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Edmonston, Phil.

Toronto, Musson, c1984. 386pp, paper, $12.95, ISBN 0-7737-1063-9. CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by John D. Crawford

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

The title of this book could lead the reader to expect a lighthearted approach to the subject. In fact, The Art of Complaining is a serious, no-nonsense approach to considering consumers' remedies for unsatisfactory goods or services.

The book is organized in an interesting manner. The opening chapters describe the means by which the consumer can seek redress of any grievance. Later chapters describe legal processes and court decisions in a variety of consumer actions. The final chapters suggest the means by which consumers' groups can be organized and activated. Appendices outline rights that the law accords individuals in Canada and a list of consumer affairs departments throughout the country. In sum, this is a volume of information for the consumer that should answer most questions.

Producers and distributors in our society are either large corporate bodies or groups of smaller organizations with access to counsel and facilities for their commercial protection. Consumers' organizations seem to be an effective way to counter the scale of commercial organizations. Ralph Nader initially gained much of his fame as the little man tilting against the giants of the business world. This situation is no longer the case, and one message that emerges from this book is that the best defence is attack.

Edmonston has written a concise yet reasonably complete summary of the remedies available to consumers and the methods by which they can be used. While aimed at the aggrieved consumer, the information would be of great value to secondary school students taking courses in consumer education.

John D. Crawford, Frank Hobbs E.S., Victoria, B.C.
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