King John of Canada

King John of Canada

Book - 2007
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A hilarious political satire in the tradition of Mordecai Richler. This is a funny, biting political satire set in the not-too-distant future. A series of minority governments, and endless Quebec referendums (designed to lose narrowly, to keep the money coming) have left Canada almost ungovernable. When the Governor General resigns in disgrace and the House of Windsor implodes in London, a media baron launches the idea of a Canadian king or queen elected by lottery. It starts as a joke -- except that the lucky winner, King John, a bright and charismatic guy from Toronto, knows exactly what people want. Soon Quebec is gone, while Toronto's surprise bid to leave Canada is averted by shifting his official residence, the new seat of power, to the Toronto waterfront. Many good things happen, and the politicians go along for the ride. And the blockades of Native lands are ended for good, after John is heroically wounded keeping the peace at risk to his life. His popularity soars and Canadian morale soars with it. Soon the rest of the world is taking notice of this model leader. In the United States, the blue states look enviously northward. Then Canada's king, ignoring assassination threats, goes on a formal visit to Washington. . .
Publisher: Toronto : M&S, c2007
ISBN: 9780771033094
Branch Call Number: GAR
Characteristics: 322 p. ;,24 cm


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May 30, 2015

This novel wasn't especially satirical and at times seemed didactic and long winded. The novel definitely sends up the "Laurentian Concensus" along with right wing Westerners and Red State America. Probably worth it if you are a Canadian political junkie. Just thought the author could have made it funnier and more readable.

Great idea for a plot, brilliantly woven references to real political events and tongue in cheek prediction of outcome of some of our dearly held Canadian policies to promote unity. As Canada falls apart, King John, formerly of Toronto, brings innate skills to rescue what he can of the Canadian experiment based on a vertical mosaic.
However, in an attempt to create suspense the plot line is confusing and makes for an annoying read. Gardiner would do well to study the style of Terry Fallis in developing a great story line on some comprehensible time trajectory.

zed33 Oct 10, 2009

I really enjoyed this book. It Is quite different from my normal tastes. But when I saw it displayed at the library, I took it home and barely put it down. While reading it, I kept describing passages to my husband. I loved the parallels to current issues and would love if some of them could be solved so satisfyingly.
The only problem I had, is due to my own ignorance of Canadian political history. Sometimes when passed issues were described, I was unsure whether true or author liberties.


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FavouriteFiction Oct 31, 2009

Having a King in Canada started out as a joke and an effort to save a failing country. King John of Canada however makes some surprising moves like getting rid of Quebec and ending the native standoff.

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