28 November 2022

The Dustiest Bookcase: Z is for Zink (Again)

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

The Uprooted
Lubor Zink
Toronto: Longmans Canada, 1962
343 pages

The Bombardier Guide to Canadian Authors places satirist Lubor Zink in the same league as Rabelais, Swift, and Ayn Rand, yet few outside the Canadians at National Lampoon truly understood his talent. He worked for decades as a columnist in Toronto, with the Telegram and the Sun, but his humour went over the heads of most readers. Zink will be forever linked to Pierre Elliott Trudeau, toward whom he feigned obsession and hatred, but I think his best columns date from the Pearson era. In July 26, 1965 edition of the Toronto Telegram he criticizes medicare, suggesting "legalcare, morticare, carcare, housecare, leisurecare, and endless other possibilities" are to follow.


Lubor J Zink
[Toronto]: [Toronto Sun], 1972

Zink coined "Trudeaumania," which Larry Zolf credits with boosting PET in the 1968 Liberal leadership race. "Trudeaucracy," the title of his 1972 book, didn't catch on in the same way. Lubor Zink's greatest influence was on Stephen Colbert, who clearly used the "Lubor J Zink" character as the inspiration for his own on The Colbert Report.

Zink wrote three novels, The Uprooted, a Cold War thriller, being the only one that was written and published in English. Does it not have the look of a late-seventies indie album?

If his mastery of satire is anything to go by, Zink's thriller will be even better than Richard Rohmer's Starmaggedon.

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