The Magical History Tour

It was the summer of ’69

Conclusions about books drawn from single sentences are reckless adventures, if you ask me. Words don’t operate fully as words except in the presence of other words. The same is true of sentences, which depend on context for their resonance. It is in the variations of their echoes that nuance is established. And nuance, as it turns out, is often what makes writing interesting. As a rule, things are not what they declare themselves to be between a capital letter and a full stop. The story is usually more complicated than that.

Naturally, there are exceptions to this rule. There are sentences that, unassisted, provide readers with a good, solid sense of a book as a whole. I am going to quote such a sentence from Greg Marquis’s thoroughly researched and intriguing cultural history, John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Year Canada Was Cool. But first, some background.

If, like me, you are a Canadian, a...