Canadian brothers Will and Ian Ferguson provide an entertaining and hilariously funny glimpse into what it means to be Canadian. The content is divided into 17 chapters covering subjects such as: Canada: A Rich Tapestry (Who to Hate and Why), Learning the Language, Canadian Cuisine (and How to Avoid It), Mating Rituals, Beer, Social Values, Twelve Ways to Say "I'm Sorry", and one my favourites - A Cross-Canada Tour or How to Get Lost.
The final chapter is a simple test to see just how Canadian you are and cracked me up in the worst way. I would have enjoyed exams in high school so much better had the Ferguson brothers been responsible for putting them together!
This book was hilarious from the first page. Be advised that it's not a great idea to begin reading it late at night, in bed, when your partner is trying to sleep. (Sorry Honey!). I had to give up after waking him up four times due to me laughing out loud. It's one of those books where you just have to share the contents with friends and what I loved about this one is, when I usually share snippets that seem funny to me, I often get a strange or bored look in return as the humour is not easy to understand without reading more of the book. You can easily share any random piece of info from this book and it will always cause a smile - or more likely, chuckling and laughter - from the one you share it with. My husband found lots of it to be highly funny and I won't be surprised if he reads it next.
It's not easy to be offended by this book, though I found myself wondering if I should have been. I could only personally associate with two of the provinces involved (Ontario and Quebec) but greatly enjoyed reading about the others too. The parts of the book referring to Ontario and Quebec were right on the money and I especially liked the Quebec's guide to evaluating ballots. I found it great that the authors could take a topic like politics which is usually tedious to read, and made it just as funny (if not funnier) than the other subjects covered.
Another section I loved was the food section. I greatly enjoyed learning about some of the foods that are enjoyed across the provinces. Here in Quebec for example, the authors speak of poutine (my own personal thoughts on this food is that it is simply delicious but ought to be made illegal because of calories included), sweet things like sucre à la crème and tarte au sucre aka sugar pie (which are both so sweet that I swear they can cause a sugar coma), and of course the snails. I also had to laugh when the writers commented on the strange use of the word "ketchup" to mean first class here in Quebec. I am so glad it isn't just me who doesn't understand that one. The first time I heard it used was by my Father-in-law and I just couldn't work out where ketchup came into the conversation we were having.
The writers commented that no one eats the snails and similar stuff but I have to admit that when I first moved to Quebec I visited the Red Lobster here and finally tried snails - which my dear husband likes to eat from time to time (EW, never again!) and frog's legs (which are not like chicken but not that offensive either). The writers also comment on the fact that Quebecois folk like their hot dogs and I have to agree with that one. There is a restaurant in Chicoutimi in fact, that gives away a free hot dog each time you use their cash machine. Also discussed were Beaver Tails (a pastry) and Prairie Osyters among others. Beaver Tails are something I wanted to try for the longest time and even have a recipe for, but never created them. I will include the recipe in the comments. Prairie Oysters are something I think I will avoid, at any cost.
All in all. A great read that really made me look at all things Canadian in a refreshing way. I can hardly wait to dive into Will Ferguson's title "Why I Hate Canadians" which I will be reviewing soon. Highly recommended for a fun gift or something to read when you need a pick me up. It can't fail!
Author's website: http://www.willferguson.ca/