Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: Frenzied Fiction by Stephen Leacock

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

Frenzied Fiction by Stephen Leacock

This collection of short tales contains some hilarious “doozies”. Written by the acclaimed Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock and published in 1918, the humor is different from today’s humor books by someone like Dave Barry. Give these tales a chance-they really can deliver a good chuckle and a belly laugh or two.

My favorites are the first and the next to last. The first, “My Revelations as a Spy” is a spy story of the First World War and trust me it like no spy story you’ve ever read. (I’m smiling and chuckling as I write this.) J

The next to last tale “In Dry Toronto” deals with Prohibition. Now, I never knew that there was Prohibition in Canada. Having lived in Minnesota, I met several people who remembered their grandfathers’ tales of “rum running” from Canada to the US during Prohibition. So what was going on? Well, it seems that Quebec Province was dead set against Prohibition so each province could decide for themselves if they wanted to be wet or dry.

The story begins with our narrator (each story has its narrator) on a train from Montreal to Toronto. On the train, he’s befriended by a man-a true Toronto booster-who takes him around and shows him all the “changes” since Prohibition. This is truly hilarious-you’ll be very surprised by what has and what has not changed!

There was just one story-“The Prophet in our Midst-that I didn’t enjoy…it seems that humor can get too dated and too rambling-at least for me. You may have better luck.

As in the best humor, there are interesting ideas and principles raised and its fun to think that these ideas are almost a hundred years old. How much has changed? Not much.

Perfectly read by Debra Lynn ( in a dead pan way), you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf. or Kindle format here.

This month is audio-book month. Stop by Heather’s June 9th post at Books and Quilts for information on audio-book activities and deals this month. BTW, if you're particularly interested in Canadian books and authors, Books and Quilts is the place for you.

Stephen Leacock’s summer home in Orillia, Ontario is now a museum and open to visitors. Find out about the museum and other Orillia fun places here.

1 comment:

Heather said...

The one Steven Leacock story that stands out for me is when he goes into the bank to open an account.

There is a new Canadian Reading Challenge starting on July 1 as well as a Canada Day readathon. I'll be posting about those in the next week.