Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Canada

Author: Mike Myers
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Canadian
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Publisher: DoubleDay Canada
First Published: Oct 22, 2016
First Line: "I am an actor, a writer, a producer, a director, a husband and a father but no description of me is complete without saying that I'm a Canadian."

Book Description from GoodReadsComedy superstar Mike Myers writes from the (true patriot) heart about his 52-year relationship with his beloved Canada.

Mike Myers is a world-renowned actor, director and writer, and the man behind some of the most memorable comic characters of our time. But as he says: "no description of me is truly complete without saying I'm a Canadian." He has often winked and nodded to Canada in his outrageously accomplished body of work, but now he turns the spotlight full-beam on his homeland.

His hilarious and heartfelt new book is part memoir, part history and pure entertainment. It is Mike Myers' funny and thoughtful analysis of what makes Canada Canada, Canadians Canadians and what being Canadian has always meant to him. His relationship with his home and native land continues to deepen and grow, he says. In fact, American friends have actually accused him of "enjoying" being Canadian and he's happy to plead guilty as charged.

A true patriot who happens to be an expatriate, Myers is in a unique position to explore Canada from within and without. With this, his first book, Mike brings his love for Canada to the fore at a time when the country is once again looking ahead with hope and national pride. "Canada" is a wholly subjective account of Mike's Canadian experience. Mike writes, "Some might say, 'Why didn't you include this or that?' I say there are 35 million stories waiting to be told in this country, and my book is only one of them."

This beautifully designed book is illustrated in colour (and "not" color) throughout, and its visual treasures include personal photographs and Canadiana from the author's own collection. Published in the lead-up to the 2017 sesquicentennial, this is Mike Myers' birthday gift to his fellow Canadians. Or as he puts it: "In 1967, Canada turned one hundred.Canadians all across the country made Centennial projects.This book is my Centennial Project. I'm handing it in a little late.... Sorry."
 



My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: With the first line of his book Myers relays his love for our mutual  home country of Canada. While many people know of him as an actor from SNL and the Shrek and Austin Powers series (among others), most people who have seen him in interviews know that he is also a fiercely proud Canuck.

As a proud Canadian myself I could relate to much of what Mike described as he shares anecdotes from his upbringing in 'Scarberia' (aka Scarborough), a short drive from where I partially grew up in Markham, Ontario. It was a romp down memory lane as he recalls the Canadian TV of our childhood (Mr Dress-Up, The Friendly Giant ...), our own dialect/jargon (two-four, double-double, EH! ...) and his memories of famous Toronto haunts like the CNE and Sam the Record Man. He also includes stories about his rise to fame on stages in Toronto, London and Chicago as well as his beginnings on SNL. And while this section gave me all the nostalgic feels I couldn't relate to everything mentioned -  like Canadians pronouncing the word 'been' as 'bean' or saying 'aboot' which I have never said and rarely heard.

And that's okay, eh?  This book is Myers' personal account of what it was like for him to grow up in Canada. He also shares his thoughts about our Canadian psyche, our wonderfully dry, self-deprecating humour, heart and humility.  Myers also recounts Canada's history which was well-researched - without sounding like a Grade 9 textbook.

While he hasn't lived in Canada permanently for a few decades he is Canadian through and through. He has the unique aspect of viewing Canada as an insider and as an outsider. He has maple syrup running through his veins, a love for Hostess ketchup-flavoured chips, an abiding love for hockey and our country. 

As our country gets ready to celebrate the sesquicentennial (150th birthday) of our country in 2017 Myers shares his feelings and concerns for Canada.  He gives us food for thought about the struggle we have with our country's identity, especially in relation to our neighbours to the south. While we're teased for being quiet, overly apologetic, hockey loving people who add 'eh's' onto sentences we also know how to laugh at ourselves and (hopefully) realize how good we have it here in the Great White North.  

I appreciate how unabashedly and unapologetically proud Myers is for his home and native land. His continuing support, affection and respect for our country warms this Canuck heart. This is a funny and informative read which is, ultimately, a love letter to Canada from Myers. And we love ya right back.  Now pass the two-four and the back bacon on a bun and turn up the Hip, eh?

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