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The Road Ahead

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Rick Tompkins, a suburban Toronto insurance broker, never considered a career in politics until a good friend, who happens to be the leader of the Conservative party, asks him to run for office. He accepts the offer, with the understanding that he would probably not win, but can use the opportunity to gain some visibility for himself and his business. Jerry Switzer, a vete ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published September 21st 2016 by Library and Archives Canada
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Average rating 4.34  · 
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 ·  29 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Micah Thomas
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Handler has written a book that, in another age, would be satire; a send up of how a populist buffoon can wreck havoc in government and their personal life through sheer indomitable ignorance and appetite. In this year of the exposed ass, the donkey that brays loudest would be at home in Handler’s world.

There is a straightforwardness to Handler’s prose, as facts and figures are marshaled out, signaling that, while satire, the issues and processes of bureaucratic government are real. This re
A.B. Funkhauser
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it

Woe to the pols and pundits pouring tar on the political zeitgeist. Debut author Willie Handler does it better and with humor. Insurance broker Rick Tompkins is an all around decent guy. Friendly, hardworking and magnanimous, he is also vocal, overbearing and outrageous when unchecked. These qualities, when combined, make a perfect storm for controversy and plenty of it. When Rick’s long time buddy and leader of the Conservative Party in Ontario asks him to run for office in a ‘loser’ rid
Shannon Matthews
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
very funny! political satire- an insiders view of policy making in Ontario
Kristy Vincent
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A humorous story about an Average Joe entering the political field with just as much knowledge of politics as me! No knowledge, let's be clear.

I won the book in a contest and was worried I wouldn't understand the political jargon, but was assured I would be fine, and I was! I learned a lot too.

Rick Tompkins, on the other hand, does what he fancies. You will learn as you read that the things he does won't end well and Rick doesn't seem to learn. No, let's be honest, he doesn't WANT to learn.

C.L. Ogilvie
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Rick Tompkins is an insurance broker who never considered a career in politics until his friend, the leader of the Conservative party, asks him to run for office with the understanding he most likely will not win; the Conservatives are just looking to boost their numbers in a difficult riding. Rick is far from the ideal candidate; anything but politically correct, he offends everyone in his path and stumbles from one political scandal to another. He makes outrageous promises the Party can’t deli ...more
S. M. Holland
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious.. Although I desperately wanted to punch Rick Tompkins in the throat.. His politically incorrect comments made me cringe.. but I was glad to see, it also made everyone else around him cringe... This isn't something I would normally read, so I was nervous at first, but I was pleasantly surprised that it kept me snickering all the way through. ...more
Chelsea DeVries
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was eager from page one to start reading The Road Ahead by Willie Handler because in high school, I fell in love with the subtle humor associated with the genre from reading books like Candide by Voiltaire, etc.

Some who have read my own previously published novels could argue that they contain a satirical tone to romance.

Yet Willie’s book kept me reading from the beginning because his characters had definite quirks, flaws, and a sense of realism to them.

And even though this book was published
Charles Gluckstein
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun read over a weekend. I have a background both in the auto insurance sector and dealing with government relations on this issue and Willie brought home some key messages about how odd the government can work on policy decisions. Being also from Toronto the Tompkins character had a mix of our past mayor Rob Ford as well as some Trumpian right wing thinkers. As a lawyer I obviously was offended but can also advise that the cynicism that some government officials have towards the pers ...more
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an entertaining and very funny first book. It relates the surprising victory of a novice candidate, more than a little short when it comes to dignity, whose main interest is increasing his name recognition for his insurance brokerage. He accidentally stumbles on a winning, but undeliverable, campaign promise. While it is a must read for those interested in the murky world of Canadian provincial politics, this book will be appreciated by all who enjoy the sometimes comic side of public li ...more
Lisa De Castro
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Road Ahead strikes a nerve, and one's funny bone in its satirical presentation of the political world. The humour is both light, and absurd, lending Rick to be both amusing and despised. The book's humour is a bandage of sorts that helps ease the painful cognizance that the fictitious "road" that Rick has paved is quite real. As such, the reader is inclined to laugh at the nonsensical, and feel ill at ease that the joke is on us. Loved it. ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading The Road Ahead and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. It's a satire that is dead on -- with a politician who acts and speaks inappropriately, and his staff who are constantly bending over backwards in their attempts to do damage control. There were a few parts in the book where I actually laughed out loud. You don't need to follow politics to appreciate the humor. I highly recommend The Road Ahead. ...more
Jill Squire
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Could this really happen? Well, we all know now that it could! An incredibly smart, fast paced and fun read where art has imitated life.

Just when you think Mr. Handler has pulled all the tricks out of his hat for this story yet another rabbit appears.

Highly recommended political & societal satire.

I am very much looking forward to this author’s next book “Loved Mars, Hated the Food” due out Fall 2019

Murray Segal
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Willie Handler's first novel builds on his vast experience as a senior civil servant and consultant . He shows a deliciously witty style that pokes large holes at the business of policy making and serving as an elected representative. Makes you laugh out loud. Can't wait to seee Willie's next work. ...more
Haddi E
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Political satire isn't my usual genre but I enjoyed the read nonetheless. It's obvious that Willie Handler has done his research. This was a fun, light-hearted comedy and an excellent first book. I'm excited to see what Handler has up his sleeve for his next book! ...more
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: canada, fiction, politics
Entertaining political satire, set in the GTA in Ontario.
Lawrence Fox
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a clever, entertaining satire, which moves the hero (??) and the other characters smoothly from situation to situation.
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Willie Handler, BooksGoSocial and NetGaalley for the ARC. Loved Mars, Hated the Food is a satirical romp below the surface of Mars. There are laugh out loud moments which is what I was looking forward to. A grumpy robot and unique, quirky Martians help make the story light hearted and fun to read. Mixed within the story are comments on discrimination and social justice. I will read further works by Willie,
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Oct 16, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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Author Willie Handler was a satirist well before he became a novelist. Hailing from Canada, where self-deprecating humor is part of the national character, he finds targets for his humor everywhere. His targets include friends, family, co-workers, politicians, farmers, subway passengers, bureaucrats, telemarketers, Martians, and his barber, Vince. In 2016, he released his first novel THE ROAD AHEA ...more

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