Saturday, November 24, 2012

This Week's Book: The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

Probably a less engaging review this time, if only because I'm beat. This was funny.

November 18-24: The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

Satire (2007 - 312 pp.) 

The Best Laid Plans is rightly organized into two parts. The first details a Liberal campaign trail in a Conservative stronghold, following an unwilling candidate with a budget of $157.23 and all of about half a dozen supporters. The second explores possibilities of what could happen if a Member of Parliament is more forthright than his peers, which is a massive understatement. The protagonist of the book is the aforementioned unlikely MP's executive assistant, who invariably becomes a pincushion of abuse. 

The first part is hilarious, and is exactly what I was hoping I'd be reading. The campaign angle lends itself to all kinds of mishaps, which drag the reader through a tragicomedy of stepping in excrement, woefully unorganized meetings, and being chased by dogs during canvassing. I would be remiss in saying the second part gets too political, as this is a political satire, but that's the feeling I get. The faux-heartwarming story of the firebrand MP isn't as compelling as the campaign story. That the Conservative enemy is being fought on the basis of tax cuts, instead of a more visceral potential Liberal fear like an anti-environment or anti-labour policy, feels empty. The romance subplot between our protagonist and the riding's former Liberal candidate's granddaughter doesn't add much. I really enjoyed this book - I just felt like the climax happened halfway through. 

Thanks to a non-RYM friend for the recommendation and for letting me borrow the book. 

Ease of Reading: 9 
Educational Content: 2

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