The Vinyl Cafe Storyland is one more proof that the best humor writer in America is Stuart McLean by way of Toronto and Canada. This notion is typical MacLean humor – self-effacing, off-the-wall, but bright as a Nova Scotia Valley day. But we also enter Testosterone Country, a familiar McLean Mantra – in short no laughing matter to project the Canuck among such luminaries as Garrison Keillor, David Sedaris, and Dave Berry. But take a listen to Storyland and you will meet ordinary folk doing extraordinarily funny things.
Yes there is the feel of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon country with some of the same deadpan humour And like Garrison Keilor, Stuart Mclean has worked over 30 years on the National Radio scene – CBC and now NPR. But McLean worked on news stories like the Jonestown Massacre – hardly the stuff of great chuckles. But perhaps that tragedy influenced the mix of stories that Stuart tells. The humour is never at the expense of the characters – always within our own Human Foibles spectra – and thus easily redoubled in delight. Take the Storyland mix:
1)Dave goes to the Dentist – is really a tale about misaligned expectations. In the audio, Stuart adds perfect dashes of pause and you-guessed-it suspense such that I had to pull of f the road I was laughing dangerously out of control.
2)Sam Steals – A moral tale fed by absurd misperception – sort of like the GOP policy curse.
3)Jim & Molly the Cat – This is a gem not overstated and never brought to conclusion – perhaps saved for another future adventure?
Once again I have read the some of the stories in print but the audio is such delight, well worth the price of admission. So if you haven’t yet visited Dave and Stuart’s store, the Vinyl Cafe – why not amble right in. And you have got to try the audio edition for twice the fun.