Chan Canasta: Afterthoughts & Chan Canasta: A Remarkable Man: Volume 2 by David Britland
Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii November, 2001)
Readers will no doubt recall my review of Chan Canasta: A Remarkable Man by David Britland (September 2000 Genii). That fascinating book was marred by an extremely poor production standard, and some would say (at least to the casual general interest reader) an outlandish price. For some of us, however, the book was well worth the asking price—you know who you are!—despite the unpleasantly frustrating production flaws.
By way of compensating for some of those problems, the publisher, Martin Breese, has produced Chan Canasta: Afterthoughts, a glossy 13-page booklet featuring recollections of Canasta by Graham Jolley (who compares Canasta to Al Koran) and Val Andrews, along with an introduction from the publisher. This is free to anyone who purchased the original volume and who requests this addition from their dealer.
Breese has also now published a nicely-produced 45-page perfect-bound paperback volume, also written by David Britland, containing additional material about Canasta. There are basically two elements included; the first is a 19-page section of more Canasta card material that the author has come across and deconstructed, much as he did in the first volume; the second is a reprint of the excellent article he wrote for MAGIC magazine in April of 1999. This small booklet is more or less reasonably priced, done well, and the card material, featuring Canasta's unique strategies, will once again be worth the asking price to aficionados who have the wherewithal to actually put such material to use.
The unfortunate part of all this is that the material is spread among three different books/booklets, and in such varying quality. Were all of it to be assembled under one quality cover, no one would raise any objection to paying the asking price of the original volume.