Reviews for Farewell to the Good old days
“Deep nostalgia carries throughout the book [Farewell to the Good Old Days], particularly in scenes focused on [the narrator’s] early years, but the narrative journeys back to moments of action well, avoiding the biases of time… [the book provides] a behind-the-scenes look at academia, showcasing both the intrigue and the boredom of departmental life with insight and occasional humor… [the narrator’s] interactions with, and observations about, colleagues from other cultures are compelling, revealing the politics and distrust that are sometimes rampant in academia… Other characters [in the book] recognize the limitations of [the narrator’s] perspective with comments like, “This is how business is done in the Third World. You wouldn’t understand ”…” – Foreword Clarion Reviews
“The book mostly focuses on the narrator’s professional career, though it intermittently touches upon issues of personal interest, including some dramatic events, ranging from the mild – his apartment is burglarized in 1982, and only a Pat Benatar cassette is stolen – to the tragic, when a former professor of his is murdered in 1992 by a disgruntled colleague. The author’s prose is plainly descriptive and generally shies away from intimate introspection, but it’s far from dispassionate… much of the [book’s] second half is devoted to bitter, intramural academic squabbles, and the narrator’s growing discontent with university life. The protagonist’s criticisms of his employer provide a compelling peek into the venal disputes that can dominate faculty lounges.” – Kirkus Reviews
Author's Note (June 9, 2020): I don't generally like to rebut critiques, especially ones that are constructive. Now that some time has elapsed since the publication of FTTGOD, I can't help but make a few small comments arising from the full-length Kirkus review of my book appearing on their website. (1) I was born in Portage la Prairie (not "La Prairie"). (2) The Kirkus reviewer slams me for fictionalizing Part II of FTTGOD, saying I should have gone with a full-truth autobiography. The original draft of the book was in fact a non-fictional autobiography throughout, hence the higher level of detail noted (and criticized) by the Kirkus reviewer, a level of detail that one more generally associates with a controversial full-disclosure memoir (vs. a short fiction novel). My publisher after some introspection convinced me to fictionalize Part II, to avoid potential lawsuits, for purported defamation of certain characters appearing in the book (e.g., those who would argue that their ability to be promoted in the future was hindered by my "one-sided" description of events). So, I complied, removing some details, yes, but leaving other details in (e.g., emails relevant to the story), to maintain at least some level of investigative disclosure for the benefit of some readers who might appreciate those extra tidbits. Indeed, further to this subject, a few months after publication of the book, I heard through the grapevine, two former colleagues of mine, "Youssef Majdalani" and "Sayel Aziz," were overheard angrily discussing FTTGOD, and debating the merit of going after me... thankfully, my level of fictionalization ultimately proved sufficient to be a disincentive for pursuing legal action against me.
Review for Powered Flight
"[Powered Flight] is primarily intended as an aid to teaching and reflects the author’s extensive experience in this role, informed by professional engineering and research experience... First impressions count for a lot, and it is nice to find that the contents then live up to expectations." -Ian Wilson, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, appearing in The Aeronautical Journal.
Alternate front cover for FTTGOD, 2017
HELP! PLEASE EMAIL ME (SEE "CONTACT" PAGE) IF YOU KNOW IDENTITIES OF ONE OR MORE OF MY UNKNOWNS BELOW FOR GRADE 6 AND 7 CLASSES. MANY THANKS.
Grade 6A class, 1969-70, Lahr Intermediate School
Top row: ???, ??? , Gerald Porteous, Robert Brenton, Miss Linda Taruffi
Middle row: Judy Gibb, Bill Atkins, Willie Anjowski, Stephen Waller, Scott Ferguson, ??? , David Greatrix, Derrick Grose, ???
Bottom row: ???, ???, ???, ???, Audrey Pugh, Carol Poole, ???, ???
Grade 7B class, 1970-71, Lahr Intermediate School
Top row: Miss Beryl Wright, Petra Horan (?), Nancy LeClair (?), ???, David Greatrix, Leroy Duberry, ???, Johnny Bowers, ???, Grant Dick
Middle row: Francis Cote, Laurence Caroll, Yvon Bernard, ???, Curtis Arnold, Randy Blum, ???, Ricky Finzel, Jeremy Forgie
Bottom row: Joanne Surette, Terry Gardner, Audrey Pugh, Heather Willett, ???, Val Friesen, ???, Heather Young, ???