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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