Monday, January 21, 2013

Saboteurs by Andrew Nikiforuk

Meeting Details:
       We are meeting at Tanya and Shaun's place on Saturday, Feb 2nd.  We will begin at our regular time: 7:30pm, with the plan to be around the table and ready to eat at 8pm.  Tanya will send out an email reminder one week before the meeting.  Please let her know asap if your plans change.

Confirmed Couples:
  • Tanya and Shaun
  • Danielle and Dustin
  • Melissa and Shaun
  • Tessa and Jon
  • Amanda and Ben
  • Stephanie and Randall
  • Chandra and Pete
Discussion Questions:
  1. Did you enjoy the book? Why or why not?
  2. What did you think of Weibo Ludwig?  What were his strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Wiebo is not alone in his objections to the Big Oil Companies.  Which other story in the book did you find particularly interesting or compelling?
  4. Faced with a similar situation to the Ludwigs at Trickle Creek, how might you have reacted?  Moved away?  Taken a pay-off? Fought via legal channels?  Gone vigilante?
  5. Discuss the role of the RCMP in the escalating vandalism.  How might the RCMP have altered the course of events?  What did you think of the bungled Operation Kabriole?
  6. How did the death of Karman Willis change things things: for the Ludwigs? for the residents of Hythe? in the media?
  7. List some of the way in which the Ludwig family suffered. Do you feel compassion for them?  Why or why not?  How much of that suffering did they bring upon themselves?
  8. Based on your reading of the events, who do you think was really responsible for much of the vandalism?  Do you think Ludwig really did it?  If not, who did?
  9. How has the situation changed with the Big Oil Companies in Alberta since this book was published in 2001?  Better/worse/same?
  10. Why do you think this book has become a Governor's General award winner and a national bestseller?  Why are so many people interested in this story?  Would you recommend this book to anyone?  Why or why not?
  11. Did you noticed the chapter titles?  What did you think of that?
  12. Did you think that Andrew Nikiforak wrote this book objectively?  What is his bias?
  13. His/Hers - did you react differently to the book?  Why or why not?

Menu Options:  Alberta Goodness
  ... the inspiration here is a Banff restaurant menu called "A Taste of Alberta Goodness"; they offered a choice of one of the three appetizers, then all 3 mini-burgers on a single plate, then a simple selection of butter tarts for dessert.  They suggested a robust microbrewery beer or a rich red wine as accompaniment.  
        This offers lots of interesting choices for us - and since there is no single main dish, the meal doesn't fall apart if your kids come down with the chickenpox and you have to cancel last minute.  :-)  
       Please sign up for one item via a comment box below this post.

To Start:
  •  Winter Green Salad - Local mixed greens, cucumber, tomato and radish. tossed with honey mustard dressing. - Tanya
  •  Beef & Barley Soup - beef slowly cooked with root vegetables, chipotle pepper and rich beef stock. - Stephanie
  • Rocky Mountain Irish Stew - lamb braised in lamb stock with leeks, potatoes  
Main: Wildfire Mini-Burger Trio
... note that these burgers are intended to be mini, not full sized, so that each person can try all three; Tanya said she can have the grill ready in case you want to bring the burgers "deconstructed" and then grill and assemble before we eat.  :-)
  • Grilled Salmon - Cucumber, radish, tomato and artisan mustard served on foccacia. - Melissa
  • Lamb - Olives, goats feta, tatziki, red onion served in a mini pita. - Tessa
  • Bison/Beef   - Aged white cheddar, garlic aioli, lettuce, tomato and red onion, served on  a whole wheat bun.  - Amanda

  • butter tarts (raisin, pecan or skor; or all 3) - Chandra
  • apple crisp or pie made with honey - Danielle
with coffee and tea - Tanya


  1. I will do the beef and barley soup.

  2. I wish I could be there for the discussion. I'm familiar with the story and the family but haven't actually read the book. I'll have to make a point of getting a copy to read (or buy). Do you accept members via Skype?
    Hope you enjoy it.

    1. hjl is my dad, for those of you who might have been baffled by this comment. :-)

  3. I'll bring the butter tarts. Consider this my confirmation of attendance as well. :)

  4. Seeing as we are down a few members, I will make the salad along with also providing drinks. :)

  5. I will bring the beef/bison dish

  6. I can't seem to add people to the menu items here, but Trish is going to bring the stew. :)


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