"Home from the Vinyl Cafe", by Stuart McLean.
It seems to be available at Amazon in the US and UK, not that I'm telling you where to get your books...it might be in libraries too... You can also buy the book from the CBC website. "The Vinyl Cafe" is a weekly radio program and there are a number of story collections in book form, as well as audio books read by the author/host, Stuart McLean.
If people have a hard time finding a copy, I can pick something else.
I was torn about this book. Some stories I really liked, others I didn't. Having heard Stuart McLean's radio show where he reads these stories, and having heard a couple of the collections as audio books, I felt like I was missing something by reading the stories myself. McLean is really a great story-teller and I found myself trying to conjure his voice while I was reading the stories, but it didn't quite work for me.
Anyway, there is something about the feel of the stories that seems very Canadian to me -- aside from the obvious that they are set mostly in Toronto. The stories might sometimes veer toward being a bit too ernest for some people's tastes. I consider myself part of a very jaded generation of North Americans, so sometimes I like a bit of ernestness to cut through all the cynicism.
Here are some thoughts on 3 of the stories:
Dave Cooks the Turkey
Kind of fun, but something it has in common with some of the other stories that I don’t like is its “Three’s Company" style of creating a misunderstanding or an obviously stupid decision that has awkward, embarassing implications.
I like how he sets it up to be a disaster, but nothing bad happens. It’s an unremarkable family vacation in a lot of ways, except that nothing really bad happens…and surprisingly the whole family really enjoys it.
Dave does something kind of stupid with the frogs, but I can understand it somehow, unlike some of his stupid decisions in other stories that seem improbable.
That's it for me. Anybody else? Who's next to choose a book? Do we still have a reading group?
I'm currently on a family roadtrip right now? ;)
New York to South Carolina (two day drive down) one minivan (rented) 4 adults and one 5year old boy.
Hooray for reasonable comfortable ride, a CD player (I packed ,a lot of music), my I-Pod, a DVD player for the little guy ... oh yeah... a lot of Motrin ;)
We rented a house near the beach.
I'm the only one that remembers (how's that for irony!) what the trip home will be back.
Next time, the airplane!!
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