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Analysis of the Best Laid Plans

  • Date Submitted: 02/09/2015 06:04 PM
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The Best Laid Plans Novel Review

The Best Laid Plans is a novel written by Terry Fallis that takes place in the fictional Riding of Cumberland-Prescott (based on the riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell) during a modern election. The book is a humourous satire of modern Canadian political life that demonstrates how absurd much of what goes on in Parliament actually is. It also shows how quickly things in a political campaign can change when a sure victory by one Conservative incumbent is quickly destroyed by a scandal which causes one of the protagonists to be elected despite his desire to be left alone and live in obscurity. The book is quite strong in delivering an accurate yet slightly modified version of events on The Hill, and is packed full of humourous moments to display the outright absurdity of the entire thing is. Be that as it may, a lot of the humour in the novel devolves into slapstick and toilet jokes, which I feel detracts from the overall message and themes of the novel. As well, the ending of the novel is rather clich├ęd as Angus comes to the rescue of the Liberal Party against all odds, and Daniel ends up getting the girl. This ending, as satisfying a conclusion as it may be, falls on line with the standard happy ending of most novels.

The initial impression that I get from the authors portrayal of political life in Parliament is that the atmosphere is very caustic and Machiavellian. Fallis portrays the aides of politicians as being generally amoral and conniving in that they will do anything necessary to promote the interest of their bosses and those of the party they belong to. As for the politicians themselves, he portrays them as being for the most part; smug, self-serving, back stabbing, conniving, and especially juvenile. An example of the last of those traits especially lies in the scenes in the novel that deal with the House of Commons sitting and discussing Bills. During these discussions, many MPs on both sides of the House can be...


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