Saturday, September 01, 2007

Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean

I'm a loyal CBC listener, and though I don't make it a point to listen to any particular program regularly (I wish there were a TiVo for radio!) I still enjoy hearing Stuart McLean read his stories aloud during The Vinyl Cafe when I catch it. I know I've talked before about this program here so my apologies for repeating myself.

This is the latest installment in the large collection of short stories McLean has written about the oafish Dave, his bland wife Morley, and their family, friends and neighbours. Most of the stories fall into the "cute and sweet" category, and they usually have a sappy ending. Occasionally, though, they hit that perfect mixture of absurd, comical and believable and then they become immensely funny. There's one story in this book that made me laugh till I cried, and has earned its place next to the story in Vinyl Cafe Unpluggedabout how Dave tried to toilet-train his sister's cat, which had a similar effect on me. There's another that is quite hilarious but somehow I felt it would have been much funnier if I'd heard it on the radio. In case you read this one, I'm not going to name the stories I thought were funniest, but I'd love to hear your opinion if you happen to be a Vinyl Cafe fan.

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