Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story

His drug and alcohol fuelled antics made world headlines and engulfed a city in unprecedented controversy Toronto mayor Rob Ford s personal and political troubles have occupied centre stage in North America s fourth largest city since news broke that drug dealers were selling a videotape of Ford appearing to smoke crack cocaine.Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle was onHis drug and alcohol fuelled antics made world headlines and engulfed a city in unprecedented controversy Toronto mayor Rob Ford s personal and political troubles have occupied centre stage in North America s fourth largest city since news broke that drug dealers were selling a videotape of Ford appearing to smoke crack cocaine.Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle was one of three journalists to view the video and report on its contents in May 2013 Her dogged pursuit of the story has uncovered disturbing details about the mayor s past, and embroiled the Toronto police, city councillors, and ordinary citizens in a raucous debate about the future of the city Even before those explosive events, Ford was a divisive figure A populist and successful city counillor, he was an underdog to become mayor in 2010 His politics and mercurial nature have split the amalgamated city in two.But there is far to the story The Ford family has a long, unhappy history of substance abuse and criminal behaviour Despite their troubles, they are also one of the most ambitious families in Canada Those close to the Fords say they often compare themselves to the Kennedys and believe they were born to lead Doolittle says that regardless of whether the mayor survives the current crack cocaine scandal, the Ford name will be on the ballot in the mayoralty election in 2014.
Crazy Town The Rob Ford Story His drug and alcohol fuelled antics made world headlines and engulfed a city in unprecedented controversy Toronto mayor Rob Ford s personal and political troubles have occupied centre stage in North A

  • Title: Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story
  • Author: Robyn Doolittle
  • ISBN: 9780670068111
  • Page: 491
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story”

    1. Crazy Town is many books in one. It's a political thriller (who was doing what when), a psychological study (as much of a city as an individual man), and a journalism guide (a behind-the-scenes account of what it's like to cover a story as explosive as this one for a major national newspaper). The book is meticulously researched and documented, as you would expect. (Doolittle's publishers are no fools.)While people who have been following the Rob Ford story as it played out in real time won't pi [...]

    2. They say truth is stranger than fiction, and in this case it has never rung more true. Crazy Town is written by Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle, one of only three reporters who have seen the infamous Rob Ford crack video, and the journalist most intimately familiar with the sordid saga surrounding it. Most citizens of Toronto will be familiar with this story of how our city has been held hostage by a petulant, addicted, functionally literate man-child and his batshit-crazy family. What mor [...]

    3. Crazy Town is a good summary of the information. It is an easy read and engaging. I think if this story was written for The Wire as a fictional piece I would have found it too far fetched. The book also reminded me of the importance of investigative journalism in this era of the sound bite story.

    4. It says something about my Rob Ford addiction that I am the first person on to mark this as "Currently Reading"! So far, very well-written, very thorough.* * *So, if you've been following the Ford story obsessively, there will be little new information in this book, except perhaps about the family's history and background. But it's a very interesting experience to follow the story in a sober, thoughtful book, as opposed to the outbursts of headlines that have grabbed us over the past year.What' [...]

    5. A very brief review with a caveat: Robyn Doolittle's a friend, and a colleague (we both cover Toronto City Hall and Rob Ford, for different newspapers). With that out of the way: Crazy Town is an outstanding piece of investigative journalism, political biography and journalistic procedural. It is incomplete, only insofar as the story of Rob Ford and his mayoralty is yet incomplete, but it is meticulously fair and exhaustive, in telling the story as it's unfolded so far.

    6. Great read! I was wary of the timing of this book - thinking it was a hastily put together cash grab by some random writer - but it is written by one of the Toronto Star reporters who broke a lot of the stories about Ford along the way. You can tell right away that the author is an excellent reporter who has put in a lot of hours on this story before she started writing the book. And since it takes you through his rise to power to the beginning of his re-election campaign near the end of his fir [...]

    7. Ever wonder what it would be like if your local government was run by Axl Rose? Well, North America's fourth-largest city has been engaging in that very experiment for three years now, and the result is pretty thrilling. Okay, you probably won't get behind it if you're on of those "good government" pussies, but if you like a freak show, the mayoralty of Rob Ford can't be beat. Like the aforementioned Mr. Rose, Mayor Ford is also possessed with an appetite for destruction, although Hizzoner's is [...]

    8. A thorough and thought provoking investigation into the Rob Ford fiasco.I expected more of a "Kitty Kelly" approach to this tell-all, but I was pleasantly surprised by Doolittle's journalistic approach to writing this biography. She doesn't talk to the neighbours of a friend of a friend's relative to get her story, she goes to hard sources, names names, and quotes authoritative publications and public figures. The last 60 pages of the book is bibliographic notes that helps to lend credibility to [...]

    9. A good light read - but essentially a 300 page newspaper article.If Doolittle wanted to write a serious book it would have done her well to get a co-author who is less steeped in the journalistic tradition. Journalistic writing does not usually make for great novels (unless you're someone like Christopher Hitchens who was also a talented though pompous essayist).If you can't figure out why Doolittle didn't wait until the election to release it, you're forgetting the extremely obvious benefits to [...]

    10. I'm kind of torn while trying to rate this one.On the one hand, scandal is almost always interesting and gripping to read. The guy's a trainwreck and it's nearly impossible to look away. I've seen the headlines, but haven't followed too closely and this book was fairly comprehensive in providing some background and a timeline. If you have been continually following the story though, you may as well skip this one. It doesn't really provide anything new.I don't really have any sympathy for Rob For [...]

    11. I'm torn about this book. One one hand, the first half of the book that details the business and political rise of the Ford family starting with Doug Ford Sr. I found quite interesting. On the other hand, the second half of the book that describes the mayor's most recent antics feels like a rehash of newspaper articles -- there was nothing new to read there.In the acknowledgements, Doolittle writes that she had about 3 months to write the book, and it shows in some places. A few passages with sl [...]

    12. I couldn't wait to pick up this book for several reasons. Let's face it, I glued to the Rob Ford Train Wreck as much as the next person and I wanted to read the behind the scenes look at the whole thing. And the former journalist in me loved reading about the investigation from Robyn Doolittle's perspective. Overall, this book didn't disappoint. It delved deep into Rob Ford's past to give us a good sense of where he came from and how he came to be who he is today. It was well researched and well [...]

    13. A real page turner. Doolittle's re telling of the Rob Ford is equal parts political thriller (/farce) and recent Toronto history. It's not great literature but it doesn't pretend to be. Instead, it's a highly entertaining and interesting look at a series of recent events that has put Toronto front and centre on the world stage. And not in a good way.

    14. As a person living in Toronto during most of the events, it wasn't that interesting. Some color was added by telling the story of the journalists who were investigating. Ultimately, however, the prose was newspaper prose. It read like I was reading a bunch articles.

    15. Crazy Town brings all the stories together in a compelling narrative. I bought the book because Robin Doolittle deserves to make some money for putting up with Ford Nation ragging on The Star.

    16. 2.5 stars.early written and fair synopsis of recent events but very little political analysis and absolutely no psychological analysis of our entitled wreck of a mayor

    17. 3.5 stars. Whatever else one might say about the Ford spectacle, I can't be the only one whose interest in and knowledge of municipal politics increased substantially in the midst of all these scandals. I can't really think of much else that would compel me to watch hours and hours of council meetings or familiarize myself with parts of the Municipal Code of Conduct, for example, and my civic literacy has never been better. Still, there's something very disquieting about this whole saga: the cas [...]

    18. This book was published right after Crackgate and the mayor being stripped of his authority but before the 2014 election. It feels like I was reading the newspaper instead of a biography or exposé. It felt biased and forced and like the whole purpose was to convince people not to re-elect Ford. It was also very fascinating to see the connections to gangs and drugs and how Ford was completely entrenched in that scene. His constant lying and cover-ups are amazing even in the face of hard work evi [...]

    19. Torontonians have followed the story, in the Star, on Twitter, television, blogs and so on. Most of us who live here and are more or less conscious are aware of the key events. Robyn Doolittle’s book Crazy Town pulls it all together, and gives the story chronology and context. For those of us who enjoy following municipal politics in Toronto, getting the whole story packaged up in a book is irresistible. The story is at once sad, tragic, outrageous and perplexing.And it’s quite a story. Mr. [...]

    20. This was a very depressing book. The crazier and nastier Rob Ford acted, the more popular he became. It is the story of a reporter following this administrative train wreck while nobody seemed to care. Ford is a drunken buffoon, a paranoiac alcoholic, crackhead, bully, chauvinist pig and compulsive liar which makes him extremely popular. His friends include gun runners, gangs and drug kingpins. He should be hated by Toronto but he is constantly forgiven and loved. In this country, he would be a [...]

    21. In the end, depressing. This drunken buffoon, crackhead, bully, serial liar, a good friend to gun running gangs and drug runners, and his sociopath brother still has 40% support in opinion polls. What the hell is wrong with the politics of this country when a thug like believes he can stay in office and actually stand a chance of getting re-elected? More disconcerting than turning Toronto politics into a humiliating circus is what he has done for the expectations of politicians in this country i [...]

    22. I didn't vote for Rob Ford, have "discussed" his deficiencies with neighbours, have been (falsely) accused of enjoying his antics, and only got a second-hand take on Robyn Doolittle's reportage on his escapades (as I did not subscribe to the Toronto Star). I thoroughly enjoyed this recounting of how they got onto the story (fascinating that she was a police beat reporter before going to City Hall; how propitious!), although she isn't able to explain the inexplicable: how Ford Nation, self-profes [...]

    23. I found it very hard to put this book down. It's an incredible story that still leaves you astonished - even if you know how it ends. Two quibbles: 1) The first part of the book on the Ford family is disorganized and choppy. The timeline keeps jumping around and this makes it hard to follow. However, it becomes more straightforward when Doolittle starts to cover Mayor Ford's scandals. 2) Books by journalists always talk about journalism. In many ways, Doolittle writes about her profession to mak [...]

    24. If you read the Toronto papers on a fairly consistent basis, you already know most of the story. there is very little new or revealing in this book. Those new to the the Rob Ford train wreck may enjoy the read a little more.Quite honestly I would have liked to had seen more about his early years in his life. it was just too sparse. I know the book was not a biography per se, but more a moment in time, but I think the writer could have done more.For me, an okay read, for others not as familiar wi [...]

    25. I knew most of the details, but only in a superficial way. To have them lined up in a row was fascinating. But even better was Doolittle talking about life as a reporter, chasing down leads, how the story unfolded, and so on. I felt for her as she described how Ford went from calling the media "pathological liars" to admitting he has a problem and entering rehab - all without acknowledging the 180 he just took. A fascinating read. Some day this will make for the basis of a stunning and insane fi [...]

    26. A book I skipped meals to read! For those of us who watched this self-proclaimed 'gravy train' fighter turn into an explosive human train wreck in our city we really didn't have too much more context (or had shut down in the trauma) than the worldwide audiences who found out about Toronto for all the wrong reasons. Ms. Doolittle provides that vital, deplorable context. This is not a recipe to get RoFo voted out of office but it is a must-read for politics lovers and for any Torontonian wishing t [...]

    27. This book is more than the Rob Ford story so far, it's a good introduction to the political history of the city of Toronto in the last 25 years. Well written, some passages read more like a political thriller.

    28. Our infamous Mayor is profiled in Robyn Doolittle's book. If you have been reading the Star then most of this is just word for word. The fist chapter is rather interesting as it documents there father's rise from poverty to wealth by starting Deco Labels. It is a quick read.

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