Big Plans: North American Stories and a South American Journal


191 pages
ISBN 0-88922-244-4





Reviewed by Sam Coghlan

Sam Coghlan was Deputy Director and Senior Consultant of the Thames Ontario Library Service Board, Southwestern Ontario.


Big Plans consists of a 140-page memoir from 1969 and ten short stories.

The memoir relates the events of the author’s trek through South America in search of an opportunity to start a commune. The narration is dry, and less interesting than the back cover copy. The personality of the author never really comes through, a fact which is somewhat disappointing in a memoir. The memoir is, however, of some interest as a reminder of the “hippy” lifestyle of the late 1960s, and manages to cast some light on the reactions of other continents to the hippy mode.

The stories, which vary in length and style, present a cross-section of de Barros’s writing ability. While some stories will appeal to some readers and others to others, no story really stands out either for its style or its subject matter.


de Barros, Paul, “Big Plans: North American Stories and a South American Journal,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 28, 2024,