Tuesday 25 February 2020

Book ~ "Parking the Moose: One American's Epic Quest to Uncover His Incredible Canadian Roots" (2019) Dave Hill

From Goodreads ~ A quarter-Canadian from Cleveland explores his roots - and melts your face with joy.

There's an idea most Americans tend to learn as children. The idea that their country is the "best." But this never stuck with Dave Hill, even though he was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His grandfather, you see, was from Canada (Clinton, Ontario, to be exact). And every Sunday at dinner he'd remind Dave and anyone else within earshot that it was, in fact, Canada, this magical and mysterious land just across the mighty Lake Erie, that was the "best."

It was an idea that took hold. While his peers kept busy with football, basketball and baseball, hockey became the only sport for Dave. Whenever bacon was served at home, he'd be sure to mention his preference for the Canadian variety. Likewise, if a song by Triumph came on the radio, he'd be the first to ask for it to be cranked up as loud as it would go. And he was more vocal about the vast merits of the Canadian healthcare system than any nine-year-old you'd ever want to meet. (That last part is a lie, but hopefully it makes the point that he was so into Canada that it was actually kind of weird.)

In later years, he even visited Canada a couple of times. But now, inspired by a publisher's payment of several hundred dollars (Canadian) in cash, he has travelled all over the country, reconnecting with his heritage in such places as Montreal, Moose Jaw, Regina, Winnipeg, Merrickville and of course Clinton, Ontario, meeting a range of Canadians, touching things he probably shouldn't and having adventures too numerous and rich in detail to be done justice in this blurb.

The result, he promises, is "the greatest Canada-based literary thrill ride of your lifetime."

Dave Hill is an American comedian, radio host, writer, musician and actor born in Cleveland, OH.  One of his grandfathers was from Clinton, ON, and every Sunday when Dave was a child, he'd remind everyone that Canada was the best.  As such, Dave grew up thinking the same way and loved everything Canadian from bacon to music to hockey and more.

After a while, Dave's Canadian roots could no longer be denied and his desire to connect to his Canadian heritage grew stronger.  So he decided to head to different places in Canada and write the definitive book on Canada by a non-Canadian.

Here are the places he visited and wrote about:
  1. Toronto, ON
  2. Clinton, ON (where his grandfather was from)
  3. Quebec City, QC
  4. Merrickville, ON
  5. Victoria, BC
  6. Winnipeg, MB
  7. Halifax, NS
  8. Montreal, QC
  9. St. John's, NF
  10. Moose Jaw and Regina, SK
  11. Calgary, AB

Most trips were made with his friends, girlfriend and podcast and/or social media fans.  In these places, he tried to experience life as the residents did ... plus feed his poutine addiction and buy local knickknacks and souvenirs.  I've been to many of the places Dave had visited so it was interesting to get his take on them.

To be honest, I'd never heard of Dave before I read this book.  I had come across a review somewhere for the book and it sounded interesting ... and it was and I enjoyed it.  I liked the writing style.  It was funny and I can imagine it is how Dave really is ... being sarcastic, telling stories and going off on tangents.

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