Irresponsible Freaks, Highball Guzzlers and Unabashed Grafters

A Bob Edwards Chrestomathy

By (author): Bob Edwards
Edited by: James Martin
Introduction by: Allan Fotheringham
ISBN 9780973248159
Softcover | Publication Date: September 1, 2005
Book Dimensions: 6 in x 9 in
272 Pages

About the Book

Bob Edwards, the Great White North’s equivalent to H. L. Mencken, remains a singular figure in Canadian journalism. His newspapers, published in Wetaskiwin, Leduc, High River, Strathcona, Winnipeg, Port Arthur, and most famously Calgary, skewered politics, society, and business leaders with a fearlessness and outrageousness rarely seen then, now, or in between.

As editor James Martin points out in his illuminating introduction, Bob Edwards seems more modern the farther back in history he recedes; he was the granddaddy of Gonzo Journalism à la Hunter S. Thompson, a freewheeling cultural critic in the spirit of Lester Bangs, a pioneer of satirical reform as evidenced in Frank magazine, and a spoofer of the po-faced reporting of his day in precisely the same way that The Onion is now.

Irresponsible Freaks, Highball Guzzlers and Unabashed Grafters features mountains of Edwards’s superb aphorisms, a generous helping of his longer and lesser-known works, and some choice items which have never before seen print, as well as miraculous archival discoveries and many cartoons from Edwards’s celebrated Eye Opener. It is a welcome addition to the Bob Edwards canon for those who thought they knew everything about him, and an eye-opening introduction to the uninitiated: “He was writing this stuff a hundred years ago!”

About the Author(s)

Allan Fotheringham is a respected Canadian newspaper columnist whose work has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, The Financial Post, the Globe and Mail, and Maclean's magazine. In 2002, he was the winner of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award at the Jack Webster Awards in Vancouver. He now lives in Toronto.

Robert Chambers Edwards (1860 — 1922) delighted discerning readers, scandalized prudes, and shattered the conventions of journalism with his series of self-published one-man newspapers. The first collection of Edward’s writings in over twenty-five years, Irresponsible Freaks, Highball Guzzlers & Unabashed Grafters captures the man in his many, oft contradictory guises: hard-drinking journalist, accomplished fiction writer, Prohibition booster, impish idol-toppler, free-thinker, reluctant MLA and self-promoter. An incendiary wordsmith, Bob Edward’s pasquinades blend fact and fiction with mischievous abandon. The spiritual father of The Onion? At least. A Canadian original? Completely!

Between 1997 and 2002, James Martin, wrote 283 "Mr. Smutty" columns for Fast Forward Weekly. He is the co-writer of the moving-picture feature waydowntown (2000), and winner of an Albera Motion Picture Industries Association award for Best Scriptwriter (dramatic) and the Vancovuer INternational Film Festival award for Best Screenplay (Canadian). He is the author of Calgary: The Unknown CIty (2002) adn his writing has appeared in a host of publications.


“Bob Edwards was the finest journalist Canada has ever know the pleasure of reading.” —Macleans

“An impressive compilation of quotations… by this master of the written word.” —Alberta History