Remember how I was reading this book for, like, three weeks? Because we were supah-busy and then Eleanor went on sleep-strike and also it got REALLY BORING THERE I SAID IT. The latter half of this book is too boring to make you feel like reading, especially when there is INTERNET to stare at blankly.
But the first bit is kind of good, I think? The whole book is Ferguson yakking on about his travels across Canada, replete with HISTORY and LOCAL COLOR. It’s probably sort of an interesting whatzit, even if you aren’t Canadian. I mean, I lived in Victoria so obviously I’m like COOL, The Swan! I used to drink there with my nerdy English Lit brethren. But then the bit on Alberta is on an eensy town in NORTHERN Alberta, and I’m still like, Yessssss, go onnnnn… And I’m only Canadian in the loosest sense.
And parts of it are vaguely factual, which is my favorite kind. Like, ‘…Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest national park in North America and one that covers a vast flat forest the size of, oh, some European country or other. Belgium, maybe.’ But in parts it gets very 8th Grade Social Studies, all The Hudson Bay Company and Jacques Cousteau and fur trading and now I’m just rattling off all the Canadian history I know.
There are some tired old Canadian jokes in here. Saskatchewan sounds like a sneeze! GrandpaLOLs! But most of the humor is either ACTUALLY FUNNY or completely inoffensive. Oh god, like Canadians. What I’m saying is, you aren’t reading it for the chuckles. So I guess you’re reading it for the geography lesson? I have no idea why you should read this.
It did make me want to go to Moose Jaw. Let me repeat: it made me WANT to VISIT the PRAIRIES. VOLUNTARILY. I have been to the prairies exactly once, and they gave me the howling fantods. They are soflatyouguys. So flat. But I would still go, because one time this guy built an enormous iron ship out of parts he cast himself so that he could sail back to Finland (this was just before they finally hauled him off to the asylum) and it’s STILL THERE and I kind of want to see it.
This is not a ringing endorsement, I am well aware. Eyummmmm, five caterpillars?