Welcome Home – Travels in Small-town Canada, by Stuart McLean

Welcome Home – Travels in Small-town Canada, by Stuart McLean (First published 1992, 10th anniversary edition 2002 republished in 2010)

Stuart McLean steps outside his alter-ego of “Dave” of the Vinyl Cafe stories and here writes as himself, an author searching for genuine small towns in Canada. These towns had to have bus-stops, no cash machines, perhaps a ten-pin bowling alley with an actual human pin-setter. They had to be small, run by the people who live there, dominated by whatever resource or source of income the place naturally has, and perhaps have an ice-hockey rink. He was looking for the heart of Canada. In writing about these places, McLean has produced something of a potted history of the nation. It is really, really charming. It is engrossing – every single page of its whopping 633-page bulk. McLean writes in his usual spare, yet eloquent style, with carefully chosen words. He is a master of the final one-liner and he does drop them frequently here with excellent effect. (Continue reading…)

About M. Bijman

Avid reader, longtime writer of book reviews and literary analyses. Interested in literature, creativity and cognition, language and linguistics, musicology, and technology. Occasionally writes poems and bits of music.

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