Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!
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Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  144 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A humorous look at Quebec's movement toward independence from Canada, remarking upon the Draconian language laws imposed on English-speaking Quebecois, the economic problems posed by the movement, and the troubles with blind nationalism.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published 1993 by Penguin (first published 1992)
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Amusing and well-written (and a quick read, as far as 250-page treatises about Quebec politics go), this book will put you in the center of Quebec's pre-referendum political and social climate. My only complaint is that Richler spends a lot of time discussing antisemitism in Quebec, more than I believe is necessary to get the point across. It makes some sense for the context in which this book was published (e.g. the book's postscript is a long-form response to comments received about an except...more
F. Roberta
Jan 31, 2011 F. Roberta is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, I know. Late. But I sat through the 1995 referendum with my bags packed, ready to head to Ontario. So, I thought I'd like to read Mr. Richler's cynical take on the whole thing. No fiction usually takes me ages, so...
Troy Parfitt
Mordecai Richler walks us through a history of Quebecois Nationalism to show us it was born out of xenophobic sentiment and blossomed into a movement that was sweeping, pointless, borderline fascist, and utterly insane. Far from being oppressed by les maudites Anglais, Richler documents how the English minority and newcomers to Quebec were subjected to discriminatory laws at the hands of Francophones. The separatist movement tapped into tribal feelings and did little except disrupt the economy,...more
Tim Weakley
While I have to admit that this book presents a biased point of view on the issue of the french language and seperation issues, it is not a bias I disagree with for the most part.

Richler is true to form as he gives a personal history of the Quebecois sense of disenfrancisment, combined with an examination of rascism embodied within the spirit of Quebec nationalism. His sarcasm and wit add to the flow of the book, but his ( perhaps justified ) attitudes regarding anti-semitism in Quebec tend to r...more
David Bales
A very funny, interesting, poignant and informative discussion of Quebec's "Separatism" and its roots as it played out circa 1990, when Quebec's PQ leaders wanted "independence" and the Meech Lake Accord which guaranteed Quebec's "special" status in Canada fell through. Great history of the province and of the French in Canada as well as the reasons for their grievances towards English Canada, although Richler is a definite skeptic as to how bad the French-Canadian oppression is or was, having b...more
The situation has changed since the publication of this book but it was interesting to get an overview of the history leading up to the call for referendum in the early 90s. Having studied Quebec history and society at the francophone Universite de Montreal a few years ago, it was interesting to get the Anglophone viewpoint, including some of the anecdotal evidence. As always in these things, there are genuine hurts and concerns on both sides of the linguistic divide. The author also seeks to ad...more
Jun 07, 2007 Jay rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: canada enthusiasts
I found myself vigorously disagreeing with some of the conclusions Richler made in this book. It's good as an introduction to the topic, but it doesn't have much of a structure to keep the reader interested.
A bit of an outdated read at this point, but certainly a good introductory read to the language issue once you weed through Richler's opinions.
It's dated, sure, but Richler also provides a history of the political-cultural climate of Quebec. All of which was basically new to me.
Needed something a little local..and so sick of civil war/rape/traumatic books. Refreshing and Mordecai true to form :)
Brenda B
This book rally helps to explain a divided nation. Not a lot of sympathy for francophones here though.
Read as research for my dissertaion on Quebec politics.
Still fresh.
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Mordecai Richler, was a Canadian author, screenwriter and essayist.

His best known works are The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959) and Barney's Version (1997); his 1989 novel Solomon Gursky Was Here was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 1990. He was also well known for the Jacob Two-Two children's stories. .

The son of a Jewish scrap yard dealer, Richler was born in 1931 and raised on St...more
More about Mordecai Richler...
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz Barney's Version Solomon Gursky Was Here Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang St. Urbain's Horseman

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