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A Canadian Bankclerk   By:

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A Canadian Bankclerk by J. P. Buschlen is a poignant and insightful memoir that offers readers a rare glimpse into the financial sector of Canada during the mid-20th century. Although lacking a catchy title to draw immediate attention, the book compensates for this shortcoming with its engrossing content and exceptional storytelling.

This memoir follows the life and career of the author, J. P. Buschlen, as he navigates the complexities of working as a bankclerk in Canada. Through his vivid recollections, Buschlen presents a comprehensive and detailed account of the banking industry's inner workings, providing readers with a unique perspective on the profession. From his early days as an ambitious young clerk to his eventual rise within the ranks, the author skillfully portrays the challenges, triumphs, and personal growth he experienced throughout his career.

What truly sets this memoir apart is Buschlen's ability to humanize the many individuals he encountered in his professional journey. By delving into the lives of his colleagues and clients, the author offers an intimate portrayal of their hopes, dreams, and struggles, highlighting the deeply intertwined nature of personal and financial lives. This empathetic approach allows readers to not only comprehend the intricate mechanics of the banking world but also to connect with the individuals affected by it.

Moreover, A Canadian Bankclerk serves as a valuable historical document, shedding light on an era when the banking industry was undergoing significant changes. Buschlen effectively captures the social and economic climate of the time, exploring the impact of major events such as the Great Depression, World War II, and the subsequent post-war boom. Consequently, readers gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical context that shaped both the author's career and the financial landscape of Canada.

The author's writing style is eloquent and engaging, painting vivid imagery and eliciting a strong emotional response from the reader. This, coupled with the meticulous attention to detail, enhances the authenticity of the memoir and keeps the narrative flowing seamlessly. While some readers may initially perceive a book about banking as dry or mundane, Buschlen's storytelling prowess swiftly dispels such misconceptions, rendering the subject matter captivating and relatable.

However, the book is not without its minor flaws. At times, the narrative becomes excessively detailed, potentially overwhelming readers who are less familiar with the banking industry's intricacies. Additionally, some readers may find certain sections less engaging, particularly those that delve into technical aspects of banking that may not align with their personal interests.

In conclusion, A Canadian Bankclerk is an exceptional memoir that effortlessly captures the essence of a bygone era in Canada's financial history. J. P. Buschlen's masterful storytelling and insightful observations make this book a compelling read for anyone interested in the financial sector, historical memoirs, or the human stories that unfold behind the scenes of our everyday lives. Despite its modest title, this memoir packs a powerful punch and is highly recommended for readers seeking a thought-provoking and immersive reading experience.

First Page:

[Frontispiece: "The Conscientious Clerk" From drawing by Paul N. Craig, Omaha, Neb., 1913 ]








Copyright, Canada, 1913, by




Conscientious Clerk


My box is full of others' cash, My pocket full of air, My head is crammed with cleric trash, Layer upon layer.

I gaze upon the business mob That throngs before my cage, And watch their human pulses throb In greed, fear, rage.

Yet through the vapor and the must I often catch a smile As though someone had lost the lust, And, for a while,

Regarded me, the shoveller, As greater than the gold, Which, after all, belongs to her Old Mother Mould.


The story herein told is true to life; true, the greater part of it, to my own life. Also, I am convinced that my experience in a Canadian Bank was but mildly exciting as compared with that of many others.

My object in publishing "Evan Nelson's" history is to enlighten the public concerning life behind the wicket and thus pave the way for the legitimate organization of bankclerks into a fraternal association, for their financial and social (including moral) betterment... Continue reading book >>

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