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Bookideas.com reviews The Contrary Canadian

The Contrary Canadian: A Collection
by Clayton Bye
Search Amazon for other books by or about Clayton Bye.

Rating:
Reviewed by: John L. Hoh, Jr.

The author has written other books on sales and marketing and building a business.

This book is a collection of essays paired with photographs. If Mr. Bye set out to exceed expectations, he did a masterful job. The photographs are in full color, many of the scenery of Canada. Quite a few are of the northern climes where, it appears, he served in the military.

Personal anecdotes also abound. Mr. Bye tries to find and share meanings with a positive spin in all. There was the lady who accompanied him to a cousin's wedding, then requested a ride to a friend's house in another city. Once there the lady gathered her baggage and wished the author God-speed. He never saw her again. But he seems to harbor no bitterness toward a woman who seems to have used him to garner a free ride.

Mr. Bye also touches on societal issues, such as the over-reach of government (in his case, the Canadian government) in personal lives. As an illustration he mentions a music festival he used to enjoy going to where the only cost was the burgers one would buy when hungry. However, the last time he attended they "passed the hat" to collect funds to pay for insurance. Why? Because the provincial government felt there were so many people attending that the festival was mandated to get insurance. Mr. Bye, many of us in the States empathize with you (perhaps you have heard of the T.E.A. Parties?).

The memories Mr. Bye shares are poignant. Who can forget a cocktail made with glacial ice? Or the rock dubbed "Baba" for the image of a woman's face on its face? Or Mr. Bye's father paying a quarter moose for a straight-six truck? Or the family immersion into First Nation culture with Mr. Bye, merely in his 40's, being treated like an elder?

The anecdotes can be read through straight or in a random pattern. Each one stands alone. At the end of each anecdote is a brief lesson the author seeks to share.



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