Canada's most verbally virtuosic comic makes his literary debut—and he's just as richly, gloriously funny on the page as on stage.
His legion of fans—the ones who ensure his every show the length and breadth of Canada is sold out—recognize Ron James as one of the great stand-ups of his generation. His seemingly improvisational flights of fancy—no two shows are ever the same—are crammed with inventive phrase-making, feature a voluminous vocabulary, and put every word into the service of uproarious comedy.
He sounds like a man born to write a great book—and now at last he has. But this is a book he has been writing for most of his life, in his head, in his car, while driving from gig to gig.
In All Over the Map, Ron has brilliantly captured the voice that has enthralled millions on stage and screen. He also lets up a little on the usually relentless laughs (though there are still plenty of those) to reveal a new dimension to his beloved showbiz character. His hilarious reminiscences of growing up in Nova Scotia and his early struggles as an aspiring comic, his reveries on such topics as family, country, celebrity and lessons learned from myriad chance encounters will deepen our appreciation for this great comic and win him many new fans in his new role as author.
About the author
Born to the 1958 Cape Breton coal town road of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, and primarily raised in Halifax, RON JAMES moved to Toronto after graduating from Acadia University with a BA in History. Once in Toronto, he joined the premiere breeding ground of North American comedy, the Second City.
In 1990 he and his young family moved to Los Angeles at the behest of the Imagine Entertainment production company when he was cast in the syndicated series My Talk Show. After that series was cancelled he chased the sitcom grail for three years but mostly was unemployed and slowly going broke. Upon his return to Toronto in 1993 he chronicled that LA sojourn in his critically acclaimed one-man show Up and Down in Shaky Town: One Man's Journey Through the California Dream. This experience moved him into the world of stand-up comedy.
After five years spent honing his act in the Toronto club scene, Ron was invited to launch the premiere season of CTV's Comedy Network, when Shaky Town was given its own ninety-minute special. The next several years saw him voted Comedian of the Year at the Canadian Comedy Awards, appear half a dozen times at Just for Laughs, the Halifax and Winnipeg Comedy Festivals, Edinburgh Festival, and star in the first television series of his own creation, Blackfly, which ran for two seasons on Global.
Blackfly ended and Ron hit the road. . . hard! When Montreal's internationally renowned comedy festival Just for Laughs commissioned a one-man show, The Road Between My Ears was born and in 2003 became the first of a record-breaking nine one-hour specials on CBC that fast became a New Year's Eve viewing tradition, annually seen by 1.4 million Canadians. For five year Ron also had a CBC series, The Ron James Show.
Ron is the proud recipient of an honorary Doctorate in the Humanities from Acadia University. He splits his time between Toronto and Nova Scotia.
AN INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2022 STEPHEN LEACOCK MEDAL
"In these times of anxiety and social combat over COVID-19, laughter is closer to medicine than merriment, and All Over The Map provides plenty. . . . While the rants and wisecracks are still there in spades, quite a few of his words on paper are kindly and persuasive, and you feel at home with him. He's a good writer." —Winnipeg Free Press
"One thing Ron James has always been is a writer. And the journals he kept along the way helped him write his new book, All Over the Map. The book is full of Ron's encounters with memorable strangers from the road as well as his childhood growing up in Nova Scotia. And I mentioned his use of language? It is jaw-dropping." —Tom Power, q, CBC
"Ron James offers a hilarious tour through some of the unfunny realities of life as a Canadian comedian—enough to make a grown-up laugh and cry, cringe and think." —Linden MacIntyre
"This book is more than just another funny memoir. It's an eloquent and beautiful tribute to this great country ours and the wonderful people who populate, written by one of Canada's greatest comedians. Hilarious, poignant and perceptive, the stories will stay with you long after your laughter has subsided. Read slowly. You'll miss it when it's gone." —Mark Critch
"A virtuosic piece of brilliantly spun storytelling. Wonderfully entertaining." —Ottawa Life Magazine
Praise for Ron James:
"Insightful, clever and witty." —Toronto Star
"A master comedian with a distinctly Canadian viewpoint." —St. John's Telegram
"A high wire act of hilarity." —Edmonton Journal
"A virtuoso comedic performance." —The Globe and Mail
"Scarcely time to breath between helpless fits of laughter." —Chronicle Herald