Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!

Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!: Requiem for a Divided CountryOh Canada! Oh Quebec!: Requiem for a Divided Country
by Mordecai Richler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was published in 1992 at which point the future of Quebec as a province of Canada was in doubt.
"As I write, late in September 1991, Quebec is pledged to definitely, but not necessarily, hold a referendum on sovereignty by next October. Or, on the other hand, the referendum could deal with the rest of Canada's binding offer for renewed federalism. Or, if such an offer were near, the referendum could be delayed. Or, instead of a referendum, there could be an election in 1993 to settle the question once and for all, but only for another decade." (p. 228)
The tone of the whole book is biased, snarky, and highly irreverent. This is what gives it its charm. It was a bit like listening to a very well read, highly informed person on the barstool next to you rant about the sad state of affairs among the idiots elected to govern. The french-language sign vigilantes, anti-semitism, and the folly of the building in Montreal for the 1976 Olympics are among the topics Richler touches on in his survey of Quebec politics in the 1980s. I enjoyed this book, and learned a lot from it as an historical document.
This book counts toward the 11th Canadian Book Challenge.


  1. "biased, snarky, and highly irreverent" -- ha! Think you've got this book in one. So Richler, isn't it? But you are right it captures that moment in history so well.

    1. Is there a book you would recommend that brings the issue into the present?


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...