Write a brief review of The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis.    

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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The Best Laid Plans, Terry Fallis's originally self-published debut novel is a satirical look at Canadian politics that takes the protagonist back and forth from the nation's capital to the small town of Cumberland. The story opens with the protagonist Daniel Addison in Cumberland slipping on an unscooped dog dropping. His mission to find the next Liberal Party candidate for the district is distinctly failing. As a desperate last resort, he has approached the eighty-one-year-old Muriel Parkinson to stand for her sixth election bid against the same Tory opponent who won victories over her five times in a row. She adamantly says, "No!" Actually, she adamantly says, "No no no no no! ... Do not pass go! Do not collect two hundred dollars. Security! Security!"

Through the romp of a political campaign, Fallis addresses political issues that are relevant and important. For instance, in the first pages of the novel, while talking with the moderately soothed Muriel Parkinson, Addison sees she is reading a book titled Home Economics and Free Labour, by Marin Lee, that he styles as a "groundbreaking treatise on the unrecognized economic contribution of women working in the home ... ostensibly for no income. ... a classic of feminist theory ...."

Addison eventually finds a candidate who doesn't mind running in an election that is certain to go--yet again--to the Tory incumbent, but when his candidate, curmudgeonly old Angus who is an engineering professor who loathes teaching English classes, finds things going differently from the plan, all manner of adventures and misadventures unfold. This is a funny and entertaining book that is equally enlightening since Fallis was a staff member of the Canadian Federal government thus well-situated to tell the ins and outs of government.

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