All Things Considered


252 pages
ISBN 0-385-25599-3
DDC 248





Reviewed by William Glassman

William Glassman is a professor of psychology at Ryerson Polytechnical
University in Toronto.


Roy Bonisteel has had a distinguished career as broadcaster, writer, and
radio and television journalist. This collection of essays written for
The United Church Observer since 1990 is accessible and down to earth,
though rarely surprising or remarkable. As a viewer and admirer of Man
Alive, which Bonisteel hosted, I expected a volume that would resonate
with insights on spirituality. But few of these essays touch on
religious themes, and even those are surprisingly secular (e.g., an
essay on moderate drinking vs. abstinence).

The essays are grouped loosely by themes such as “A Happier Time”
(reflections on life in earlier decades) and “On the Air” (comments
on modern broadcasting). The avoidance of chronological order is
occasionally problematic. For example, “On the Air,” an essay
opposed to regulating violent content in broadcasting, comes before
three essays that are critical of such violence. Since these essays were
written both before and after “On the Air,” it is hard to determine
exactly where Bonisteel stands on the issue.

For the most part, the essays are homespun in the positive sense: well
crafted and comfortable. Bonisteel himself comes across as a decent and
humane individual. For sympathetic readers, the collection is likely to
prove enjoyable, all things considered.


Bonisteel, Roy., “All Things Considered,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,