07 December 2011

Max Braithwaite's Bawdy Book

Humorist Max Braithwaite was born one hundred years ago today in Nokomis, Saskatchewan. His Why Shoot the Teacher was one of the very first Canadian novels I ever read... and the 1977 film adaptation, starring Bud Cort, is a favourite.

So why is it that I haven't so much as picked up another Braithwaite novel?

The titles have something to do with it. The Night We Stole the Mountie's Car and The Commodore's Barge is Alongside gave off a folksy ring that had me covering my ears.

McClelland and Stewart's cover treatments neutered titillating titles...

...or rendered them dull and humourless.

So I passed on his books, offered in plenty at garage sales, thrift shops, and church bazaars, until last week I happened upon this, the one Braithwaite novel McClelland and Stewart did not publish:

Not bought at a church bazaar.

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