The Best Laid Plans: A Novel

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

The Best Laid Plans: A Novel

by Terry Fallis

Indigo PremierPlus | August 22, 2007 | Trade Paperback

The Best Laid Plans: A Novel is rated 4.8333 out of 5 by 6.
Thirty-something Daniel Addison is jaded and burned out from his Parliament Hill job as a speech writer for the Liberal Leader of the Opposition. After a messy breakup with his girlfriend, Daniel is eager to escape the duplicitous world of Canadian politics, so he accepts a faculty position with the University of Ottawa's English Department. He soon moves into a boathouse apartment in nearby Cumberland owned by Angus McLintock, a cranky engineering professor in his sixties who is mourning the recent loss of his wife.
Both Angus and Daniel intend to retreat from the world for a while, but fate won't have it. Angus is desperate to avoid teaching English to first-year engineering students yet again. Daniel, as penance for abandoning his party on the eve of an election, must find a Liberal candidate to run in ultra-Conservative Cumberland. In an unlikely alliance, Angus consents to stand as the in-name-only, certain-to-lose Liberal candidate, and Daniel agrees to take Angus's English class.
Everything is going according to plan until the voters are suddenly forced to take a closer look at Angus, throwing his certain defeat into doubt. Scrambling to deal with this unexpected development, Angus and Daniel land in the middle of a hilarious political maelstrom that tests not only their friendship but their beliefs in government and democracy.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 270 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.61 in

Published: August 22, 2007

Publisher: Indigo PremierPlus

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 059542872X

ISBN - 13: 9780595428724

save 5%

  • Out of stock online

$18.95  ea

Online Price

$18.95 List Price

Cart

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it - Laughed and Laughed I simply loved this book. It won the Stephen Leacock Award for humor and that worried me - for some reason I often don't find "funny" books very funny. I can't recommend this one highly enough. Daniel works as a speechwriter for the Leader of the Opposition on Parliament Hill. He is slowly changing from an idealist to a cynic. Then he finds his girlfriend in a compromising position with a certain politiican. That is enough for him to pack up and head to the University of Ottawa to teach. But they have one last request - find someone to run for the Liberals in the strongest Tory riding in the country. He says yes. And then every single person in the riding says no to him. Until he meets his landlord - Angus McLintock an engineering professor with a love of hovercrafts and a hatred of teaching English to first year engineers. Daniel offers a switch - he'll teach the class if Angus agrees to run. Angus agrees as long as Daniel promises he'll lose. They have a deal. No budget, no headquarters and only 2 volunteers - Pete1 and Pete2 (heavily pierced, mohawked and tattooed engineering students). A loss seems guaranteed. Or does it? If you ever watched the West Wing you'll love seeing the behind the scenes political maneouvering on the Canadian side of the border. It was totally laugh out loud for me.
Date published: 2008-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I am satisfied I chose Best Laid Plans wishing to learn more about Canadian politics and its government; I am glad to have made this decision, as this book turns out to be a gem of fun and inspiration. Fallis has a way with his ironic voice, putting a sarcastic tone on the most common observations making you laugh at the humour of human ridicule. I am inspired by the vision of an honest, honourable, thoughtful and humble politician (hopefully, one day in plural); an image that could be a beacon in clearing the bad names of national politics. It is thought-provoking to see the brutal portrayal of politicians doing what is popular in public opinion rather than what is of benefit to the country or the world, in parallel to regular folks doing what they don’t believe in simply for the sake of keeping their jobs and the good name among their peers. I believe, when anyone of us set out to achieve our aspirations, we had our dreams of mission and professionalism. It is true that compromises are unavoidable along the way; but if we have to sacrifice our core values and integrity just to keep the job and the monetary benefits, it’s about time to see the reality - what we’re doing is not the exact same thing that we started out doing anyway. Then what are we doing? I truly enjoyed this novel by Terry Fallis. To be honest, I was somewhat deterred by the long winded narratives in the beginning chapters. But if you hold out until chapter three or so, Fallis all of a sudden found his element and there begins a totally different book that tells an amazing story. (Maybe the author and the editor should ponder on this?) Overall, this is a book that makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you think, and through all of this learn a thing or two about Canadian politics. Not bad at all. I am satisfied.
Date published: 2008-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It seemed I was working for a saint: A reivew of The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis This is a book about hovercrafts. You’ll also find an entertaining story about Daniel Addison, a cynic/idealist who quit his job on Parliament Hill after a harrowing encounter with a rubber plant and an unexpected debriefing. As a means of breaking with his past, Addison finds a job with the University of Ottawa’s English Department and in the process of moving into a rental boathouse meets Angus McLintock, an engineering professor whose wife recently died. Angus is building the hovercraft in his workroom. Details about the author can be found at www.terryfallis.com so I won’t go into them here. The novel is written in readable and generous style. For example, p. 17 “Well, I don’t think you’re here to ask me on a date.” I paused, unsure of how to play it out. Concern clouded her face. “Oh, please, tell me you’re not here to ask me out,” she blurted, mortified. “I’m not here to ask you on a date,” I conceded. However, my predilection for minimalist writing often caused me to rail against the wordiness of the text in many places. The above, for example, could have been written like this, preserving all the dialogue but letting the reader imagine the mortification: “Well, I don’t think you’re here to ask me on a date.” I said nothing. “Oh, please, tell me you’re not here to ask me out.” “I’m not here to ask you on a date.” At times I wish Fallis had left more to the imagination rather than guiding the reader through the narrative. This is probably more of a personal preference than a critique though. The politics are a bit blunt. Angus McLintock is a kind of mythological character - gruff, honest, witty, and smart . . . almost like Rousseau’s noble savage with a doctorate in engineering. His perspective on the relation between civic life and politics is true to a certain idealism within liberal political philosophy. For example, whereas the social conservative demands repentance and forgiveness, the liberal looks for reciprocity and understanding. McLintock also makes a passionate case for national interest before personal interest – since the national interest is, after all, our collective interest (ideally, without subordinating one to the other). Where the politics are a bit less obvious but effective is in his very deliberate move to incorporate gender and gender issues. Several of the characters in the novel are feminists, including Addison and McLintock's sympathies. The novel contains a realistic balance between male and female characters and if it doesn’t completely avoid stereotypes at least uses more than half a dozen rather than one or two (the vixen, the intelligent and beautiful graduate student, the warhorse, the gifted inventor, the wise elder, etc.). A pro-feminist sympathy is simply rendered as part of the texture of the novel and, in contrast to the misogyny of so many classical texts or the hollowness of “chic lit,” is a welcome change of scenery. The Canadian "left" doesn't really make an appearance, which is too bad . . . the introduction of a discussion of "class" with regard to personal and national interest might have been interesting. As the novel unfolds we find that McLintock is the reluctant servant, the brilliant everyman, the benevolent yet mildly naïve do-gooder. Addison is the disenchanted flak catcher who must be brought back into the fullness of civic political life. I found the rustic image of McLintock a cliché but this is complicated by some rather revealing and personal journal entries written to his recently deceased wife. The majesty of McLintock is certainly undeniable. In many respects this is a coming-of-age story, a novel about rejuvination and inspiration. All in all this is a very nicely crafted feel-good story about provincial politics and the Ottawa River.
Date published: 2008-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One wonders how anyone could keep from laughing. While I am not usually a fervent consumer of Canadian authors, I have recently delved into both the serious and humorous sides of Canadian literature. I have found within "The Best Laid Plans" a refreshingly unique manner (Murphy's law meets the u-catastrophe) for writing a character driven novel. I must shamefully admit that this fictional novel brought me far closer to Canadian politics than I have been for a number of years. Granted, the world of politics is far more entertaining with an iritable Scotsman, a fiery octogenarian, two conformist punks, and a desperate Daniel trying to escape the clutches of Canadian politics. One wonders how anyone could keep from laughing.
Date published: 2008-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Instant Classic As someone who has worked in the wierd world of politics I loved this book - its real, real funny and closer to the "way things work" than even some non-fiction Ottawa books can take you. All with outstanding humour and a pace that makes me only hope there is a sequel in the offing. Move over Ian Rankin. There is a Canadian political series equivalent in the making - I hope. A great read, funny and certainly could not put this one down. Who is this Terry Fallis? I think we'll be hearing a lot more of him.
Date published: 2007-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific First Novel! When I first picked up Terry Fallis' novel which is described on the cover as a "satirical novel of Canadian politics" I wasn't expecting it to be very compelling -- I'm not much into politics, after all. But this novel was compelling from the first word. I was immediately hooked by narrator Daniel Addison and his departure from the Canadian political scene to teach English to Engineers at Ottawa University. I particularly enjoyed the hilarious and uniquely creative description of walking in on his girlfriend and a cabinet minister and describing their tryst in "parliamentary language." Rick Mercer couldn't have done a better job of setting up the laughs from this scene. But once Fallis introduced stodgy old engineering professor Angus McLintock I was double-hooked. Watching this unlikely Liberal candidate's rise to power marks one of the best books I've read this year. The main plot and sub-stories wind perfectly together providing a wonderfully balanced and thoroughly enjoyable tale. While I actually did laugh out loud several times reading this satirical novel, I was also moved and touched by the characters who live long after I have turned the final page of the book.
Date published: 2007-11-03

– More About This Product –

The Best Laid Plans: A Novel

by Terry Fallis

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 270 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.61 in

Published: August 22, 2007

Publisher: Indigo PremierPlus

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 059542872X

ISBN - 13: 9780595428724

From the Publisher

Thirty-something Daniel Addison is jaded and burned out from his Parliament Hill job as a speech writer for the Liberal Leader of the Opposition. After a messy breakup with his girlfriend, Daniel is eager to escape the duplicitous world of Canadian politics, so he accepts a faculty position with the University of Ottawa's English Department. He soon moves into a boathouse apartment in nearby Cumberland owned by Angus McLintock, a cranky engineering professor in his sixties who is mourning the recent loss of his wife.
Both Angus and Daniel intend to retreat from the world for a while, but fate won't have it. Angus is desperate to avoid teaching English to first-year engineering students yet again. Daniel, as penance for abandoning his party on the eve of an election, must find a Liberal candidate to run in ultra-Conservative Cumberland. In an unlikely alliance, Angus consents to stand as the in-name-only, certain-to-lose Liberal candidate, and Daniel agrees to take Angus's English class.
Everything is going according to plan until the voters are suddenly forced to take a closer look at Angus, throwing his certain defeat into doubt. Scrambling to deal with this unexpected development, Angus and Daniel land in the middle of a hilarious political maelstrom that tests not only their friendship but their beliefs in government and democracy.

About the Author

Terry Fallis earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from McMaster University (1983) where he became engulfed in university politics and somehow persuaded the undergraduates to elect him President of Students Union. After graduation, he turned his back on engineering and joined future Prime Minister Jean Chretien?s full time staff for the 1984 federal Liberal Leadership campaign. He served on the political staff of the Liberal Minister of State for Youth, the Honourable Jean Lapierre, in the short-lived cabinet of Prime Minister John Turner. He stayed with Lapierre as his Legislative Assistant in opposition (1984-85) following the landslide victory of Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservative Party. Terry returned to Toronto in 1985 as Legislative Assistant to the Honourable Robert Nixon, Treasurer (now called Finance Minister) in the newly-elected Liberal Ontario government led by Premier David Peterson. For nearly eight years (1988-95) after leaving provincial politics, he was a government affairs and communications consultant with international PR firm, Hill and Knowlton, including stints as Vice President running the Ontario government affairs group and finally President of Berger & Associates, a Hill and Knowlton subsidiary. In 1995, he co-founded Thornley Fallis with Joe Thornley, a full service communications consulting agency with offices in Ottawa and Toronto. Terry is also co-host of the popular business podcast, Inside PR. For nearly 20 years, Terry has couns
read more read less

Editorial Reviews

This is a funny book that could only have been written by someone with firsthand knowledge of politics in Canada, including its occasionally absurd side. It is a great read for anyone thinking of running for office, and especially reassuring for those who have decided not to."
The Hon. Allan Rock, former Justice Minister and Canadian UN Ambassador
Bravo! This is a wonderful book with a clever and funny storyline. Humour and heart run through these pages. The parliamentary setting and the backroom shenanigans reel you in. Readers will never look at a finance minister the same way again! I can't wait to buy copies for my friends. I loved it!
The Honourable Paddy Torsney, Veteran MP and Parliamentary Secretary
Terry Fallis's novel has two things that kept me hooked: characters that I cared about and a story that made me want to find out what would happen next. And often, very often, there was a line that made me laugh aloud or think twice-sometimes at the same time.
Novelist Mike Tanner, author of Acting the Giddy Goat
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart