Reviews

In A Spin

Readers’ Comments

“…a strong, vivid novel…even a ‘page-turner.’…the characters came alive for me, were believable and interesting in their own right, and I cared for what happens to them.”

“I really enjoyed the read! I honestly couldn’t put the book down. I thought the way the story unfolded was clever…the ‘crossing over” of the seemingly contrasting worlds of sport and academia worked very well to challenge expectations and keep the reader hooked…All of the characters had distinct voices and there were many funny points in the story too that had me laughing out loud.”

“I had no idea that that was what was coming! A great plot line, believable dialogue, and a convincing exploration of the limitations and surprising resilience of friendship, especially the relatively rare male-female friendship that does not become sexual. Of course I also enjoyed the university politics in the side-plot.”

“It is a really good read… For me the book had not just one pleasure of being carried along by the story, but the double pleasure of realizing later, that, I had indeed been carried along…It was not just like a fine wine but it was like a fine wind with a heady and agreeable aftertaste.”

“I was glued to the book, and was laughing a lot as I read it…It surely is timely.”

“I loved In A Spin…The characterization is awesome, the plot gripping and amusing, and the writing excellent. My recommendations to friends are enthusiastic and without reservation!”

“It’s a terrific read…the academic scene depicted exactly as I would have…The end result of Skinner’s fate comes across as convincing and perceptive, true to what I know…parts of the book made me shout out with delight.”

“I did very much enjoy reading In A Spin. Great insight to a world that most don’t know about. Very well covered and I so enjoyed the dialogue between the characters plus descriptions and observations re-Canadian life. Truly hope your book helps others see and experience/accept the situations of life that others experience.”

“It is great. I enjoy the characters, and I particularly delight in your covering of faculty and administration politics–and of course political correctness even when it replaces free speech. A fun read.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the book with its twists and turns.”

At the Table, Nourishing Conversation and Food

“….the outstanding quality of the book is its charm. Almost everyone can enjoy its sense of family, time passing pleasantly, fun, rugged country, water, and conversation (as opposed to chitchat) round a series of tables. Highly recommended.” Guardian (Charlottetown, P.E.I.), January 12, 2013.

Readers’ Comments

“What a lovely book it is…It was not just the content of the book that charmed, it was also the writing, literate, but never pedantic, flowing easily, deft in the way it expressed emotion….”

“Loved it, loved it, loved it….It is pure Keenleyside, adventures of the human spirit.”

“I loved reading (At the Table)….It all flowed comfortably and was so fun to read and picture and share everything….”

“I had tears rolling down my cheeks, and was full of deep emotion. THAT is the effect the book had on me….I felt as though I had been on a journey through life….”

Roaming the Big Land: Flavours of Canada

“Terry and Dorothy (Dot) Keenleyside take their readers on a journey across this country from coast to coast, weaving the past with the present through local voices, family stories, historical and political references….Our identity is central to the travels of this unassuming, questioning, informed pair….(I)n Iqaluit the taxi driver is from Lebanon, and a Ukrainian-Canadian is marrying an Italian-Canadian in Regina–signs of the blending of differences so characteristic of cities like Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. Contradicting Rene Levesque, Terry says, “Canada is a souffle. And the souffle is rising.” Renaissance Magazine, Winter, 2012.

“This is a delightful follow up to his award winning Missing the Bus, Making the Connection: Tales and Tastes of Travel….Great raconteur.” The Cookbook Store, Toronto, March 5, 2011.

“His tales are touching, amusing and insightful investigations of the Canadian identity and each chapter is highlighted with the addition of an original Canadian recipe.” Book Mark, Curiosity House Books, August, 2011, p. 4.

Readers’ Comments

“The descriptions of the landscape and people are wonderfully done and so interesting and unique. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. It made me want to start traveling across the country and northward to explore the many facets of our wonderful culture and landscape.”

“The book was passed around and we all enjoyed reading it. He does a superb job of writing and making it so interesting you don’t want to stop until you come to the end–and then you are tempted to re-read it!”

“I really liked the book. I feel like I just took a trip across Canada.”

Missing the Bus, Making the Connection: Tales and Tastes of Travel

“From a botched seating plan for a dinner hosted by Pierre Trudeau to a nefarious scheme to bring a valuable collection of Chinese artifacts to Canada; from a breakdown in the desert to a harrowing adventure at sea; and from English eccentricity to French flare, Missing the Bus takes readers on a vicarious journey into unusual situations and places as well as to well-known haunts that are coloured in new light….Missing the Bus, Making the Connection is, in effect, a recipe for happy, healthy living.” Renaissance Magazine, Spring, 2009.

“The reader travels back and forth across the years and the continents catching up with the King of Thailand in his throne room; Princess Imaterinsky in the Alpes Maritimes; Klaus Matthes on a photography shoot on the subject of love in Bangkok; Father O’Leary in the Victorian parlour of his country parish in County Clare, Ireland;…. the Austrian trade commissioner, on the Wadi Rum-to-Aqaba caravan route, etc….The 39 stories go back and forth in time and are arranged according to five movements that open a rich experience for travellers and readers….Every chapter brings alive quirky encounters that have a quiet way of reminding readers to look out for the same in their own lives.” bout de papier, Canada’s Magazine of Diplomacy and Foreign Service, Spring, 2009.

“This little book offers classic recipes garnished with lighthearted but insightful tales of travel, a perfect gift. The Cookbook Store, Toronto, January 12, 2009.

Readers’ Comments

“I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. It is my kind of book and my kind of read.”

Missing the Bus was a wonderful escape into a world of the past when people travelled to authentic places that weren’t overrun by tourists….I loved the book.”

“I look forward to each chapter as one looks forward to a much anticipated trip. I can literally feel the atmosphere, smell the exotic fragrances, taste the unusual food and meet the unusual people along the way.”

“….each section has its own theme and each vignette contributes to it–and what lovely vignettes! We enjoyed the evocation of a happy family growing up and joining the adventures as much as we did the adventures themselves.”

“It’s truly a unique conception, weaving….reflections of travel from Maine and Carolina to London and Paris to Thailand and Indonesia, together with family recipes….As you can guess, you had us in tears when we reached ‘We’ll always have Puce’….You’ve given the book an ending that ranks with the film’s; we were deeply moved by it.”

See also “Five-star dining on peanuts–or noix de cajou” (excerpt), The Globe and Mail, Saturday, June 6, 2009.

 

The Common Touch

“This book was a pleasure to read. It is well planned and competently executed. Arriving as it did with no fanfare and little publicity it may be in danger of being underestimated. I hope not, because it is far more deserving of attention than some of the more loudly heralded offerings of recent months. An unpretentious gem of a book! Herald Gazette, November 19, 1977.

“This is a novel–and from the standpoint of straight readability an excellent one–that should raise hackles in Ottawa as The Ugly American raised in Washington….a most readable story, full of drama, conflict, topicality, authentic detail and local colour, all of which make this a hard book to put down.” Winnipeg Free Press, September 3, 1977.

“This fascinating novel takes the reader into the world of Canadian diplomacy in Southeast Asia. T. A. Keenleyside, a former member of the Canadian foreign service, brings his inside knowledge clearly into view when he illustrates the characters involved in the intrigues and conflicts of the diplomatic world in this post-Vietnam period. The book is fascinating because it throws light on Canada’s activities abroad–aid in one form or another, and how it is used or abused. The families of the diplomats play  a major role in this novel with a little sexual enticement here and there. It is a simple story, well-told and highly readable.” Sunday Sun, October 23, 1977.

“Any bright-eyed youngster who sees in the foreign service a highway to romance or an open door to service to humanity might save himself–or herself–severe disillusionment by reading this book….The book shows how good intentions can be diverted and how projects which start out well go off the track….The author could not have written the book while in the foreign service, nor could he have written it without having been there.” London Free Press, April 8, 1978.

“Set in a fictional Southeast Asian country, this is the tense story of James Rutherford, diplomat, who finds himself plummeted into the midst of a country on the verge of great social and economic turmoil. His own ‘do nothing’ government policy outrages him. The vested interest of those powers who champion industrial development frustrate him….it is a novel that has extremely realistic tones and makes one wonder how closely to the truth Mr. Keenleyside skirts.” The Sun Times, October 28, 1977.

“Rutherford’s frustrations are felt by the reader. That’s what keeps the reader turning pages late into the night and long after eyelids are accustomed to closing.” The Canadian Press, November, 1977.

One Response to Reviews

  1. Since Terry Keenleyside began writing fiction(“The Common Touch”) and travel literature, he has contributed an uncanny series of brilliant reflections on the values of life throughout the world. As professors(now retired) of politics and nutrition respectively, my partner and I have assigned his books to our classes since the 70’s, demonstrating their extraordinary range of commentary. His latest book, “At the Table” brings to the fore the current crisis in family values and how the fragmentation of our everyday conversation might be remedied by reweaving the web of life, starting at the dinner table. Keenleyside doesn’t just diagnose dysfunctional societies in academic terms, although as a former academic he could settle for only that. Instead he infuses his compelling analysis with stories of his own sublime family. The book’s best chapters include two by Dorothy, his brilliant spouse of over 50 years, who has built the edifice with him of their sublime example of sanity and civility for our troubled planet to witness. I challenge you to read the introduction of “At the Table” and then put it down. Impossible! Dennis Dalton, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York

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