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The Canadaland Guide to Canada

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  249 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Do you think of Canada as that “nice” country with free health care, majestic woodlands, and polite people?

Think again.

The CANADALAND Guide to Canada (Published in America) is an outrageous exposé of Canada’s secrets, scandals, and occasional awkward lapses in proper etiquette.

Inside, you’ll find illustrations, maps, quizzes, and charts that answer the most pressing questi
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Gallery Books
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3.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  249 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Brandon Forsyth
In a very fitting way, this is like an inferior (and cognizant of it) AMERICA: THE BOOK.
There's a lot of interesting and funny stuff here, and it's inspired me to look into some elements of Canada's history that I'm ignorant of (Camp 210 whaaaaat?), but the whole thing is too broad to have anything really hit home. It's high on snark, but low on value.
I'm also confused about who this book is written for: half of it reads like it's seriously written as an exercise in illusion-shattering for Ame
Dec 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
I didn’t really like this book. It was snarky and not funny. The individual topics didn’t cover much information or detail. The layout reminds me of something a fourth grader would submit as a research project. Good work for a 9 year old but that’s about it. I don’t recommend wasting your time or money on this book.
Patrick Book
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I like the Canadaland podcast. I think it often examines topics that go overlooked and asks some important questions.

This doesn't. This is so completely cynical and sarcastic and hateful that I get the impression Brown genuinely doesn't like a thing about Canada. I don't think I'm missing the joke; there are 10-12 genuinely funny jokes in this book, and there's a ton of lesser-known historical facts that are worth spreading. But it literally says nothing positive about an entire country and eve
C.D. Gallant-King
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it

This book tries really hard to make you feel ashamed to be Canadian. Canada is known as a polite and progressive country, and while that's generally true, we also have A LOT of skeletons in our closet. This book takes all of them out and shakes them in your face for the world to see. It dispenses a lot of myths about Canada that other countries have been parroting for so long that we've started to believe them ourselves.

Some of these stories are just silly. Like when American Civil War Veterans
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Who this book is for:
Young, sarcastic, caustic persons who have lived (or currently live) in Canada and enjoy SNL.
Or friends of the authors.

Who this book is NOT for:
Sunday school teachers, grandmothers, anyone looking for an honest guidebook on Canadian culture, older, respectful Canadians.

It's clever, snarky and rude. If you're into that sort of thing, carry on and enjoy!
Parts of it were truly funny to me, having lived near and visited Canada most of my life. But there was a lot of it that m
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read it simply for the cover. Not for those who don't enjoy crude humour, but if you do it's worth a look. Yep, I snickered a time or two at the inside, and not so inside jokes.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
This would be a delightful book to read as an ex-pat who has some distance from Canadian culture but also misses it dearly. It was fun to rediscover nuggets of Canadian history that I learned years ago in high school civics and history classes and read some facts that were new to me. As a Canadaland supporter, I think it's important to question national myths and consider how history is presented. Though some parts of the book, such as a series on the disingenuousness of the word "sorry" and a s ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Really quite disappointing. I either missed the humour the author was attempting to convey, or the book was just not funny. Either way I was anxious to read this book and bitterly disappointed.
Joshua Bertram
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: canadian, comedy
Jesse Brown's media criticism and political observations are frequently astute and, frankly, indispensable in the role Canadaland plays in the media landscape in this country. But he's never as clever or funny as it seems like he thinks he is. There are certainly sporadic laughs in The Canadaland Guide to Canada, like the photo of an oil company CEO overseeing the oil sands that is actually just a photo of the Eye of Sauron overlooking Mordor from The Lord of the Rings, or the section ranking th ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan of Jesse Brown's podcast ("Canadaland") and I could almost hear him as I read through this. It is hysterical at points in the way any country's history can be hilarious but the fact that we Canadians tend to have a rather strong amount of moral superiority it's great to see us taken down a peg too.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty fresh take on Canada and its history, although a bit rough take on the French language.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rather a scattershot effort but there is so much terrible stuff that has been done and is being done by us smug Canadians that there is more than enough material. If you aren't Canadian you would probably miss a lot of the references but there's enough here to laugh at that it remains worth giving as a gift (and a conversation starter). Not suitable for kids... Two annoying problems from the POV of an academic - no clear organization and no footnotes.
Chris weir
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mean, nasty and absolutely hilarious. No Canadian figure or personality is safe from ridicule here.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
(This is a copy of my review from NetGalley, where I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of this book)

Following in the footsteps of The Onion and the Daily Show's "America (The Book)," the authors revel in irreverence from cover to cover in a take on their home country that brings both laughs and a surprising amount of information presented through its comical lens. Brown, Mochama and Zarzycki have done an excellent job of taking down the book's focus in a way that honestly helps pre
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Overall a funny read. It falls into the same cynical political-historical category with the books written by the Daily Show and Colbert in the late 2000s. It's nice to have one (perhaps there are many and I haven't heard of them) written about Canada. I laughed out loud more than I'd like to admit and read it in one sitting.
My only criticism of the book is that it's not firm on who it's speaking to. In some paragraphs, it's clearly speaking in the "ignorant American, this is how it REALLY is" vo
Heather Tyminski
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A hilarious and cynical overview of Canadian culture. Many of us Canadians like feeling superior to the US for being more liberal and accepting. Jesse Brown's book is a great antidote for this smugness.

One of my only criticisms is that the book ends abruptly without any sort of conclusion. It would have been nice to have a section that wrapped up the thoughts and interpretarions in the book.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humour
How I Came to Read This Book: The publisher sent me a copy to review.

The Plot: Canadaland is a popular podcast - one I'll admit I've never listened to. This is the affiliated book, which is basically a self-deprecating (to the point of vicious) look at Canada under a microscope, which takes all of the things we 'should' be proud of and dissects them by highlighting a mixture of actual less-than-pleasant facts and history tidbits alongside some clear jokes as least, clear to a Canadian.
May 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
If you're looking for a funny take on Canada with the usual humble brag style then this is not the book for you. This was a very angry little book outlining most of Canada's flaws but it wasn't particularly well done. I guess it was supposed to be funny but it wasn't. There are a lot of truths in here about Canada that are unpleasant - but the vitriol wasn't an effective tool for the message.

And please save me from Canadian media people who feel the need to compare Canadian people/places/things
The Canadaland Guide to Canada is a great bathroom book. And no, I don't mean the kind where you tear out the pages to use in case of emergencies, it's one of those books that is best perused in small amounts. It's the sort of book that I'd leave in a guest bathroom for unsuspecting visitors to pick up and chuckle at.

Written by Jesse Brown, host of the Canadaland podcast, it's a pretty good skewering of current Canada, written like and likely inspired by "America the Book." There are legitimatel
Glen Farrelly
I blame the editor and/or publisher of this book. First, the audience for this book is awkwardly ill-defined as it seems to target non-Canadians yet it has too much arcane Canadianna that only long-term Canadians would know and thus be able to understand. Other reviewers have correctly noted that there is an over-abundance of snark and a lack of sufficient humour. The author(s) mix truthful (and much-needed) critique of Canada with fiction (for humour's sake) - yet mixing the two results in a re ...more
Mark Altosaar
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The premise for this sounded great -- telling the dark embarrassing stories of our nation's history that we prefer to gloss over.

It takes a very flippant tone and started out rather flimsy. A lot of stuff I generally already knew, unsourced claims, and just not very much substance.

I don't know if it got better after the first few chapters, or perhaps I just had unrealistic expectations for what the book would be, but I started to find it wildly entertaining. It got me laughing out loud, and quot
Bar Lovv
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
A funny piece of comedy that points the finger at what many assume to be the bright-shiny and oh-so-clean country that I live in, and shows that we're not quite the utopia we like to take ourselves for. It's a fun read, though there are a couple of places where the "satire" comes off as in slightly poor taste. That said, I do think a lot of that comes with the disadvantage of trying to decipher tone from writing. Definitely a book that I'll be buying, I'd like to have it around the house, plus i ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian, library
i really enjoyed this book. i cackled a LOT and read a lot out loud to harass my family. but that being said, it kinda embodies the critiques it makes about canada. beige. mentioning indigenous plight for superiority points (like canada's "environmentalism") but still staying safely "white canadian" and spending 5000% more time on US relations and the Quebecois. i dunno. beige. i think it tried to highlight all these pitfalls while hitting every one in a way that just... you don't get points for ...more
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for a comprehensive history of Canada, or anyone who comes directly from the Canadaland podcast without looking further into this book.

I would, however, ABSOLUTELY recommend this book for anyone who wants a Cards Against Humanity-esque book on Canada. Or any Canadian looking to poke some fun at their country. It’s a bit cynical, sure, but I couldn’t stop sending screenshots to my friends of pages that made me laugh out loud. Really enjoyed it.
Darren Hull
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Really enjoy the Canadaland podcast. Unfortunately I can't say the same for this book. It feels like it was an attempt to create something similar to the Daily Show's/Colbert Report's companion pieces. However, those books were written by teams of very gifted comedic writers. This one, not so much. Comes across like an obnoxious tween who just discovered Vice. That being said, I highly recommend the Canadaland (and Oppo!) podcast if you have any interest in Canadian politics and/or media.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's been a while in coming, but we're finally taking ourselves to task. Not flaunted morality disguised as self-flagellation, and not superiority dressed as south-directed snark. It's national pride that can unveil the funny, the sad, and the preposterous in ourselves to strengthen patriotism and drive self-improvement.

Buy it, have a laugh, and don't be a fusspot. And yes, Air Farce made a terrible transition from radio to television.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
No one has ever called me patriotic, in fact, I’ve been asked “Why do you hate Canada?” on more than one occasion, but even I thought this book was a little too mean spirited. There were definitely funny moments in my the book, but the overwhelming negativity made it feel like I was reading a 13 Year-old’s edgy manifesto about why their suburban parents are so lame.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kcls
My rating is 1.5 stars. It is interesting and (sometimes) funny to read about various absurd laws and habits of a group of people, in this case of Canadians. And it was funny at the beginning, and then became a lot of trolling. I feel this book would be much better if it contained only real stories and facts; currently it's hard to understand if some funny, absurd law is real or not.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Fun piece of Canadiana that contains a mixture of odd factoids (that are both true and fictional) and a humourous joke or two. Pokes fun of the Great White North well enough but a lot of the jokes are easy and lack any real depth.

Would recommend picking up if on sale or when it eventually lands in the bargain bin.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty disappointing, but I think I had different expectations of the kind of humour that would be contained within. This just seemed a bit cruel. I suppose I thought it would be more lighthearted than it was, based on the cover of Drake canoodling with a moose.
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