to deal with making important decisions for our country. The adventures they experience together will make you laugh out loud and is hands down the reason why Terry Fallis won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour.
The story of how Terry Fallis got his name and his book out on the market is an interesting tale as well. Taken from the back of his book jacket, it reads,
Terry Fallis got tired of waiting for a literary agent or a publisher to decide to take on is book. So he recorded a reading of his novel, and released it, chapter by chapter, as a podcast. People really liked it. Encouraged by that reaction, he published the book on his own. Again people really liked it. Then it won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour, beating out major authors published by the big houses. And people really liked that.
His novel is well written, smart and hilarious. If you’re looking for a book for a friend over the holidays or find it enjoyable to read fiction that is humorous, you need to pick a copy of “The Best Laid Plans”.
In my personal opinion, Fallis’ novel is a strong contender in the upcoming CBC Canada Reads competition. His novel will be defended by Ali Velshi who is a Canadian journalist who currently works for CNN.
The CBC Canada Reads competition will be taking place on February 7, 8 and 9th.