Dr. Todd Sheppard Blog

The Quintessential Canadian

Stuart McLean’s

‘Time Now for the Vinyl Café Story Exchange’

Book Review

In my opinion there are two types of Canadians, those who know Stuart McLean and those that don’t. Frankly, I feel really sorry for those that don’t. In a way, the success (or lack of) that Stuart has achieved reflects the culture and attitude of most Canadians. We’re just don’t blow our own horns.

If Stuart was an American, he would be a household name. He’d be a fixture on every daytime and evening talk show. Everyone (world-wide) would know Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Café characters. Instead Mr. McLean and company are a subculture of CBC radio. They are a well-kept secret of the fortunate Canadians who have found him there.

I remember many cold Saturday or Sunday mornings where even my fickle teenagers will pull out the ear buds to listen to a Vinyl Café story on the way to hockey practice. Stuart is a master story teller in the fashion of his predecessor, Stephen Leacock. His characters seem so real you wish they were your next-door neighbours. Stuart Mclean also has an amazing voice that draws you in every time.

His latest book ‘Time Now for the Vinyl Café Story Exchange’ (Viking Publisher 2013) is absolutely fantastic, but I don’t recommend it for beginners. If you are new to the Vinyl Café try to find a podcast of ‘Dave goes to the Dentist’ (my favorite for obvious reasons) or ‘Dave Cooks the Turkey’ then tune into CBC radio on a Saturday morning and you should be hooked. Fans can check out his extensive back catalogue of books and CD’s.

Full blown Vinyl Café junkies (like myself) should pick up this book because you just won’t be able to put it down.

Oh, and by the way, if you are Stuart McLean email me the next time you are in Calgary let’s find a good used record store and go for lunch, my treat!

2 Responses

  1. j Coombes

    So true, Todd – Didn’t know you were a Stuart McLean fan too! I’ve avidly followed him since the 60’s when he had a spot on Peter Gzowsky’s “This Country in the Morning” (and later “Morningside”). –j.

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