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Lynch, Charles.

Toronto, Methuen, c1984. l96pp, cloth, $18.95, ISBN 0-458-98460-4. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by J.D. Ingram

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

Charles Lynch has already created a secure place for himself as one of Canada's accomplished journalists. This book is his attempt to cover Canadian political affairs, from Joe dark's defeat as PC leader to September 1984. Not only are these events so recent that complete assessment and analysis are impossible, but what substance can there be in 196 pages?

This book is written in what has been called "old-style journalism "-short clipped sentences and brief, even one sentence paragraphs. It is easy reading, and Lynch serves up some humorous anecdotes and descriptions. Before John Turner returned to politics he, "lay in the political weeds, his gills barely twitching." When "The Big Guy from Shawinigan" decided to run for the Liberal leadership, he looked in the swimming pool but, "I found there was ice on the water." John Turner's leadership victory speech was "one of the few 'impromptu' orations ever to be bound, in advance, in Moroccan leather."

Yet there are times when I think the author gets carried away and lowers his commentary to personal slights. Why refer to Don Johnston as "an elongated chimpanzee of a man. . . ."? Or of Brian Mulroney as a leadership candidate with a "chin like a cowcatcher." These kinds of remarks add no lustre to Lynch or his book.

There are signs that this book was hastily put to press. There are two spellings of Mulroney's riding-Manicuagan (p.131) and Manicouagan (p.135); and "One things was sure... ." (p. 149). There is no index, but an Appendix A, with the 1984 election results, and Appendix B, which lists and comments on the PC cabinet.

Recommended as "light" reading, but not for purchase.

J.D. Ingram, Gordon Bell H.S., Winnipeg, Man.
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