Full Circle

Full Circle

Book - 1997
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Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : McClelland & Stewart, c1997.
ISBN: 9780771069079
Characteristics: 320 p. :,col. ill. ;,26 cm.


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May 21, 2019

On the whole, a rather underwhelming book which I certainly wouldn't recommend to Vancouverites who take a pride in their city. The book is researched and edited in a rather slipshod fashion. In Argentina Mr Palin visits the plastic-bottle-strewn shrine of a newborn infant who miraculously survived by sucking the milk from her dead mother. A little more diligent research would have revealed that these shrines are the Latin American equivalent of Elvis sightings; scattered throughout much of South America and all claiming authenticity. Mr Palin seemed like a kid is a candy store as he drove his rented Morgan sports car through California, devoting over two pages to a rapturous description of Hurst Castle. Alas, by the time he reached the Pacific Northwest, Mr Palin seems to have exhausted both his stamina and his critical faculties. Nary a mention of Oregon. I was alarmed to discover that the capital of Washington State is Seattle, and Vancouver is apparently is the provincial capital of B.C. according to this book! BTW. Mr Palin was clearly not impressed with Vancouver, and treated it as ho-hum city in which to vegetate and catch up on his sleep. The only evidence that he ever left his hotel suite during his stay is a one paragraph account of a short walk along Robson Street. Palin might have discovered that Victoria is the capital of BC had he bothered to visit Vancouver Island. Instead, he headed north on a tourist train and described the province from the observation car. His rest-stop in Vancouver must have recharged him sufficiently to play lumber jack at a logging festival. From his crossing of the Canadian border to his arrival in Alaska, there is nary a mention of Canada's First Nations, no exploration of indigenous culture whatsoever. Oversight or disinterest? In conclusion, I would say Full Circle's title is a misnomer because he never reaches his point of departure and the book definitely should not be required reading in geography classrooms.

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