Skip to content

WRTB final coverby William Weintraub


In 1940s Montreal, young Harry Barnes joins the Montreal Daily Witness, Canada’s most reactionary newspaper. The managing editor, Philip Butcher fires journalists with aplomb while keeping news out of the paper. To amuse himself Harry writes hilarious Butcher stories. To his horror, his scathing sketches are inexplicably printed in the Witness, which leaves him fearing for his job. But he soon falls for Julia, a beautiful journalist from a rival newspaper who is hot for rebellion. Harry wonders whether to keep his job and conform or win Julia and rebel. Misadventures and surprises ensue in this classic of old-time journalism.

Praise for Why Rock The Boat

“Weintraub’s comic novel, Why Rock the Boat?, was as striking as Ginger Coffey, but quite different. It satirized The Gazette as the kind of newspaper run by narrow-minded penny-pinchers like Larkin and staffed by tired old hacks or young opportunists. In Weintraub’s account, it followed one unwritten rule: Reporters who gathered piquant or even just interesting facts omitted them from their stories and saved them for private conversation; anything stimulating might bother advertisers. Satire describing such a specific world usually dies young, but Why Rock the Boat? reads well today. Seldom, before or since, has boredom been made so funny.” –Robert Fulford, The National Post


Read or write a review for Why Rock the Boat on Goodreads here.

Why Rock the Boat? was made into a feature film by the National Film Board of Canada.

It was directed by John Howe and starred Stuart Gillard, Tiiu Leek, and Ken James.

Check out the trailer:


Why Rock the Boat is available for purchase from the following vendors:



Apple (Canada) (US) (UK)

Barnes & Noble


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: