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Exploring The Best Laid Plans: Chapter 3


CBC Books is all about conversation and community, which is why we want to explore the Canada Reads 2011 champion, The Best Laid Plans, chapter by chapter. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we will release an audio version of one chapter (generously recorded and given to us by author Terry Fallis) as well as pose discussion questions. You can join the conversation by commenting on the blog posts right here on the Canada Reads site or by joining the discussion group for The Best Laid Plans in the CBC Books Community.


The set-up: In Chapter 3, Daniel and Angus McLintock meet with the dean of engineering, Roland Rumplun. Angus wants to get the paperwork underway for Daniel to teach English for Engineers in his stead. At first the dean refuses, but Angus has leverage (a serious misdeed from the dean's past) and gets his way. That part of their bargain completed, Daniel visits Muriel and puts Angus forward as the Liberal candidate in the Cumberland-Prescott riding. Mission completed. Daniel has reason to be even more pleased when Lindsay, Muriel's granddaughter, turns up.


The questions:

  1. Roland refers to the fact that he and Angus have disliked each other for many years. How is this dislike made evident in their exchanges?
  2. Do you have any sympathy for the dean? Why or why not?
  3. Angus isn't a card-carrying Liberal but Muriel agrees to take him on as the party's candidate. What does this suggest about party politics and recruiting methods?
  4. Daniel is immediately drawn to Lindsay, Muriel's granddaughter. Are there any indications that the feeling might be mutual?
  5. What does the way they play chess reveal about Daniel and Angus?
  6. Angus tells Daniel that the best way to deal with the English for Engineers class is "just ignore 'em and keep on talkin." How does this approach reflect on the professor? On the students?
  7. What quality does Angus find most objectionable in someone? Does this make him more suited to a political career, or less so?
  8. What purpose do Angus's letters to his dead wife serve in the narrative? How do they add to our understanding of his character?


Our Win a Visit from Terry Fallis contest is still running. Join the CBC Books Community and enter for a chance to win!

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