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Literary Criticism Canadian

Hooked on Canadian Books

The Good, the Better, and the Best Canadian Novels since 1984

by (author) T.F. Rigelhof

Cormorant Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2010
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2010
    List Price

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Out of print

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Having been a contributing reviewer for The Globe and Mail for more than twenty years, T.F. Rigelhof knows good literature. Hooked on Canadian Books is a conversational survey of the novels published since 1984 he deems to be "the good, the better, and the best." In addition to his readings of well-known Canadian writers, he brings the work of newer and lesser-known voices to more deserving attention, relates personal moments shared with his picks, details his relationship with the Montreal bookstore that got him hooked in the first place, all while defending Canadian literature from stereotypes, celebrating its successes, and promoting its future. Perfect for book clubs.

About the author

T. F. Rigelhof is a contributing reviewer to the Books section at The Globe and Mail and was recently used as the intellectual pin-up for the new book section at the National Post.


His essay on religion in Canada at the end of the millennium, A Blue Boy in a Black Dress: A Memoir, won the QSPELL/Royal Bank of Canada Award for Non-Fiction in 1996 and was also nominated for the Governor General's Award. His critically acclaimed short stories of contemporary life in Montreal have been anthologized and adapted for television and are collected in Je t'aime, Cowboy.


His first novel, The Education of J.J. Pass, has been ranked as one of the best coming-of-age novels written by a Canadian. His satirical second novel, Badass on a Softail, was a finalist for the Mordecai Richler's Prix Parizeau II. Recently retired from teaching at Dawson College, Rigelhof now lives in Westmount, Quebec.

T.F. Rigelhof's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“There’s always a lot of talk about the desirability of a more informed literary debate in this country. The chief obstacle is simply that so few people are informed, have done the necessary legwork, put in ‘the time’ that someone like Rigelhof has. It is that foundation that makes Hooked on Canadian Books so valuable a resource and such an essential part of an ongoing conversation.”

Toronto Star

“Whether you agree with Rigelhof’s opinions about literature and the arguments in his reviews, the book will help you get re-acquainted with the great names in literature … and introduce you to a whole host of writers who are just waiting to be discovered.”

The Lindsay Post

“A perfect book of lists: on almost every page, there’s something to nod along to or something to quibble about, or both, and – often enough to keep a reader awake – something that makes you want to throw it at a wall.”


“The best work of literary criticism ever written in Canada, and a literary masterpiece in its own right … It is a joyful book, and it communicates its joy in every sentence … Hooked on Canadian Books deserves to be in every Canadian reader’s library.”

“An enlightening voyage across the country, from the brightest to the most obscure components of the canon … not only fills a void, it also draws attention to so many little-known talents that a curious reader may, upon picking up one of their books, discover a favourite author they had never heard of.”

Westmount Examiner

“A series of insightful (at times incendiary) arguements and observations about the Canadian novel that will perhaps raise the level of literary debate in Canada.”

The Globe and Mail

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