Off The Record

Off The Record – Peter Mansbridge

Off The Record is the memoir of retired journalist and news anchor Peter Mansbridge.

Last year, I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Peter Mansbridge’s book, Extraordinary Canadians, a look at everyday overachievers who receive little to no fanfare day-to-day. With Off The Record, Mansbridge turns the spotlight on himself bringing us his life story inside one of the year’s most anticipated books.

In his memoir, Mansbridge brings the reader into his early years as an immigrant from England, growing up in the Glebe, a middle/upper-class Ottawa neighborhood. Several years later, an off-chance meeting with a CBC employee in Manitoba allowed Peter to leave his airline job to explore a career in radio. From there, as a reader, you’re off to the races.

Peter keeps each chapter brief as he unfolds his life story in what is almost akin to a series of anecdotes. I would go so far as to prefer this storytelling method to some memoirs out there that come across as over-indulgent with every aspect of one’s life scrutinized and analyzed to death.

The subject matter here is light and breezy. You aren’t going to find a whole hell of a lot of controversial topics in these pages as Peter is more concerned with entertaining his readers and informing them just how much work went into anchoring a national news program. His reflections into covering major stories like 9/11 were eye-opening, showing just to how tough it must have been to be the calm voice in the room when the world is on fire.

I don’t know if this one will end up in my honorable mentions, let alone my best-of-2021 list, but Off The Record is a solid memoir with wide-spread appeal. A good palate cleanser of a read that can be enjoyed in small bites.

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