Telling Tales


218 pages
ISBN 0-00-217641-6






Reviewed by Dean Tudor

Dean Tudor is a journalism professor at the Ryerson Polytechnical
Institute and founding editor of the CBRA.


Here is a basic collection of 44 stories and anecdotes about Canadians from Jeanne Sauvé to G. Emmett Carter. There appears to be no reason for the arrangement, and there also appears to be no reason for the stories themselves. Many are slight and pretentious, others are clumsy and cute. Some have solid meat, especially the ones dealing with the occupation that Fraser knows best (that is, journalism). Fraser, a reporter for the Globe and Mail, does deal effectively with material about Barbara Amiel, Robert Fulford, Zena Cherry, Brian Linehan, Allan Fotheringham, Herbert Whittaker (and his expense account), Peter Newman, and Gina Mallet. He appears to be an outsider looking in when he talks about John Bassett and Lord Thomson of Fleet, and he is far removed from nonjournalists such as the politicians and arts persons who pad out the remainder of the book.

Unfortunately, the work is terribly Toronto-based and will excite those Toronto-haters even more. And despite the book’s lack of three-quarter bound leather, there is a book ribbon attached to the spine — should you lose your place.


Fraser, John, “Telling Tales,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 22, 2024,