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The Black Bonspiel of Willie MacCrimmon

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  8 reviews
At last, a book about curling, the noble sport that every winter turns otherwise sane Canadian men and women into broom-waving fanatics. Given the chance, any one of them would actively consider selling their soul to the devil for a chance to win the national championship known as “the Brier.”

That’s the offer made to Willie MacCrimmon in this hilarious story by W.O. Mitche
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by McClelland & Stewart
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May 21, 2012 Gundula rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves humour and satire
Sly, witty, and laugh-aloud funny at times (I will only write a short review, because this book definitely needs to be read without too many spoilers), The Black Bonspiel of Willie MacCrimmon is one of my favourite novels (actually, it is more like a short novel) by W.O. Mitchell. A Faustian tale of Willie MacCrimmon, who sells his soul to the Devil to win the "Brier" (the most prestigious honour in curling), and then challenges the Devil to a curling match to reclaim his soul (the Devil's team ...more
Derivative works have a bad rap, and it's one I'm not sure is entirely deserved. This is, quite definitely, a derivative work, and fully admits that it is so; Faust is name-checked multiple times throughout, and there are parallels to The Devil and Daniel Webster as well. In being so derivative, though, it's still an instructive tale, and you're left with the feeling that Mitchell is trying to say something here about the Canadian identify. The European Fausts desired knowledge and power, and We ...more
This was a cute and funny book! It was originally written as a short story, then adapted as a radio play and made into a stage play (which I'd kill to see). You'll giggle at this if you know the least bit about curling. I mean, seriously, how many curling stories are there? Aside, I still have no idea what a bonspiel is but I want to maintain the mystery by not looking it up.
I should have finished this wee book a lot faster, but haven't had much time to read lately. Mitchell is a real hoot. He manages to critique all the citizens of a town with as much humour (or more) than Stephen Leacock, but without Leacock's bitterness. It is also so Canadian that you want to stand up and cheer. Mostly, it's just fun.
Carolyn F.
Jun 09, 2012 Carolyn F. marked it as cnf
Recommended to Carolyn F. by: Unknown Books group
Shelves: library-book
I tried to read this book. I skimmed the reviews not wanting to spoil the book but maybe I should have read them more closely. A funny book about the sport of curling, what's not to like. Well, they throw in a Faustian situation and then it became boring. Maybe if I had kept reading I may have changed my mind but I have too many books to read so I gave up. Not for me.
Absolutely brilliant! A hilarious Faustian tale about curling; what's not to love? A super quick read, perfect for a train/bus/plane/car ride. Would love to see the play of this.
Wendalynn Donnan
"What the devil is this book all about? - It's a hell of a good curling story." - 'Nuff said.
May 27, 2012 Don added it
Great story--pretty much The Devil and Daniel Webster but much more fun!
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William Ormond Mitchell was an author of novels, short stories, and plays. He is best known for his 1947 novel Who Has Seen The Wind, which has sold close to a million copies in North America, and a collection of short stories, Jake and the Kid, which subsequently won the Stephen Leacock Award. Both of these portray life on the Canadian prairies where he grew up in the early part of the 20th centu ...more
More about W.O. Mitchell...
Who Has Seen the Wind How I Spent My Summer Holidays Jake and the Kid Roses Are Difficult Here The Vanishing Point

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