Archetypes: Social Animals in Our Midst


150 pages
ISBN 0-7710-8092-1
DDC 302'.1




Illustrations by Kagan McLeod
Reviewed by Tami Oliphant

Tami Oliphant is a Ph.D. candidate in Library and Information Studies at the University of Western Ontario.


The old guy at the gym, the baby Einstein, the yogic lawyer, the
literary blogger—we all recognize those types. With frightening and
hilarious precision, Mireille Silcoff categorizes, catalogues, and
eviscerates the all-too-familiar social animals in our midst. From the
35-year-old social smoker who “only smokes when she is out at night in
appropriately drinky situations,” to the insufferable Ms. Moving who
“has done London already,” to the Beastie Daddy who “[k]nows
he’s the raddest dad ever,” no one escapes Silcoff’s caustic (and
accurate) pen.

Equally brilliant is Kagan McLeod’s accompanying artwork, which adds
depth, imagination, and clarity to each archetype. McLeod and Silcoff
have carefully avoided being mean-spirited and instead have produced
wry, laugh-out-loud portraits of urban denizens. Everyone will recognize
“The Garden Gnome,” the “Tanned Granny,” and the “Coddled

Archetypes: Social Animals in Our Midst is a quick read, but few
readers will be able to resist revisiting the portraits over and over


Silcoff, Mireille., “Archetypes: Social Animals in Our Midst,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,