Terry Fallis’s The Best Laid Plans announced as Canada Reads winner
After a final bout with Ami McKay’s The Birth House, Terry Fallis’s political satire The Best Laid Plans has taken the top honour at Canada Reads 2011. The winning title follows an old engineering professor named Angus McLintock as he runs for federal office—a race he’s certain he’ll lose. Instead, McLintock wins his race, and as a politician unconcerned with his re-election, he decides to take on Parliament, with predictably comic results. Self-published in 2007 and later picked up by McClelland & Stewart after winning the Stephen Leacock Medal For Humour in 2008, The Best Laid Plans, Fallis’ first novel, won out over Angie Abdou’s The Bone Cage, Jeff Lemire’s Essex County and Unless by Carol Shields.
Canada Reads panel member and CNN reporter Ali Velshi made the case for The Best Laid Plans, saying, “This book is about the current thing that affects us now in our world, which is the people who make decisions for us.” Former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque mimicked Velshi’s sentiments about the book: “Today, in Canada, people don’t vote and we live in a democratic country. If people read this book, they would want to vote. We need this.” Fallis’ own reaction to the news that his book had won was appropriately droll. Calling himself “thunderstruck,” Fallis told CBC News: “If I’m sounding a bit muffled it’s because I’m curled on the floor of my library in a fetal position breathing into a paper bag.”
• Canada Reads names 2011 winner [CBC News]