Sunshine Sketches Of A Little Town

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Sunshine Sketches Of A Little Town

by Stephen Leacock
Illustrator Seth

McClelland & Stewart | October 15, 2013 | Hardcover

Sunshine Sketches Of A Little Town is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.
In this lavishly illustrated gift edition, Stephen Leacock's beloved comic classic gets a fresh new look from renowned cartoonist Seth. For long-time fans of Stephen Leacock and Seth, collectors of Canadiana, as well as readers of Lemony Snicket and Chester Brown's Louis Riel.

As funny, relevant, and insightful today as when it was first published, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town presents a vibrant and unforgettable portrait of the delightful citizens of the fictional small town of Mariposa, Ontario. Now in this sumptuously designed gift edition, internationally acclaimed cartoonist Seth brings his unique vision and artistry to bear on the inhabitants of this little town to spectacular effect. With more than 40 full- and double-page colour illustrations throughout, this special edition is an extraordinarily beautiful and loving tribute to Mariposa and its residents, one that is sure to enchant long-time fans of Leacock's book as well as captivate a new generation of readers.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8.37 × 5.63 × 1.34 in

Published: October 15, 2013

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771046677

ISBN - 13: 9780771046674

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Illustrated Collector's Edition This is a beautiful hardcover collector's edition of this Canadian classic which has been profusely illustrated by the comic artist commonly known as Seth. Starting with a lovely gold foil dust jacket, moving on to pull-out flap page with a mosaic of inch+ square portraits of each character mentioned throughout the stories. Plentiful illustrations form the front and end pages and each story has several accompanying "decorations" with at least one being a two page spread. The presentation of the book and the thick quality paper make it a joy to read and keep on one's shelf. As to the book itself, Leacock is lauded as humourist of his time and is the author of many collections. This is my first time reading *anything* by him! I did a bit of research on the book prior to reading it to see if it was considered a novel or collection of short stories; I found it referred to as "stories" over and over again so that is the approach I took to reading and reviewing it. I read one story a day and collected my thoughts. Overall, the writing is tremendous and I thoroughly enjoyed Leacock's voice which was very modern considering the time period he was writing from. He's able to tell a story from both points of view incredibly well and one would never be able to tell where he (or the narrator of these stories) stood personally on issues such politics and religion. Unfortunately, even though I loved the writing and style, the humour passed me by. I rarely found anything funny at all until about halfway through the book when the subject of politics came up and I did find Leacock's presentation of Canadian political parties to be hilariously relevant even unto today and loved how his wit unbiasedly made fun of all around rather than modern day's spiteful and hate-tinged political humour. I also found Leacock to be quite witty in his way of telling about the silliness of the romantic. I have other titles by this author and will look to reading more of his work. The book opens with the original 1912 preface and ends with an afterword by the current illustrator, Seth. 1. The Hostelry of Mr. Smith - Used as an introductory chapter leading into the first "sketch". First we are introduced to the town of Mariposa, it's beauty, landscape, geography, setting, layout, architecture, and such at some length. Then the description works its way to the downtown core, "Main Street", if you will, with brief introductions to prominent citizens whom we'll most likely meet again in more detail later on, until finally the narrative settles in on describing Mr. Jos. Smith, proprietor of the town's hotel and local drinking establishment, in other words, the hub of Mariposa. Next is told the tale of how Mr. Smith came to loose his liquor license and subsequently worked to getting it back. Smith is a shrewd businessman, whose every move centres around business but while profit may be his ultimate goal nobody ever feels slighted by the rotund, jovial larger than life man. I like the writing style and from this story can tell that I am going to enjoy these stories, however, I didn't find it humorous. Light-hearted, flippant, easy going, yes, but at this point I'm not sure whether I'm going to take to Stephen Leacock as the great humourist he is known as in Canada. (3/5) 2. The Speculations of Jefforson Thorpe - In this story is told the capitalistic ventures of the barber. Well, all he seems to do is give shaves. Anyway, Mr. Smith from the last story is not present in this one but he is mentioned numerous times and we know this is were Smith gets his shave. Again I enjoy the writing style, language and atmosphere created but there wasn't much to this story. Jefferson Thorpe was a talker, a man who knew a bit of everything and could hold an audience spellbound with his knowledge, which he did everyday as he took a good half-hour to shave each customer. He was also into mining and held many certificates and papers, a drawerful, on various different mines up North. He'd take one out and tell the story of just why it wasn't making money yet and what the idiots needed to do to pull her through. Then one day, his silver mine strikes a load and Jefferson is a rich man. Then at this point he later turns to investing in land in Cuba, plantations, bananas etc. He becomes interested in helping the downtrodden and it winds up being a scam, but for some reason we don't feel bad and neither does Jefferson. It's back to work, shaving, as usual, which he never stopped doing, but now he needs to work late to pay back money a friend invested with him. Still not finding any humour here. An atmospheric story of a good person, whose life can be changed by money but whose character money cannot change. (4/5) 3. The Marine Excursions of the Knights of Pythias - OK, ok, I'm amused. You know these stories are really a whole lot about nothing but the make for peaceful reading and this certainly makes me think of my own home town. The first good portion of the story really just reflects on how multi-cultural the town is: it's March and everybody is wearing of the Green, St. Andrew's Day and everyone's wearing a thistle, St George's Day and by, gum, we're all glad to be Englishmen. Then along comes the 4th of July and we're decked out in red, white and blue! All little Canadian towns/villages have an ethnic background but the British Isles have a big dominance in southern Ontario and my hometown was like Mariposa My folks were British immigrants and everybody, and I do mean *every* body, we knew was England, Ireland (both), Scotland or Wales. And they really didn't care too much if you were Scottish or English or what they were all just glad you liked your ale warm and uncarbonated!! So this story put me in the mood as it moves into an actual event of the towns annual Excursion Day on the steamer Mariposa Belle, her hilarious sinking and and even funnier rescue and rescue of the rescuers, LOL. No main character's here, aside from the boat and the town, but Smith shows up once again and ends up doing a good deed. We've gotten to know the undertaker and Reverend Dean a bit by this point too. (5/5) 4. The Ministrations of the Rev. Mr. Drone - I better stop writing such long opinions on these stories. Right. Not funny. One slight chuckle at the end when they get a certain Mr. Dreery to lecture on English Humour. 'nough said. We've me Rev. Dean Drone before, he's become a regular character but here the story centres on him. Your usual ecclesiastical tale of the pleasant, smart, but somewhat not all there pastor. The Church of England is the reigning religion is Mariposa; a few other denominations have been mentioned since but the COE has the Church on the Hill and Rev. Dean is the town's number one pastor. A smart man, reads Greek in his spare time, but due to an inadequate teacher at the seminary is at a loss with mathematics, thus the church books are in disarray. Add onto this that the congregation finally fulfills its dream and builds a brand new Church Upon the Hill. That the new Temple, Ark of Refuge, lighthouse, and tabernacle is not paid for seems to have slipped everyone's mind and as the years go by the Dean's books, get worse, his preaching for pledges and donations become more dire and a growing number of members are finding Catholicism. LOL This one has an ending that leads into the next story when a lawyer gets a fundraising idea to pay off the debt. (4/5) 5. The Whirlwind Campaign in Mariposa - Much shorter than the previous ones. The town's influential and businessmen, etc. decide to organize a campaign to raise money for the church's debt and everybody becomes very excited and wrapped up in the organizing of it and the meetings that eventually it runs out of steam and ends because their is no one left to actually donate. A lot of new characters involved in this one (2/5) 6. The Beacon on the Hill - This story brings to a close the last stories which could be called a trilogy as they are connected by the church and occur one after the other. This one gave me a chuckle or two but at this point I know I'm not finding Leacock's writing humorous in the least. It is however decidedly readable, has a light-hearted air that makes one able to visualize the characters inhabiting the world he has created. I am very much enjoying his writing. This story brings about the fire of the church that has been so troubling of late and the downfall of the Rev. Dean. What is brought to the forefront is how important and terrifying is a fire in a small wooden town, how the inhabitants are not fighting for one building but for the entire town itself and once more Mr. Smith shows up for a paragraph or two wearing a new hat, this time as the volunteer chief of firemen. (4/5) 7. The Extraordinary Entanglement of Mr. Pupkin - A lead-in story whose only purpose is to set up the next story. We meet and learn the personalities of entirely new personages here. Judge Pepperleigh, Conservative, with bouts of extreme anger or simply a judiciary temperament. His late son, Neil Pepperleigh, perfect specimen of manhood, whom everyone but the Judge knew was a heavy drinker and perished in action during the Boer War, one Mr. Pupkin with all the typical traits of a young banker, who has a "craze" for matchstick poker and who once mistakenly took his respect for a certain Miss Lawson for love. Upon closing, the daughter of Judge Pepperleigh returns from boarding school and Pupkin falls "clean, plumb, straight, flat, absolutely in love with her." I got a giggle out of the Conservative/Liberal jokes which were just the same as those today, showing Canadian politics have not changed much since the time of Sir John A.. Again, another light-hearted small town story which leaves interest for the follow-up story of the possible couple introduced here. (4/5) Plus stories 8-12.
Date published: 2014-04-16

– More About This Product –

Sunshine Sketches Of A Little Town

Sunshine Sketches Of A Little Town

by Stephen Leacock
Illustrator Seth

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 8.37 × 5.63 × 1.34 in

Published: October 15, 2013

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771046677

ISBN - 13: 9780771046674

Read from the Book

The Hostelry of Mr. SmithI don’t know whether you know Mariposa. If not, it is of no consequence, for if you know Canada at all, you are probably well acquainted with a dozen towns just like it. There it lies in the sunlight, sloping up from the little lake that spreads out at the foot of the hillside on which the town is built. There is a wharf beside the lake, and lying alongside of it a steamer that is tied to the wharf with two ropes of about the same size as they use on the Lusitania. The steamer goes nowhere in particular, for the lake is landlocked and there is no navigation for the Mariposa Belle except to “run trips” on the first of July and the Queen’s Birthday, and to take excursions of the Knights of Pythias and the Sons of Temperance to and from the Local Option Townships. In point of geography the lake is called Lake Wissanotti and the river running out of it the Ossawippi, just as the main street of Mariposa is called Missinaba Street and the county Missinaba County. But these names do not really matter. Nobody uses them. People simply speak of the “lake” and the “river” and the “main street,” much in the same way as they always call the Continental Hotel, “Pete Robinson’s” and the Pharmaceutical Hall, “Eliot’s Drug Store.” But I suppose this is just the same in every one else’s town as in mine, so I need lay no stress on it. The town, I say, has one broad street that runs up from the lake, commonly called the Main Street. There is no doubt about its width. Whe
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From the Publisher

In this lavishly illustrated gift edition, Stephen Leacock's beloved comic classic gets a fresh new look from renowned cartoonist Seth. For long-time fans of Stephen Leacock and Seth, collectors of Canadiana, as well as readers of Lemony Snicket and Chester Brown's Louis Riel.

As funny, relevant, and insightful today as when it was first published, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town presents a vibrant and unforgettable portrait of the delightful citizens of the fictional small town of Mariposa, Ontario. Now in this sumptuously designed gift edition, internationally acclaimed cartoonist Seth brings his unique vision and artistry to bear on the inhabitants of this little town to spectacular effect. With more than 40 full- and double-page colour illustrations throughout, this special edition is an extraordinarily beautiful and loving tribute to Mariposa and its residents, one that is sure to enchant long-time fans of Leacock's book as well as captivate a new generation of readers.

About the Author

Decades after his death in 1944, STEPHEN LEACOCK remains one of the world's best-loved humorous writers. Born in 1869 and educated in Canada, Leacock was Professor Economics at McGill University. His greatest fame, however, was as a humorist, thanks to a stream of books that followed Literary Lapses (1910) at the rate of almost one a year. Of these, Sunshine Sketches has proved to be his most popular, ever since its publication in 1912.

Acclaimed cartoonist SETH is the author of the comic book series Palookaville and such graphic novels as It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken; Wimbledon Green; and The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists. As a book designer, he has worked on such projects as The Portable Dorothy Parker, the bestselling Complete Peanuts collection, and Lemony Snicket's new series, All The Wrong Questions. His work frequently appears in The Walrus and The New Yorker. In 2011, Seth received the Harbourfront Festival Prize. He lives in Guelph.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town: "Leacock had a wonderful ear for dialogue and was superbly skilled in creating polished, self-contained scenes and in evoking character with a few sure strokes." -- Will Ferguson
Praise for Seth: "To read a book by Seth is to enter an oddly cozy, perfectly designed world where humor, nostalgia, and a gentle sadness pervade like the last autumnal rays of sunlight on a quiet afternoon." -- San Francisco Weekly