This week Jane and I were roaming around an Indigo store, just before seeing”The Post”, at a nearby theatre. Around 1980 I spent three years as a Movie Reviewer for “Sunday Morning” on CBC Radio. I was very lucky to have a guy named Stuart Maclean as our Producer, and the superb Suanne Kelman as my dictator in the booth. She not only made sound editorial decisions, she taught me how to BREATHE on the air. The CBC desperately needs her back, to stop regular reporters slurping up gallons of oxygen at the end of every sentence. In some cases they sound as if they’ve just emerged from a very deep dive, and are fighting for life.
And nobody seems to be teaching them how to talk on the air, like, (dare I say it?) professionals.
Bring back Suanne Kelman!
This introduces the fact that I’m recommending “The Post” to you, dear reader, because it is an excellent piece of work. The pacing of the movie, where Meryl Streep slowly grows in confidence as Katherine Graham, is beautifully done, and in the role of Ben Bradlee Tom Hanks is very fine. Speaking as an old movie reviewer, I think you’ll enjoy this film.
As we roamed around Indigo, Jane had the idea of looking up my first book, STORIES ABOUT STORYTELLERS. When we did so,the electronic screen hurt my feelings, by saying that no copies of this 2011 book were in stock in this particular branch.
BUT there was a review available. A bright reviewer named David Nichols (whom I do not know, I’m sorry to say) wrote this:–
“Gibson unfolds a beautiful expression of Canada’s literary heritage in a heartwarming, perspicaceous, witty and inspiring adventure about the fascinating lives of Canadian authors and their work. This masterpiece will open your eyes to the wonders and magnitude of Canadian literature. If ever a book should be placed on the curriculum of our schools right across the country, this is it. It is a beautiful expression of Canada’s literary beauty and Mr. Gibson’s love of Canada. I have never wanted a book not to end so badly.”
And I, Mr. Nichols, have never been so sorry to see a review end. Many,many thanks for your kind FIVE STAR REVIEW. “A masterpiece”,indeed.



  1. Carolyn Gossage says:

    Doug… Who could even dream of a more glowing review.? !! What a remarkable find even if there were no copies in stock . this ‘gem’ more than made up for that . All best, Carolyn

  2. Suanne Kelman says:

    And speaking of glowing reviews, what an unexpected pleasure to see my name on this site. I certainly remember those studio sessions. They were invaluable later when I started teaching at Ryerson, because your deviated septum, Doug, presented a challenge that was never equalled in my later work, not even with the student with the badly corrected cleft palate or the young lady with the adenoid problem. Thank you for laying the groundwork for my entire future career!

    • Douglas Gibson says:

      Aha! I’m glad you spotted my sneaky tribute, Suanne! I’m fascinated to think of all of the generations of Ryerson students who first heard the term “deviated septum” in connection with my name.Glad that my gasping and wheezing led to great things for you, and your lucky disciples. They need you at the CBC now.

  3. John Tomlinson says:

    Doug, I don’t know if your deviated septum is also a problem of Justin Trudeau but Suanne please show Justin how to eliminate that “breathiness” at the end of his sentences, a first step towards his gaining some gravitas. And Doug, the lovely tribute by David Nichols is probably seconded by everyone who has read your book and was anticipated by Alice Munroe who praised you not only for your illuminating of the lives of Canadian authors, the wonders of Canadian literature and the country of Canada but also of life in general. What a guy.

    • Douglas Gibson says:

      John, I too hope that Suanne can get to work on fixing our PM’s breathiness. But thank you for taking my breath away with your kind words. I look forward to thanking you in person some day.

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