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Poles Apart

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,441 ratings  ·  228 reviews
Overnight, Eve of Equality, a new feminist blog, becomes a sensation when a wildly popular TV talk show host stumbles upon it, Tweets about it, and promotes it on her show. The blog is smart, thoughtful, funny, and bold, brazenly taking on various injustices in the lives of women. But it's the blogger Eve's post about the controversial entrepreneur behind XY, a new chain ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 20th 2015 by Douglas Gibson Books
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Terry Wow! You caught something that I, my editor, the copyeditor, and the proofreader missed. I had no idea I'd switched to the Ford Escort later in the…moreWow! You caught something that I, my editor, the copyeditor, and the proofreader missed. I had no idea I'd switched to the Ford Escort later in the novel. It was always supposed to be the Ford Focus. Good catch. I'll try to have it changed in the trade paperback version. Thanks so much.(less)

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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,441 ratings  ·  228 reviews

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Kyle B
Jan 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: canlit
I really wanted to like this book, the synopsis was so intriguing and sounded like something right up my alley. I am a male who has written for feminists blogs. I grew up right as Jezebel and similar blogs were starting and took off. It sounded like a perfect read to look at some important, contemporary discussions and do so in a funny way. Further, I actually quite like Terry Fallis..

Unfortunately, it may be one of the worst novels I've ever read. Three reasons for this, really.

1) Judged on the
Kate Heron
Aug 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Terry Fallis manages to write an entire book mansplaining feminism and actually manages to not say anything substantive about feminism, sexism, or the sex industry (beyond vaguely shaming sex workers.)

Quite a feat!
Karen M
Sep 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I can't decide on my rating. I loved the subject matter (a male feminist - YESSSS), but some of the dialogue felt a little wooden, and some of the plot points were a little too obvious so that there wasn't a lot of suspense... It was a quick, fun read though and it made me think a lot! If you're drawn by the synopsis, I'd recommend giving it a shot. :)
Teresa Reid
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I unabashedly love Terry Fallis. When I met him last week at an event, I fawned over him like some might over Johnny Depp. Anyhoo - this book is full of the wit and charm of his other books while tackling one of my favourite topics, feminism. If you think a man can't be a feminist, read this book and see if it changes your mind. Certainly, hearing Terry's impassioned speech on the subject, I believe it is possible.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just to tell you how much I love the books from this author I can say this; I have been reading the books on my ereader and I have two to go until I finish all he has written. I am going this afternoon to a book store to try to get my hands on all the hard cover versions of all his books.

This was an exceptional book with a message and a great story.

Everett, a dual citizen of the US and Canada and writer of magazine ads and other small things, has reached his thirties and has not been able to
Katelyn Steven
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars for me. It was as easy read - quick pace, accessible language and themes. The feminism was rather 101 and lacked an intersectional approach, but I recognized myself in the protagonist, and appreciated the family portrait this story included. Activist circles can be pretty serious places, so it was refreshing to read a light story that still centred around themes of gender politics and equality, even if I did find myself internally rolling my eyes at sections that felt a little ...more
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another great read by Terry Fallis. He never fails to deliver on wit and on humorous situations that typically involve a "fish out of water" while inserting an element of seriousness. The play on words with the title are just a small part of the genius of what I appreciated about this novel. The manner by which Fallis tackles an important topic yet weaves together elements of suspense and zany humour in the midst of the injection of a critical feminist perspective takes a sure and steady hand. ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read this book expecting it to be as good as the earlier Fallis novels I have enjoyed and chuckled over. Fallis is a Stephen Leacock award winner and I have on more than one occasion laughed out loud when reading his other novels. This one, however, left me feeling flat, strangely confused, and disappointed. Has Fallis lost his touch? Have I missed the humour in Poles Apart? Is it time to move on?

First, the premise of the novel where a man writes a wildly popular blog on womens issues is
Eric Wood
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LAUGHED. I CRIED. I was left wanting more of Terry Fallis.

I'm quite stingy with my 5-star reviews. I hadn't read much fiction that was clearly in the humour category before I picked up Poles Apart. Everything about this book enthralled me: its very clever title and over-arching (and very contemporary) concept, its absurd juxtapositions, its engaging characters and pace, its sense of danger and risk, its lessons for serious causes using unconventional approaches (and voices) to connect with
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I like the humourous imaginative writing style. Entertaining. I'll be looking for more books by this author.
This book was mildly amusing. It was a cute look at some feminist stereotypes but most of the story was incredibly obvious and there wasn't much substance.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is Terry Fallis at his best and by far my favourite book of his. Is it somewhat formulaic and predictable? Yes. You could see every so called plot twist and turn from a mile away. But it was a fun and witty read. Almost like watching a really well done rom-com - you know how it's going to end up but you still enjoy the ride.
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Terry Fallis' writing style is so completely disarming! At first you do feel like the characters in this book are a little flat but his mix of humour and appropriately predictable plot line ends up being much more than a sum of its parts. Like every other book of his I've read, Poles Apart was a charming, funny, light read. In this case, I read it on a 7 hour bus ride from Cat Ba to Haiphong to Hanoi, and found it compelling - especially in a country that speaks to the exact issues the book ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
What a disappointment. Having read and enjoyed Terry's books in the past, this had potential to be another true pleasure. It ended up being anything but. For starters, it took nearly 300 pages before anything actually happened. By then my interest was all but dead. The characters are bland and mostly knockoffs of the characters from the thoroughly enjoyable The Best Laid Plans. As for the ruminations on feminism throughout the book, they varied from non-existent to trite. I expected so much more ...more
lisa MacColl
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I adored "The Best Laid Plans" and "The High Road". I wasn't as fond of "Up and Down" or "No Relation" so I was a bit nervous starting this book. Happily, this book is in the vein of Fallis' first two works. There is a good story, great characters and the kind of clever word play that made me a fan of his writing in the first place. There are laugh out loud moments in the vein of The Best Laid Plans. Read it, you'll like it.

Melanie Baker
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy, fiction
I wasn't as big a fan of Terry's last one, but this was back on track for me being sweet and fun and funny.

Got to attend a reading last week where he explained how aspects of this book are autobiographical, and outlined his own journey to a "feminist awakening". It was a nice addition to my perspective while reading.
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
I generally like Terry Fallis' linear, simple novels, but this one was torturous drivel. Linear, yes, simple, yes....but the content was even more pretentious than ever.
I'll keep trying, but I get tired of reading books featuring writers with over-inflated ideas of the skill of their own writing, especially when the writer of these characters is really not great either.

Marie-France Leclerc
I am a big fan of Terry Fallis. Read all his books. This one made me smile and chuckle several times, but you could predict a few things because of having read his previous books. The last part of the book was the best. I still like this book, but not has much as the others.
Dec 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Cute! I will continue to read his books, as they are always good for entertainment. Having read all five of his books now, in the last 13 months, I can notice the pattern and almost guess what is going to happen. Not always accurate, but usually close enough.
E.A. Briginshaw
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another winner from Terry Fallis.
Mar 14, 2016 added it
Entertaining and, although a bit far fetched, thought provoking. I really enjoy Terry Fallis' humour.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
As always, Terry Fallis delivers a delightful story.
Eric B. Kennedy
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Spoilers, but: male feminist turns out to be a prick born on third base, and yet somehow is written in as the admirable protagonist.

I'm a huge fan of Fallis' earlier writing, especially "Best Laid Plans." But, this book was pretty bad both in concept and in writing.

The writing qualms are easier to address: Everett, in particular, is unlikable because of a weirdly lurchy 'thesaurus voice' (e.g., "So what were you two discussing in such an animated fashion while promenading?" he asks on p. 188).
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books, canlit
After the mind F#$* that was Bellevue Square and the frustration that was The Manticore and a dose of violence and investigative journalism that was The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, I am ready for something light, fun and easy to read. What better than the humour of Terry Fallis?

Everette Kane, a freelance journalist in his 30s and avid feminist has to be the dutiful son and assist his father who is recovering from a stroke in Florida. He finds a small apartment and flies from Toronto to
Patrick Book
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
I don't imagine I'll ever understand the appeal of Terry Fallis. Even when he's on the side of the angels (sort of?) by writing a pro-feminist (sort of?) book, he's a garbage pile of a writer.

His first two novels seemed to hit a particular niche with Liberal audiences tired of living under successive Conservative governments. The bloodless "satire" and half-baked "humour" (I lost track of the fart jokes, honestly) came across as so bland and toothless it was almost insulting.

I haven't read his
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
The Best Laid Plans was one of the best novels I have ever read. And the follow up - the High Road - was ok, too.

This book wasnt as good - there was still humour, intrigue, romance - but I didnt find it as engaging as the other two books.

This tells the story of a struggling writer. He has lost the enthusiasm of youth and is churning out copy for third rate magazines. Then, his father has a stroke and the writer, Everett Kane, leaves Canada to go to Florida to visit and encourage his fathers
Sep 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was awful. Most of the book revolved around how superior this man's feminism was to everybody else's but the book failed to actually engage with any feminist issues beyond acknowledging their existence. He chooses feminism as his cause because it is "more widespread than discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, disabilities, and everything else" which is blatantly ignorant of any concept of intersectionality at all. The book revolves around the strip ...more
Rob Lazenby
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I consider myself a fan of Terry Fallis. I enjoy his writing style and his essentially optimistic view of the world. So it is a bit of surprise that I didn't really enjoy this book. If I had to sum my review up in a word it would be: "meh"

The story is very simple and fundamentally not much happens. The characters are not well defined as individuals and are all pretty shallow. It's as if Fallis had one character profile to start with and gave each of them a single defining trait and left it at
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it

Overnight, Eve of Equality, a new feminist blog, becomes a sensation when a wildly popular TV talk show host stumbles upon it, Tweets about it, and promotes it on her show. The blog is smart, thoughtful, funny, and bold, brazenly taking on various injustices in the lives of women. But it's the blogger Eve's post about the controversial entrepreneur behind XY, a new chain of high-end strip clubs opening up across the country that sets off a firestorm. In a matter of hours, the Eve of
Leah Z
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Another entertaining and enjoyable read by one of my favourite authors. While this one doesnt lead the pack in terms of my favourite Terry Fallis novels due to the many eye-rolling moments peppered throughout the novel, there is always something immensely likable and charming about his characters. They are classically imperfectguided by a solid moral compass and grounded in doing whats right, albeit sometimes veering off course slightly. All the while, there is an authentic nature to them. There ...more
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Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of seven national bestsellers, including his latest, Albatross, all published by McClelland & Stewart (Penguin Random House). His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the "essential Canadian novel of the decade." In January 2014, CBC aired a six-part ...more

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“Being a feminist in principle is easy compared to being a feminist in practice. For men and women, living each day in practical defiance of thousands of years of gender-based streaming is so much harder than walking in marches, running workshops, and writing blog posts. It means questioning everything you do, moment by moment, day by day. It means thinking differently and making dozens of conscious decisions every day that you might have made on auto-pilot before. It's hard. It's taxing. It's tiring.” 2 likes
“I truly believed that a man should not be seen to be out front on feminism. That would be just like a man to try to take over the women's movement. We'd taken over everything else in history, in society, in the world, why not feminism, too? No, I don't think so.” 1 likes
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