Fabulous Québec


288 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Index
ISBN 2-89464-716-6
DDC 917.14'0022'2




Reviewed by Bruce Grainger

Bruce Grainger is head of the Public Services Department, Macdonald
Library, McGill University.


These two travel handbooks differ fundamentally as guides to the
province. Although both—especially in their introductory
sections—take a nationalist/separatist view of Quebec politics and
history, Fabulous Québec is half the size of its sister publication and
is limited to information on tourist attractions, be they natural,
cultural, historical, or commercial. The characteristics of these
tourist sites are described and rated, but practical information (such
as street addresses, directions, price, and hours of opening) is
omitted. The descriptions are lifted entirely or in edited form from the
larger publication. The strength of this guide is the many superb colour
photos that effectively illustrate the province’s varied attractions.
Larger print, the use of coloured maps, and high-quality paper make it
much easier to read than Quebec. Tourist sites in each region are
numbered for easy location on the accompanying maps. Brief sidebars
contain biographies and other topics of interest. Also included are
longer notes on such topics as seasonal activities, architecture, power
dams, and Native peoples as well as Quebec film, music, visual arts, and
literature. This book should stimulate any traveller’s desire to visit
the province.

Quebec is an extensive (although not exhaustive) guide to tourism in
the province. An introductory background section gives a lengthy account
of the geography, history, politics, population, architecture, and arts
of Quebec. This is followed by a section of practical information that
focuses on such things as happy hour, beer, wine, tipping, types of
accommodation, and customs regulations. A section on the outdoors
describes activities as varied as birdwatching and nudism. Following
these general sections is a great deal of detailed information on each
of the province’s tourist regions. Attractions, accommodations, and
restaurants are separately numbered and can be located by number on
accompanying maps.

Large urban areas such as Montreal and Quebec City are divided into
districts, with their own maps and logical walking tours provided in the
text. Inexplicably, the larger guide omits such attractions as McGill
University and the McCord Museum in Montreal. Neither guide mentions the
well-known English summer theatres in Knowlton and North Hatley.
Nevertheless, Quebec provides a wealth of information not found in
Fabulous Québec, including a comprehensive list of attractions
throughout the province. Street addresses, telephone numbers, hours of
opening, and the cost of admission are given for each attraction. The
larger guide also includes information on transportation, entertainment,
festivals, cultural events, and other useful tips for tourists as well
as many colour illustrations and a fold-out map of the province. Despite
the omissions noted above, this is a very useful guide, especially for
those who wish to do their homework before arriving in the province.


“Fabulous Québec,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/14476.