22 November 2021

The Dustiest Bookcase: T is for Trueman

Short pieces on books I've always meant to review (but haven't).

Cousin Elva
Stuart Trueman
Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1955
224 pages

I prefer my humour dark, which pretty much explains why I haven't read this mid-century comic novel. The jacket copy discourages:

What does it say about me that I have have no interest in a group of lovable characters? What does it mean that I don't want to read "a truly happy book."

Nothing good, I expect.

Did McClelland & Stewart do its author a disservice? It wouldn't be the first time. And I do like Trueman's illustrations.

Do Cousin Elva, Mr Bogson, Dr Fergus, Nathaniel Scribner, and luscious Beth Hailley rank amongst the most extraordinary characters in Canadian literature?

I'll be the judge of that... just not this year.


  1. I'm with you, Br1an. There's nothing like rollicking, madcap and hilarious to warn me off a book. Unless it's wacky and riotous. Clearly the front flap copy writer is desperate for me to understand what a funny funny book this is.

    Life's too short.