Monday, 30 November 2015

Poles Apart

Author: Terry Fallis
Genre: Humour, Contemporary Fiction, Canadian
Type: Paperback
Pages: 432
Source: Random House Publishing
Publisher: McClelland and Stewart
First Published: October 20, 2015

First Line: "Grounding your wedge in a bunker is normally a two-stroke penalty."

Book Description from GoodReadsOvernight, Eve of Equality, a new feminist blog, becomes a sensation when a wildly popular TV talk show host stumbles upon it, Tweets about it, and promotes it on her show. The blog is smart, thoughtful, funny, and bold, brazenly taking on various injustices in the lives of women. But it's the blogger Eve's post about the controversial entrepreneur behind XY, a new chain of high-end strip clubs opening up across the country that sets off a firestorm. In a matter of hours, the Eve of Equality website crashes, its Twitter count jumps from a paltry 19 followers to nearly 250,000, and Eve is suddenly lauded as the new voice of feminism.   

But who is the Eve behind Eve of Equality? Well... not who you might think. Meet Everett Kane, aspiring writer and fervent feminist. He writes his erudite blog in his apartment, at his kitchen table, conveniently but unexpectedly located right above one of the aforementioned XY strip clubs.

Hilarious and smart, and offering thoughtful commentary on a subject that is flooding our headlines, newsfeeds, Twitter streams, and society, Poles Apart is Terry Fallis at his best, confirming his status as a king of CanLit comedy.

My Review: I'm a little ashamed to say that until recently reading Poles Apart I had never read a Terry Fallis book.  Bad Canadian blogger, I am.  He's even spoken at the library where I work and yet I had never read one of his books -- until now.

What stood out for me the most with my first foray into Fallis was his down to earth humour and obvious Canadian connection.  Fallis is unabashedly Canadian (I LOVE that!).  He used Canadian characters and mentioned Canadian places and doesn't feel the need to make his characters British or American just 'cuz.  But it's Fallis' humour and his characters that really shine through.  

Although this book has a very light, easy feel and is firmly in the humour genre, Fallis brings to light many issues of gender equality/inequality in today's world that have a lot of merit.  Fallis uses his gaggle of interesting characters to showcase different aspects of gender equality - from Everett's high powered exec, ex-stay at home mom and his father who had some cringe-worthy (and funny) anti-feminist dialogue, to the former leader of the feminist movement to the stripper just trying to make ends meet while she gets her degree - all of these characters were a little quirky but had different views of the feminist issue.

The thing that struck me about this book initially was the premise about a male feminist blogger.  Awesome!  And while I enjoyed the book and found it to be a very easy read, I also found the storyline to be quite predictable.  From the get-go you kind of know how things are going to run their course.  It's just Everett who needs to catch up to what's happening and that was mildly frustrating.  For example, when the name of the business moving in on the floor below Everett's apartment is finally revealed (it was glaringly obvious to everyone except poor Everett, it seems) the 'surprise' was a little lackluster.

In the end, I'm happy that I've finally gotten on the Fallis bandwagon.  I can see why this Canuck has won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour many times here in Canada.  This was a quick, fun read that touches on many aspects of gender equality/inequality in today's world and I look forward to reading more from Fallis in the future.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Random House Publishing for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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