CREATIVE AGING BOOKS AND IDEAS
Creative Aging Books & Ideas will feature Terry Fallis, the two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, at its free, virtual get-together on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.
Fallis is the author of eight national bestselling novels including Operation Angus, a national bestseller and a CBC Best Books of 2021 selection, The Best Laid Plans, which was the 2008 winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour and CBC’s Canada Reads in 2011. (This book was adapted as a six-part CBC Television miniseries and a stage musical.)
Poles Apart (2015) was a finalist for the 2016 Leacock Medal, as was The High Road in 2011. No Relation (2014) won the 2015 Leacock Medal.
Register to get access to the free Zoom link for this guaranteed humorously fun-filled reading and interactive chat with Terry Fallis at cecescott.com.
Terry’s other book successes include Up and Down, which was the winner of the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award and a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal. One Brother Shy (2017) and Albatross (2019) were also national bestsellers. In 2013, the Canadian Booksellers Association named Terry Fallis the winner of the Libris Award as Author of the Year. (All Terry’s books are published by McClelland & Stewart.)
Terry will be reading excerpts from his comic spy novel, Operation Angus; here’s a condensed review:
“We’ve got one gentle hand on a rattlesnake’s tail.”
The key to reading a Terry Fallis book is to pay attention — that way you won’t deprive yourself of the ongoing and clever bon mots that he dishes up like Canadian beaver tails. Fallis knows how to tell a story with wry humour, a skill that is harder to master than a Canadian stopping their sentences before emitting the word, “eh?” Why else would this Toronto writer be the two-time recipient of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour (2008 and 2015), as well as the Leacock two-time finalist in 2011 and 2016?
Real-life behind-the-scenes experience working for cabinet ministers at Queen’s Park and in Ottawa is the perfect backdrop for Fallis’s latest book, Operation Angus, a classic comic spy story with eccentric characters and spry dialogue that is often laugh-out-loud funny.
Angus McLintock, described as an “accidental Member of Parliament,” and his sidekick, chief of staff Daniel Addison, are invited, by a highly concerned MI6 female agent, to attend a clandestine meeting in an out-of-the-way London pub. These erstwhile men are piqued to the bone by what this agent shares, which is that Chechen separatists — who will arrive in Canada legally through existing refugee and immigration channels — are planning to assassinate the Russian president during his visit to Ottawa.
In tandem with this subterfuge are the ongoing protests at Ottawa’s nearly completed concrete-and-glass Samuel de Champlain Centre. The problem with this new structure, according to the good citizens of Ottawa, was not only that it had replaced the popular Astrolabe Theatre, which had featured live theatre, concerts and other events — a loss that upset event goers to no end — but the black braces that supported it looked like a giant spider clinging to the cliff.
“Hey hey, ho ho, spider legs have got to go.”
Daniel, the self-deprecating narrator of Operation Angus (“I’m like a Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to cut his toenails”), is brilliantly sardonic, and certainly endears himself to readers who have a ‘certain opinion’ of politicians.
Describing a meeting around security for the visiting Russian president, Daniel says: “In the four-hour briefing, the specific information that we cared about consumed about four minutes. Yep, four scintillating minutes that kept me on the edge of sleep.”
Read Cece’s full review of Operation Angus at cecescott.com and register to get access to the free Zoom link.