- Fizzy Thoughts: a boy of good breeding

a boy of good breeding

Monday, March 09, 2009


a boy of good breeding
Miriam Toews
2006
248 pages
From Publishers Weekly:

In the tradition of Lake Wobegon, Toews (A Complicated Kindness) gives us Algren, Manitoba, a town noteworthy because, with 1,500 colorful residents (give or take), it ranks as Canada's smallest town. For the town's painfully shy mayor, Hosea Funk, Algren's small population spurs both pride and constant anxiety. He tallies births, deaths and all other arrivals and departures to make sure the population hews to the magic number 1,500 — less than that, and the town diminishes to a mere village, but more than that and Algren might outgrow its title. Funk's obsession isn't motivated just by bragging rights, but also by a family secret: on her deathbed, Funk's mother told him that the prime minister of Canada is his long-lost father, and that same prime minister has pledged to visit the smallest Canadian town. When single mother Knute McCloud and her kinetic young daughter return to Algren and Funk's own long-distance romance threatens to catch up with him, Funk's compulsive people-counting tests his already awkward human relationships. First published in Canada in 1998, this is a sweet, funny novel full of memorable, picaresque characters and unexpected drama.
So I read A Complicated Kindness, and I liked it. But this one was a bit of a disappointment. Because honestly? I thought Funk was going to start offing residents in order to keep the population of his town at an even 1500. And what does it say about it me that I think it would have been a much better book if Toews had gone that route?

10 comment(s):

Ladytink_534 said...

Omg lol. I guess it says something about me that I think that would sound like an interesting story...

Ladytink_534 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo-Jo said...

Oh you crack me up! Sounds like an interesting book...thanks for the review!

Dar said...

I'm just not so sure about Toews. I should send you The Flying Troutmans and see what you think of it. Just not my cup of tea really.

lisamm said...

You are so funny!!

Ok, two things. First, the new look is DIVINE!! Love it!

Second: have you ever been to San Miguel Island? I must know. Can you email me?

bermudaonion said...

It says you like a good plot! It's too bad it was a disappointment - the title and cover are great.

Joanne said...

Yes, your idea would make for such a cool mystery/thriller or all-out slash-fest.

The synopsis sounds interesting until that bit about romance testing his human relation skills.

chartroose said...

Because it WOULD have been so much more interesting. A little blood and gore can go a long way. I think "Mrs. Dalloway" could've used a dose of gore too!

Beth F said...

Way too funny!!! A little blood and guts never hurt anyone.

jdeq said...

Clearly you have spent too long amongst gun-loving folks!*smile*

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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