Warning: If you have not read “The Best Laid Plans” by Terry Fallis, do not read this review unless you do not mind spoilers or if you have already read the book.
I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “The Best Laid Plans” by Terry Fallis! Here’s a summary of the book so we know what it’s about:
“A burnt-out political aide quits just before an election — but is forced to run a hopeless campaign on the way out. He makes a deal with a crusty old Scot, Angus McLintock — an engineering professor who will do anything, anything, to avoid teaching English to engineers — to let his name stand in the election. No need to campaign, certain to lose – or is he?”
This book was a bit harder to read for me, as there are a lot of politics going on in the book, particularly with the Canadian Parliament. If you’re not familiar with how that structure works, it might be good to just read up on the basics of it before reading this book to make full sense of what is going on. However, the plotline was rather funny during the first half where the campaigning is going on, starting from setting it up all the way to the very end of the campaign when everyone has cast their votes.
Unfortunately, where the first half of the book was hilarious, the second half was a bit slow for my liking, and is too easily summed up like this:
Everyone: “ANGUS, NO!”
Angus: “ANGUS, YES!”
This made the second half of the book almost a bit too predictable to read, despite how funny it was, and as I mentioned just earlier, also a bit slow to read. I felt like the book could’ve just stopped at after Angus being elected, but then again it was fun seeing how things derailed even more from there as well. Overall, I just have mixed feelings about how the plot went as a whole. I didn’t wholly dislike it, but it wasn’t too great due to a much weaker second half of the plot as well.
The characters were what made this book fun to read, with poor Daniel being horribly exasperated over Angus’ insistence of being an honest (albeit very blunt) man in Parliament once he ends up being elected. Angus’ reaction to winning the campaign was one of the highlights of the book, as well as Daniel’s description of his ex-girlfriend having an affair in Centre Block at the beginning of the book. Unfortunately, none of the characters really had much development, except for maybe Daniel who takes the time to stop and think about how ridiculous the vary situations he encounters in the book are, but that’s about it. Despite the lack of character development, though, it’s funny enough to read pretty much most of Angus’ interactions with the other characters so that partially makes up for it.
Overall, I would rate this book 3 out of 5 stars, mainly because of the lack of character development and the second half of the book being really slow. If you’re looking for a book that has some laughs and a lot of Parliamentary language, however, this book might be the one you want to try reading.