Monotheism and tractors

9 Jan

Back in the 1990s my folks lived in Brantford, Ontario. It was at a local Barnes & Noble my Dad found a gem of a book, William Hopper’s “The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions“. There is a connection, Mr Hopper is from Brantford and it did help having a bit of local knowledge to “get” the Massey Ferguson joke. Yes, I read the guide in it’s original “Canadian”. It’s not the sort of book you part with so when back home I was disappointed to find it had not been published in the UK. At that time Mr Hopper didn’t have an internet presence (or it was very well hidden), so I traced the Canadian publisher and dropped them an email asking if there were any plans to publish in Britain, or knew of anywhere I could get my hands on a copy. They must have passed my email to Mr Hopper as he contacted me direct and there followed a most entertaining few weeks of correspondence culminating in a big box of Heathen’s Guides, a preliminary print of a revised edition, being delivered to my door! Happy as a pig in shit I proceeded to leave them in libraries, on buses and at friend’s houses. A couple were generously gifted to a pair of particularly smug born-again pupils in a school somewhere in Central Scotland and I think a copy or two was left in the same school’s English department. I don’t know if anyone who I foisted the book on ever contacted the author, but I did scribble his e-mail address in them (as requested). There was talk of a book tour, possibly the Fringe.

Correspondences peter out, a bit like blogs, and the only copy of the book I have left is the signed one, so I was most delighted to discover recently that the heathen himself is back blogging and has released “The Heathen’s Guide to Christmas”.¬† We are in January so probably not the most timeous discovery. Amazon still doesn’t stock Mr Hopper but both books can be bought direct from his website… buy them. Laugh a lot. Out loud.

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