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Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  153 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Of the many books by Canada’s most celebrated humorist, none has received more acclaim than his brilliant, caustic treatment of the glittering rich who gather at the Mausoleum Club on Plutoria Avenue.

Today, Leacock’s pointed satire of the privileged class, and their social abuses and pretences, retains every ounce of its freshness and bite. An undisputed comic masterpiece,
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by New Canadian Library (first published 1914)
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Czarny Pies
Sep 27, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English and French Canadians
Recommended to Czarny by: My mother
Stephen Leacock is the Canadian writer who most accurately Canadian rural and urban society for the period running from the Boer war to the beginning of World War II. He was an economics professor at McGill university who had absolutely no aspirations to be a great writer. He wrote funny short stories because he loved humour and wanted to make people laugh. Nonetheless his work was greater than the writer's ambitions. This slim volume is the best work we will ever have on the attitudes and mores ...more
Stephen Leacock isn't tremendously well-known these days, or at least not in the UK, but I have a lot of his books, picked up from a second-hand shop in Eastbourne, all different colours and degrees of batteredness, and I love them. This one is about the excesses of the wealthy elites in the 1910's and although on the surface it's his usual gentle, deadpan, naive humour, it's far more biting and even political than anything else I've ever read by him. The other thing that really stands out is ho ...more
A couple months ago, I went to a talk on the accuracy of university admissions tests given by a visiting professor from Great Britain. The speaker concluded that, with globalization, these tests are becoming less and less accurate, which will lead to ruined lives. I asked whether this conclusion also applied to North America, where there is a safety system of (community) colleges. For those not in the know, community colleges are called 'college' in Canada. People go to 'college' or 'university. ...more
Carly Svamvour
December 6th, 2k13 - finished

Hilarious! Yet when you actually think of it, not so funny, really. A perfect example of just how corrupt government, driven by the wheels of the rich and powerful can be.

What amazes me when I read/listen to these old stories is just how identical the situations are to today's political climate.


After reading Sketches of a Small Town, I am led to listen to this story, which LivraVox is kind enough to provide in audio.

I'm enjoying this writer's w
I find it very funny.
The way it's written accentuates the ridiculous seriousness in which the "higher society" characters take themselves.
Full of hypocrisy, greed and plain stupidity it gives a good giggle to anybody who has lived in the lower or middle classes.
A classic Canadian satire, written in 1914, follows the oh-so-awful trials
and tribulations of the "idle rich" of the title who gather at the Mausoleum
Club on Plutoria Avenue. Brilliant at first, mediocre by the middle, boring
at the end. Favourite quote: "It was indeed a singularly trying time of
the year. It was too early to go to Europe, and too late to go to Bermuda.
It was too warm to go south, and yet still too cold to go north. In fact,
one was almost compelled to stay at home -- which was dre
Nov 28, 2008 Vivienne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: social commentary fans and economists
Recommended to Vivienne by: Miss French
Surprisingly relevant for a book close to 100 years old. Mining scandals, stock market mayhem, business strategists taking over areas they have no business getting into (haha), etc. Also a nice reminder people with greater than average money aren't necessarily those with greater than average intellects.

Reminded me of Edith Wharton and Candace Bushnell in the writing style and theme. The authors are all obviously well entrenched in the "scene" while they somewhat self-conciously critize others f
Richard Gallagher
Great satire! As relevant today as when it was written
Jun 11, 2007 karen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: CanLit fans
I thought this book was pretty amusing. It was a silly satire about the idle rich. I found it quite funny that the book rings true in 2007 - even though this book was written in 1914! The idle rich are still up to their same old antics, as evidenced in the media, tabloids, on reality tv shows about the rich, etc.
I took an amazing course on looking at Canada's history through a literary lens. We had to read one book per week. This was probably the semester that I read the most books!
written in 1914 - reads as if yesterday. Leacock's great satire had me laughing and chuckling the whole way through.
Some of this stuff was utterly hilarious! It's got lots of surprisingly enduring satire.
Lee Scoresby
Even better than Sunset Sketches of a Small Town. More of the dark side here.
Beautifully written humor that leaves you wanting more.
Joanna Menda
Joanna Menda marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2015
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