Why I won't buy The Little Book of Rob Ford
As much as it's a cliche to say that one should avoid judging a book by its cover, in some instances this really isn't the worst practice - especially when the publisher's blurb reveals pretty much exactly what to expect from a particular title. Such is the case, I suspect, with the soon-to-be-released The Little Book of Rob Ford, published, almost unbelievably, by the once noble House of Anansi Press. CanLit fans will know this as the same press that brought us such classics as Margaret Atwood's Survival, Northrop Frye's The Bush Garden, and co-founder Dennis Lee's poetry (amongst other titles).
Why a house with such roots would deem it a good idea to publish a book of questionable quotations from Toronto's new mayor is slightly mystifying. Despite the fact that it's unlikely that a book of recycled and mostly well-known sound bites will garner much buzz (and revenue) beyond the week of its release, Anansi is still willing to take a chance on permanently sullying its reputation with such a substance-less offering. And even if the whole thing is one big joke from the so-called Unknown Torontonian (who's credited as the author), the logic behind such a publication remains dubious.
Sure, some of the quotations will be humorous and still others will be horrifying, but it's all old news. It'd be better to scroll through the hundreds of Rob Ford videos on YouTube, which surely many have already done. Not only that, but it' all just a little juvenile, isn't it? I'm as up for a Rob Ford joke as the next guy, but it seems counterproductive to me to dwell on such well-known blunders and politically incorrect statements. As seems to be written in the comments around here quite often, "Ford won the election - it's time to get over it."
For the record, I'm all for intelligent and engaged criticism of Ford's policies, but assuming this title comes as advertised, it's unlikely to offer anything in this capacity. While it remains to be seen if the book shows any balance in the curation of its quotations, the few that are offered for our delectation on Anansi's website don't exactly inspire confidence. Who knows? Maybe I'm missing something, and this'll prove to be a wildly successful and laugh-inducing offering. But to say that I'm dubious that such a thing will come to pass would be a massive understatement.
The Little Book of Rob Ford is due out some time next month and will retail for $8.99.
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