CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

W. O. Mitchell.

Toronto, Macmillan, c1982.
26pp, cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-7715-9728-2.

Grades 11 and up.
Reviewed by Pauline A. Burns.

Volume 11 Number 4.
1983 July.

W. O. Mitchell is the author of the book, Who Has Seen the Wind, which has sold over a quarter of a million copies in Canada alone since its publication in 1947. This latest volume combines five of his plays under one cover: "Back to Beulah," "The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon," "The Devil's Instrument," "The Kite," and "For Those in Peril on the Sea."

Mitchell, in his introduction, says that, "The playwright invites his audience to be involved spectators and listeners," and those activities are combined with the use of the readers' imaginations when a play becomes something written rather than performed.

All five plays reflect Mitchell's acute awareness and understanding of the human psyche, his keen ear for speech, whether that of the Hutterite Peter the Goose Boss, or Wullie the Presbyterian harness maker. Each play has an introduction, detailed cast and set description, and a production paragraph, thus allowing the reader to have a good picture of the characters before reading the play. The moods of these plays vary from the humorous tone of "The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon" to the more serious note sounded in "Back to Beulah." Each has been staged several times, and according to the information on the dust cover, "Back to Beulah" is soon to be made into a motion picture.

The print is readable, and the hardback format makes the anthology useful as a class text. It would be a suitable secondary reference for students of W. O. Mitchell's works, either at a senior secondary level or university level.

Pauline A. Burns, Simcoe County Board of Education, Orillia, ON.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information0-8020-5585-0 (cloth) for reviewers

Young Canada Works