Ford AbomiNation, by Linwood Barclay

Eight stars

My experience with Linwood Barclay has solely been with his stellar novels of fiction and intrigue. Before he became a bestselling author, Barclay was a humour writer for a Toronto newspaper. This piece, full of dry wit and sarcasm (my language!), has Barclay using his sharp pen (and tongue) to offer some analysis of what is going on in Ontario with Premier Doug Ford. While readers are best to have some foreknowledge of the Ford Nation and Ontario politics, the humour-filled narrative is enough to fill in many of the gaps any outsider has in their understanding. Barclay, pulls no punches as he mocks, teases, and lightheartedly dismantles the current Progressive Conservative leader’s ideas and acts, listing all those who are on the hit list for reasons unknown. As autistic students suffer his budgetary pen and vehement speeches, the sex education curriculum would have Ward Cleaver tipping is pipe towards Ford. Ontario’s forests beware, as there is a massive extension to Toronto’s subways needed to get to the Ford summer cottage, and books… who reads them and so why should we offer publishing incentives? Barclay shows that Ford is Canada’s Trump (and yes, the premier has a degree from Trump University), willing to do what he thinks and with sycophants lapping up his every word. With a similarly indoctrinating premier here in Alberta, we are surely on our way to a similar demise, set to be the laughing stock of left and centre-right Canadians before long. Recommended to those who need a humorous boost, as well as the reader who wants to explore some of the lighter parts of Canadian provincial politics.

This is a short piece, just over 100 printed pages (and close to 2 hours of audio). For the reader who needs to sit back, the audiobook is read by Linwood Barclay himself, who injects all the humour from off the page. In a zippy narrative, Barclay lays out all his arguments and wraps them in sarcasm, such that any Ford officials would be tied-up for days to see that they are the brunt of jokes. Short chapters handle a variety of topics that allows this to be read in a single sitting, while leaving them feeling better educated, or at least protected from all the dastardly ideas that spew from Queen’s Park (Ontario’s legislature) until the Ontario electorate is able to offer their voice on what is going on. While Barclay might have penned this to offer staunch mockery, his seriousness cannot be lost on the attentive reader. Proof positive why I enjoy Linwood Barclay’s writing so much. Fiction or non-, I cannot get enough!

Kudos, Mr. Barclay, for giving me a few giggles as I shake my head from out West! God help us if you, or another, seek to develop something about our Jason Kenney!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: