Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vinyl Cafe Unplugged (Vinyl Cafe, #3)” as Want to Read:
Vinyl Cafe Unplugged (Vinyl Cafe, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vinyl Cafe Unplugged (Vinyl Cafe #3)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,330 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
The Vinyl Café Unplugged is the third book in Stuart McLean's Vinyl Café series, and like the one before it, Home from the Vinyl Café, it won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. This collection contains 14 delightful stories, many first broadcast on CBC Radio, about an idiosyncratic family of four in Toronto. Dave and Morley, the parents, and Sam and Stephanie, the child ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published 2001 by Penguin (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vinyl Cafe Unplugged, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vinyl Cafe Unplugged

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Seriously, I can't get enough. I am just loving these books-I purchased 4 of them and I can't wait to read them all. They are just so sweet and funny and relatable. It almost makes me want to move to Canada. I love Dave!
Jason P
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
I enjoyed the hell out of this, it was naturally smooth story telling, the stories of Dave and Morley are ones that will leave you rolling around laughing with tears in your eyes. For those of you have heard The Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio, you'll know that Stewart's narrating of the story comes with that McLean twang to it, and while reading this I couldn't help but hear Stewart's voice reading along with me. This was great!
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As fun as Mclean's radio show or seeing him in concert (usually he is touring his native CA). While most of the stories caused me to smile or laugh, I'm proud to say that the final short story, called Love Never Ends, had me in tears. Not sad, just a glimpse of love well shared. If it does not get to you too, sorry, but I recommend that you start caring about life.
Felicia (Little Prairie Library)
I cannot read these stories without grinning and feeling warm in my heart.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essasy
This was a great find (thanks Janee!) and just the sort of book to grab on a fall afternoon. My library didn't have the same book that Janae recommended but I found that there are several books by Stuart McLean with collections of essays about Vinyl Cafe. It took me a couple essays to feel the rhythm of the author (and I really wished I could hear him tell the story; I feel like I'm missing part of the depth) and then I found I was laughing aloud or snickering at parts in each essay. My favorite ...more
Jul 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
A charming, funny, sad, real-life story about living. Just the sort of life that many of us lead. I really enjoyed this.
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'd only heard McLean on the radio, and wondered if his stories would transfer to the written page. It's every bit as good. McLean truly is the Canadian Garrison Keillor.
Dec 12, 2008 added it
Elaine just gave this one to me. I have never heard of Stuart McLean etc...So something very different for me to check out!

Well--I didn't finish this book. It was just not cup of tea. Too folky.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my first vinyl cafe read and I must say I can hardly wait to read another book. From laughing out loud to a few tears this was truly a great read of small stories of one family. I feel like Dave and Morley are now my neighbors. Wonderful story telling by Stuart McLean. I can see why this has won the Stephen Leacock award! From the beginning Pet sounds made me laugh every chapter. The toaster episode will always bring a laugh when I think of it again. And finally to the last chapter where ...more
Victoria Peters
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A master story teller, Stuart McLean's CBC's Vinyl Cafe (KUOW) made me laugh, cry and think about life. I was sad this winter when he passed away. I found Vinyl Cafe Unplugged at Darvill's Bookstore in Eastsound on Orcas Island. The owner of the store and I had a pleasant discussion about McLean as I paid for the book.

Each evening I read one Dave's and Morley's adventure and hearing in my head McLean voice as he would have told the story. Reading the stories were almost as good as hearing McLea
Norman Weatherly
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
As per usual, Stuart McLean served up a slice of Canadiana that is on par with the excellence we have come to take for granted from this gifted storyteller. I laughed, I cried, and I enjoyed ever page.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dustman
As usual, funny and heart felt stories. Thank you Stuart. We all miss you.
Maryanne Henderson
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lots of laughs, and some tears. I miss Stuart McLean's voice on the radio, the Dave and Morley stories are a gift.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
just a smooth storytelling. I was happy the entire reading.
Marthe Bijman
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Stories included in “Vinyl Cafe Unplugged”: – Arthur – Galway – The Fly – Christmas Presents – Harrison Ford’s Toes – Dorothy – The Last Kind Word Blues – The Bare Truth – Susan is Serious – Odd Jobs – The Razor’s Edge – Morley’s Christmas Pageant – Figs – Love Never Ends

If you read many of Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe short stories in one sitting, the characters become increasingly real and rounded, and a clear picture of their town, friends, family and habits emerges. You can also see how McLean
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What took me so long to read Stuart McLean? This was an excellent collection of anecdotes, I'll be looking to add more to my collection. These ones fall into the reread category since you can't get tired of them. What a shame he passed away recently.
Nathaniel ΘΣ
I hadn't intended on reading this as it was one that my mother had taken out of the library but I was intrigued by the title and the blurb sounded okay. It follows the life of a family: mum, dad, two kids and a dog. I didn't find out till afterwards that not only is it a sequel, it's also taken from a very popular and well-known Canadian radio show. As a result, there's no information given for any of the characters, the setting or any background information. It seems to be taken for granted tha ...more
Apr 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, 2010, passed-on
If Stuart McLean read the stories in this volume on air, it was during a time when I wasn't following his show, so they were all new to me, and the more delightful because of it. But still it very much helps the experience if one consciously imagines the words being pronounced in McLean's distinctive storytelling voice. A lot of the jokes pop off the page that way!

The volume starts off strongly, for me, with stories about family pets Arthur (the dog), Galway (the cat who learns to flush the toil
Marco den Ouden
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had not heard of Stuart McLean until a couple of years ago when the owner of the second hand record store I frequent occasionally gave me a complementary CD as a bonus with my purchase. It was supposed to be a two CD set but one was missing, so he gave it to me free. The CD was called Vinyl Cafe Odd Jobs by Stuart McLean. McLean is a humorist and raconteur with a weekly radio show Sundays on the CBC. I popped the CD into the car player on my way home and the first bit, Odd Jobs, was the funnie ...more
David Ball
Dec 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Had some reservations about this book when I first picked it up. I had just finished Vidal's Lincoln and thought I deserved a bit of light relief. The first couple of stories were about the family pets and I thought this will be as rewarding as watching America's Funniest Home Videos: mildly amusing but not worth the time. I persevered and was almost pleasantly surprised. McLean has an engaging writing style and managed to twist most the stories away from the obvious or mundane. But just as I st ...more
Chris Davison
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading this for the third time in a year, plus downloading the audio book. While it has moments of gentle pathos and tradgedy that made me cry, it moreso gave me soo many belly laughs that it hurt. It was responsible for my being kicked off a bus for laughing out loud so heartily.
Should you ever wish a cure for a bad day, month or year, this provided me with one of the best antidotes I've known. The chapter on DIY alone is worth the purchase of the book.
Within an hour of finishi
Jun 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Though it was only about a family who lived in small town middle of nowhere Canada, the chapters where each about something different, featuring the family in different situations with an assortment cast of new characters. It was like a well written comedy on tv. You have your hub of main characters with guest stars coming in to work around the staple cast. I love families that work well with each other as well, that play off each other.

Since every chapter was like a
Paula Dembeck
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Number three in the Vinyl Café series.

This edition of fourteen wonderful funny stories continues to chronicle the chaotic lives of Dave, Morley, Sam and Stephanie, a family living in Toronto. Included in this edition are their experiences as they try to renovate a bathroom, wonder about Sam's knitting habit, toilet train the cat Galway and knock the dog down a few notches in the household pecking order.

These stories were all originally presented on CBC radio but do well in print as well.

Winner o
Tina Chase
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book at the library the other day, just because the cover caught my eye. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it quite funny, and even touching at times. It really feels like you're there with the characters, taking part in their lives. I also love that it takes place around Toronto and mentions places I am familiar with. I couldn't help making a comparison to Dave Barry... not sure if that is because I just read a few of his books, or because the main character is also calle ...more
Jul 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. It's like a collection of hilarious short stories, but all featuring the same family. Dave, in particular, is an entertaining character. I found myself actually laughing out loud during this book, which is unusual for me. My favorite story was the one in which Dave thought he had inhaled a fly, closely followed by the Christmas pageant story, the story in which the cousin is scared by the toilet-flushing cat, the electrical outlet story, and the naked neighbor stor ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
This collection of short stories was exactly what I needed. Some of the stories made me giggle, others made me smile and even tear up a bit. Some were sweetly sentimental, and others were silly.
My favorite story in this collection was "Figs;" it is such a sweet portrayal of the relationship between two neighboring couples - one young and one old. Several of the stories had me laughing out loud; I cannot choose which was funniest!
I think Stuart McLean's stories are perfect counterparts to the le
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 4.5 stars rating from me. I loved each and every story - laughed out loud many times, shed some tears ... this is just life in words. Simple life. Funny life. Endearing things. Some of the stories made me reach for my husband for an extra hug and kiss, some left me dreaming about my future family, or reminiscing on the past.

A great read. A quick read. I'm looking forward to reading everything else by this author and catching the radio program that this all comes from.
Erin L
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
After reading far too many mysteries and urban fantasy in a row, I decided to take a short break. The first book I read was actually much deeper than I expected, then I followed it with this. This book reminded me why I love Stuart McLean so very very much.

The man has an incredible talent for taking simple, everyday stories and turning them into something special. And in doing so, makes me laugh out loud repeatedly.

I never regret reading one of his books.
Rachel Cahoon
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't quite sure what to think of the book during the beginning of the 1st story. It was a little slow getting started, but since it was one of the only books I had, I decided to power through, and I'm sure glad I did. I loved how almost all of the stories had this moment when everything came together, and I couldn't stop myself from laughing. Unlike most of the people who have reviewed this, I've never listened to the radio show, but reading the book kind of makes me want to start.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I love reading Stuart McLean's Dave and Morley stories. They're down to earth, heartwarming and super funny. And after reading such a "dark" book I needed some funny and light stories. And why not spend time with Dave, Morley and family?

This collection of short stories does not disappoint. It may not be complex but it's super entertaining and so down to earth that you cannot help but love it. You can just imagine yourself in the same situations.

Loved it!

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2017 Reading Chal...: Vinyl Cafe Unplugged by Stuart McLean 7 19 Jan 22, 2015 04:00PM  
  • Further Adventures
  • We're All in This Together
  • Fresh
  • Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales
  • The Alternative Hero
  • How It Ended: New and Collected Stories
  • Stories
  • Enchanted Again
  • The Terror of St. Trinian's and Other Drawings
  • A Night at the Movies, Or, You Must Remember This: Fictions
  • Lying With the Dead
  • First Contact-Or, It's Later Than You Think (Parrot Sketch Excluded)
  • Kalooki Nights
  • The Best Early Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The First Person and Other Stories
  • Licks of Love: Short Stories and a Sequel, "Rabbit Remembered"
  • Osprey Island
  • Salmonella Men on Planet Porno: Stories
Librarian Note: There was more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

From the Vinyl Cafe web site: Stuart McLean was a best-selling author, award-winning journalist and humorist, and host of CBC Radio program The Vinyl Cafe.

Stuart began his broadcasting career making radio documentaries for CBC Radio's Sunday Morning. In 1979 he won an ACTRA award for Best Radio Documentary for
More about Stuart McLean...

Other Books in the Series

Vinyl Cafe (7 books)
  • Stories from the Vinyl Cafe (Vinyl Cafe, #1)
  • Home From The Vinyl Cafe: A Year Of Stories (Vinyl Cafe, #2)
  • Vinyl Cafe Diaries (Vinyl Cafe, #4)
  • Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe (Vinyl Cafe, #5)
  • Extreme Vinyl Cafe (Vinyl Cafe, #6)
  • Revenge of the Vinyl Cafe (Vinyl Cafe, #7)

Fiction Deals

  • War Brides
    $3.99 $2
  • Bluebeard
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad
    $10.74 $2.99
  • Orphan Train Girl
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Want Not
    $14.95 $2.99
  • Finding Rebecca
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Twelve-Mile Straight
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Cafe by the Sea
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Everybody's Son
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $2
  • The Word Game
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Cats Are Weird: And More Observations
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Wake Up
    $4.99 $2
  • The Way to London: A Novel of World War II
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ask the Dust
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Saving Abby
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Vanessa and Her Sister
    $13.99 $2.99
  • The King's Mistress
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Midnight Sun (The Northern Lights Series, No 3)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Cement Garden (Ian McEwan Series Book 2)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Cove
    $7.49 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Jailbird
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
    $15.95 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fire by Night
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bagombo Snuff Box
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The High Mountains of Portugal
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Cat's Pajamas: Stories
    $7.99 $1.99
  • East Wind: West Wind: The Saga of a Chinese Family (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck Book 8)
    $17.99 $2.99
  • The Thistle and the Rose (Tudor Saga, #8)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Burgess Boys
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Skinny Legs and All
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Paris Wife
    $11.99 $2.99
  • If I Was Your Girl
    $9.99 $2.99
“Men can sense when a wall is coming down, and they can't help the fact that they have to be there to watch it fall, or better yet, help push it over.

It has been argued that the fall of the Berlin Wall had nothing whatsoever to do with the collapse of communism: it was just a weekend project that got out of control—thousands of German guys satisfying their undeniable urge to fix things up.”
More quotes…