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Author Topic: Thomas King - Short History of Indians in Canada
sarabble
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10937

posted 01 December 2005 12:38 PM      Profile for sarabble     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Perusing the reviews in the book lounge this week, and found the one on Thomas King's latest literary endeavour, a collection of short stories that the reviewer describes as "a pervasive deadpan on painful issues of racism and loss."

I remember tuning in to King's CBC radio comedy show, Dead Dog Cafe, which ran from 1997-2000 ("Stay Calm...Be Brave...Wait for the Signs...." - remember?) I thought combining a political critique with humour was very effective.

Recently, I met Don Kelly, who is both a stand-up comic and the Communications Director at the Assembly of First Nations. Some of his comedic material certainly has a 'political' message, and most people seem to 'get' his message because, in part, a laughing audience is a listening audience.

The reviewer says he found King's stories "hard to warm up to....It felt as though the stories didn’t like (him)." I wonder, is there any of the humour from King's Dead Dog days in this new book, and if there isn't much/any, what affect does this have on the reader (especially if they know King's work mostly through Dead Dog Cafe)?


From: The Capital | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 01 December 2005 03:17 PM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Read the review we're talking about here: www.rabble.ca/reviews

I think that it's not so much a matter of their not being humour but more a matter of the distancing effect ironic humour. Of course, satire also has the power to make you laugh and cry at the same time, and the bit quoted in the review from the title story has that effect on me.


From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 01 December 2005 03:18 PM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Has anyone read any of Thomas King's other work?
From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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Babbler # 10724

posted 01 December 2005 03:20 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rundler:
Read the review we're talking about here: www.rabble.ca/reviews
Actually, I was disappointed. I thought the book was "A History of Short Indians in Canada", so I was expected a book on the ... ow, ow, stop hitting m

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 01 December 2005 03:29 PM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now that's humour!
From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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Babbler # 6477

posted 01 December 2005 04:00 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thomas King is a wonderful storyteller and an excellent speaker; I've seen him tell a story in person once and it was great; also he gave the Massey lectures on Ideas not too long ago.

Some years ago he read his novel Green Grass, Runnning Water on CBC radio. I would highly recommend it to everyone; it's excellent; magical realism, I guess, funny with sad spots. He has a lot of fun with the details; all sorts of people pass through with names you might recognise if you think about it, such as Sue Moody and Cathy Traill and Cliff Sifton. It's set in southern Alberta, sort of, with the Old Man River dam, four very old Indians who have escaped from the old folks home, etc. [one of them was named the Lone Ranger, I forget the rest]

I've also read Tales from Medicine River which is set on a reserve in southern Alberta; I forget if it's fictionalized or else is either the Blood or Peigan reserve. It's an earlier book, and the stories are a little more straightforward. I think he's gotten more experimental with time.

I haven't read his most recent book or two yet, but anything he writes is worth reading.

I think they made a movie [maybe a TV one?] about Medicine River, with Graham Greene as the main character, and Tom Jackson.

[ 01 December 2005: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged

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