332 pages
ISBN 1-55022-714-9
DDC C813'.6





Reviewed by David E. Kemp

David E. Kemp is professor emeritus of drama at Queen’s University.


Jason Anderson is a Calgary native who lives in Toronto. His arts
journalism has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toro, Saturday Night, and
Toronto Life. His band’s debut album was released around the same time
as Showbiz, his first novel.

A faux-historical novel of great invention and ingenuity, Showbiz
begins with a fascinating premise. What would happen to a comedian whose
uncanny impression of the President of the United States made him a star
if the subject of that impersonation died in a hail of bullets on a
sunny afternoon in New Orleans? Deprived of the subject that generated
both laughter and money for him, Jimmy Wynn becomes an instant has-been.

Twenty-five years later, a Canadian expat journalist named Nathan Grant
retraces Jimmy’s fall from grace. What he discovers is that the
forgotten comedian may have been involved in the assassination.
Grant’s odyssey through the entertainment world’s nether regions
takes him from the glitz of Las Vegas to a ghost town in the Mojave
Desert and a dinner theatre in Niagara Falls.

Anderson speaks with authority about the vicissitudes of show business
in this darker-than-dark comedy. Nathan Grant’s journey to a kind of
understanding about the cost and fleeting nature of fame is a weird and
wonderful trek worth joining.


Anderson, Jason., “Showbiz,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 17, 2024,