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Publisher's Summary

A hilarious story of family, getting into trouble, and finding one's place in the world

What could be better than growing up in the 1980s? How about growing up in 1980s Newfoundland, which - as Mark Critch will tell you - was more like the 1960s. Take a trip to where it all began in this funny and warm look back on his formative years. 

Here we find a young Mark trick-or-treating at a used car lot, getting locked out of school on a fourth-floor window ledge, faking an asthma attack to avoid being arrested by military police, trying to buy beer from an untrustworthy cab driver, shocking his parents by appearing naked onstage - and much more. 

Best known as the "roving reporter" for CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Mark Critch has photo-bombed Justin Trudeau, interviewed Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle (while impersonating Alan Doyle), offered Pamela Anderson a million dollars to stop acting, and crashed White House briefings. But, as we see in this playful debut, he's been causing trouble his whole life. 

Son of a Critch captures the wonder and cluelessness of a kid trying to figure things out, but with the clever observations of an adult, and the combination is perfect.

©2018 Mark Critch (P)2018 Viking

What the critics say

“Finally, a book that answers so many questions about Critch: 'Why is he like that?', 'Why does he say stuff like that?', and 'What’s something from Mark’s childhood we can use to make him cry?' If you read only one book by a famous Newfoundlander who was raised next to the highway, it pretty much has to be this one. You’ll be amazed at how funny Mark is. Also, that he’s not dead.” (Barry Julien, Co-Executive Producer/Writer, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)

“Not since the first one pulled his boat up, has there been a scribbler of such fine and unusual emanations pouring out of one man. Yes, he says he’s from the big island, but where he was washed up, would be worth finding out. And I’d love to know where he gets his ink, I am such a fan.” (Gordon Pinsent, Actor and Playwright)

Son of a Critch explains a lot. Mark’s wondrous imagination and unique vision of the world is almost completely explained by his young life. This book is a one of a kind adventure from one of my favourite people in the world. I had to read most sections twice as either I could not believe what I had just read, or my eyes were flooding with laughing tears. It is wicked and deadly." (Alan Doyle, Musician and Lead Singer of Great Big Sea)

What listeners say about Son of a Critch

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Good job bud!

I was a little sceptical at first about listening to the book, thinking what in the name of god would anybody from back home have to say but I decided to give it a listen. Last book I read about anything of back home or way of life was Death on the ice, great book, I, like many others moved away to Alberta and unlike most of us, I have only been back twice in 13 years. I settled in with a young lady from Ontario and had two kids, that’s the short version. I kind of left our way of life and how we were raised behind not because it was a bad childhood just simply because I/ we grew up a little behind the times and don’t really have anybody around to relate to about it. I have my one child hood buddy I still to this day get around with but we grew up the same and talked about i t enough that there’s not much really left to talk about. Last week, for not reason at all, I typed “Newfoundland" into Audible search, your book and a couple more came up, lucky you, I picked yours, figured if your book was like this hour has 22 mins then I’d be in for a laugh, I wasn’t wrong. Although we were net a little differently there was still tones of stuff I could relate to. It was also to listen to a book with a narrator from back home. But anyway bud, it was a great listen, great laugh and great to have the old memory pot stirred again. Good job, all the best. P.S Just in case your curious, I’m from River of Ponds, up on the northern peninsula and now live west of Edmonton.

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Like having Critch riding shotgun!

​My wife and I felt like we had Critch aboard for a ride-along and we enjoyed our morning drives to work more than ever as Mark regaled us with tale after tale of growing up comedically Catholic in St. John's in the 80s. We delighted in the Coming of Age stories chronicling a creative childhood in isolation on the outskirts of St. John's, the awkward integration into the school system, fumbling attempts at winning friends and first love, and those painful, yet entertaining moments of just trying to fit in. Critch shares his willing and his unwitting loss of innocence stories that are alternately hilarious and poignant. Particularly funny are his stories of his relationship with his parents as he tries to find his feet as a child and adolescent - his characterization of them is rich, rife with comedy but touchingly respectful; Mark's vocal impression of them is hysterical and we have been doing impressions of them around our house ever since, especially his father's exasperated and guttural pet phrase, "Good God!" Throughout, Critch's memoir is a great listening experience, the writing is witty and humourous with poignant moments woven in, with deft delivery by the consummate comedian himself. Well done, Mark Critch!

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Absolutely hilarious!!

I didn't quite know what to expect when I purchased this book but it's so good! Its heartwarming and hilarious at the same time. Mark Critch is a natural entertainer and soo soo funny!

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Hilarious!

I should preface this with telling you I am from Nova Scotia, a huge 22 Minutes fan and my husband is from Newfoundland. I am also an 80s kid so I related to a lot of his references. I was laughing non- stop. I suspect Mark's delivery heightened the experience so it's a must listen!

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this is the best!

of the 10 or so books I have for my audible this is by far the best one yet... whether or not you're Canadian but especially if you're from Newfoundland you are going to crack up through this entire book it is hilarious. strongly recommend.

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A Well Knit Book!

Prepare to be educated, entertained and engaged from start to finish. Many yarns spun from the life of the author and read by the author in a way only he could make the words jump off on the page and into your hearts! VOCM Cares and so will you after you listen to Son of a Critch!

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Fantastic story and delivery

I loved how I felt I was with Mark in the stories he told. His delivery is spot on.

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Funny but long winded

Like I expected, it is pretty funny, however, it sometimes seems like he's trying too hard and the stories just go on and on to the point of wishing it was over already. The ending is very touching.

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Great read!

Delightful, charming, moving, funny! Mark Critch is a natural storyteller. Excellent quality narration. Laugh out loud funny!

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Amazing listen!

Great story and a delightful tribute to his home, his parents and his island. Wonderful.

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  • Josh Liston
  • 2019-03-20

One of the funniest books I've ever come across.

Mark's family is funny, Mark is genius, and his performance on the narration tops it all off. This is seriously one of the funniest books I've ever listened to, in particular the stories about his mother. Absolute Gold!

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  • Haria D.
  • 2019-01-02

Love this book

I was listening to a programme on CBC where Mark was being interviewed. This book was discussed and I was immediately interested. I am very happy that I read this book. It is funny, eye opening and a great read from beginning to end. I am passing the book on to my friend from Prince Edward Island. I will be looking for more from Mark Critch very funny man. Great read!!!