Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Working the Dead Beat

Working the Dead Beat - 50 Lives that Changed Canada was Virginia's pick for November, and a good one! It was a collection of 50 of Sandra Martin's obit columns - not nearly as depressing as it sounds.

Summing up a whole life in a few pages is an art, but it also distilled recent history, because the obits focused on people who had died between 2000 and 2010. There were Prime Ministers alongside actors, entrepreneurs like Ed Mirvish beside early feminists like Doris Anderson.

I read it totally out of sequence, of course, and found myself drawn more to certain sections than others. Rogues, Rascals and Romantics made for interesting reading. Also included: Icons, Builders, Private Lives Public Impact.

One of my favourite quotes in the book, "His life was his art. Alas, it was not a masterpiece," said of Scott Symons, an author I've never read (or aspire to read). But it's a great quote.

Definitely worth picking up but I'm not likely to finish reading it cover-to-cover.

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