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Easy to Like

2.98  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
A bitingly hilarious satire of the making of wine, television, and taste from one of Canada's most accomplished comic writers.

From award-winning author Edward Riche comes an immensely readable and sharp novel about "C"-list screenwriter and wannabe vintner Elliot Johnson. With his life growing more ruinous by the day -- his writing career is on the rocks, his struggling vi
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 10th 2011 by House of Anansi Press (first published August 10th 2011)
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Apr 07, 2012 Ashley rated it did not like it
I just couldn't get into this, although I'm sure it's good to most people.
Apr 29, 2012 Ian rated it liked it
We don't expect young wine or inexpensive chocolate to deliver subtlety and nuance, and Edward Riche's novel Easy to Like (the title says it all) is a similar kind of light confection. Elliott Johnson, ex-pat Canadian, has been working in the Southern California entertainment industry for many years. At forty-nine he is divorced and living on his own, and his screenwriting career has pretty much bottomed out. He is no longer young, no longer hip, no longer in demand. His agent can't sell his lat ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Karen rated it it was ok
It wasn't until the last few pages that I realized the title was ironic. Through the entire rest of the book I kept wondering why it was called Easy to like, since it was anything but. I couldn't figure out this book. The main character, Elliot, is a pretentious asshole, and there were pages and pages of exposition about wine, which made my eyes glaze over and skip many paragraphs. I found it interesting that thee was a Sideways reference, since the parallel was obvious, though there is somethin ...more
Sep 10, 2012 Dave rated it liked it
Blend the wine geek knowledge of 'Sideways' (Rex Pickett) with the Middle-aged-man-as-adolescent sex drive of Peter Mayle's fiction and you can pretty well imagine what this book is like. Though I still like Riche's "Rare Birds" better, I enjoyed learning about Matou - the phantom grape of Chateauneuf Du Pape - and other bits of wine trivia.

But the unlikable protagonist struck me as the last person on earth I'd want to spend time with - another link to 'Sideways'.

Finally, I take exception to th
Emily Gushue
May 11, 2014 Emily Gushue rated it liked it
Eh. Perhaps my expectations were a bit too high? I know so many people with impeachable taste who love this book. I certainly loved parts of it. Basically everything to do with working in a government bureaucracy that tries to produce art/education/entertainment was dead on. But the main character was insufferable and the others I didn't really buy. Actually, there was a lot of this that didn't quite work, from the tacked-on subplot about his son to the fundamental lack of understanding with reg ...more
Darrell Reimer
Nov 21, 2011 Darrell Reimer rated it liked it
Edward Riche levels his klieg-lights on what remains of “Canadian Culture” and its would-be gatekeeper, the CBC, and serves up a satirical shadow-play: Easy To Like. The novel delivers enjoyably discomfiting satirical delights, aimed directly at Canadian readers — particularly those few troubled souls who can still be bothered to pick up and finish a novel addressing the ever-fragmenting National Identity. Although there were moments when I felt I was indulging the author, I was finally surprise ...more
Nov 13, 2011 Ven rated it it was ok
Recommended to Ven by: Anansi Press ad in the Walrus
A wine-loving Hollywood wanna be ends up as the VP for CBC? Sign me up! I kept wanting to laugh but it never happened. Was the cult of shoes-from-bread wearing folk called the Farinists or the Faranists? Inconsistent spelling of the cult throughout the book drove me crazy. A detail that kept me fixated more than the storyline.
Johanna Graham
Sep 12, 2015 Johanna Graham rated it it was ok
The main character was not easy to like so I didn't care too much whether or not I finished the book. There is some very good writing and apt commentary on Canadian institutions but the hmour was a bit strained. It didn't do it for me anyway. Overall it was better than "Nine Planets" but not as good as "Rare Birds".
Maria Germann
Nov 05, 2011 Maria Germann rated it liked it
Shelves: stash, 2012
Pretentious and on his way to being destitute wine snob forgets to renew his passport and gets stuck back in Canada on his way to Paris. Becomes the head of the CBC and starts making more American-style shows.
Nov 03, 2012 Richard rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed it. Felt like I was, at least partially, part of an inside joke. Thought the description of the twin poles of the Canadian psche on page 187 was very accurate (certainly describes me).
Jan 24, 2013 Carolyn rated it it was ok
Like many Canadian novels, one long Canadian joke. Following up on his Rare Birds breakthrough, Riche pulls another rich mix of humour and irony about the Canadian condition. I emailed him because I got the TVC-15 joke (not Canadian).
Mike Gillespie
Jan 02, 2013 Mike Gillespie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The combination of some "year in Provence" type winemaking content, as well as the inside-baseball CBC stuff kept me turning the pages. Very witty, an enjoyable read.
Kathryn Drury
May 08, 2012 Kathryn Drury rated it really liked it
so enjoyable - a gem
John Doyle
Aug 11, 2012 John Doyle rated it really liked it
Superb satire of the TV business in Canada and all the associated issues of Canadian culture. But, in general, it could be set in the TV business anywhere. Very, very funny.
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Oct 22, 2011
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Edward Riche is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and playwright. His previous novels include Rare Birds, which was adapted into a major motion picture starring William Hurt and Molly Parker, and a second novel, The Nine Planets, which won the Thomas Raddall Head Award. His writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and the Telegram. He is a frequent contributor to CBC Radio's "T ...more
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