Black, back and funny

Black to the Grindstone, 304 pages

Author: Arthur Black

A compilation book is always a pleasant thing because the reader is assured if one segment falls flat, there is hope the rest of the volume won’t.

Arthur Black’s latest compendium is like that. Black to the Grindstone is funny, witty and enlightening. The occasional line may fall flat, but there are plenty of columns to pick from.

Black appears to be the master of random research. His topics are varied and quirky. Take, for example, the story of Mark, whose phone number appeared in a catalogue. He’s been answering calls and visiting strangers ever since.

Where does Black get this stuff? Where can I find it?

Black is also willing to laugh at himself, an endearing and modest trait in a comic writer. Take, for example, his experiences with Mustang Sally, the candy apple red Ford Mustang Black barely survived.

Black isn’t afraid to take people to task either. Snowmobilers, beware. He makes sly commentary on items society takes for granted, namely, the iPod.

Black’s style is flashy, light and humorous. Sometimes, his columns don’t end up where you think they’re headed. And that’s just fine. Enjoy the ride; Black is trying to make it easy on readers. It’s easy to relate to his topics. Sometimes, Black writes exactly what everyone was thinking but was afraid to say.

So, if you’ve missed out on one of Black’s witty columns in The News, pick up a copy of Black to the Grindstone. They’re all there, the good, the bad and the ugly, but mostly the good.

Black to the Grindstone is $19.95. For more information see www.harbourpublishing.com. Black lives on Salt Spring Island.

On Oct. 30, Black, who is part of a Yuk Yuks sit-down comedy tour, stops in Vancouver at the Century Plaza Hotel at 6 p.m.


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