"The VSE is one of the most profitable enterprises on the face of the earth--for those who own it." -- David Cruise, 1987

Toronto Star columnists David Cruise and Alison Griffiths have co-written numerous non-fiction books and one novel called simply Vancouver. That historical novel is a 750-page Micheneresque saga that was arranged by their Toronto agent Bruce Westwood in conjunction with a New York editor for HarperCollins, Larry Ashmead, who had been smitten by Vancouver upon his arrival by train through the Rocky Mountains. Having lived in Vancouver and Victoria during the outset of their book writing careers, the couple was hired for the project. The duo had been criticized for sensationalizing history in their non-fiction, so the chance to try making fiction seemed appropriate. Vancouver: A Novel consists of twelve linked stories in sequential time periods from the ice age to present day, including one non-fictional character, Warburton Pike, the gentleman immigrant, author and would-be entrepreneur. The saga culminates with a part-Aboriginal character Ellie Nesbitt in Stanley Park, sensing her ancestral past. The ambitious project doesn't percolate as fiction: it is a concept masquerading as a novel. Coincidentally Linda Wikene Johnson released a similar historical novel called Vancouver! but her effort was overshadowed by the publicity push for the Cruise/Griffiths experiment.

One of the couple's best books was their first, an investigation of the Vancouver Stock Exchange. They reported the odds of losing money on the VSE during a 12-year period in the 1960s and 1970s had been 84%. They accused the VSE of inadequent enforcement of adequate regulations, profiling Murray Pezim, Morris Black, Egil Lorntzsen, Norman Keevil, Bruce McDonald, John McGraw, Peter Brown and the VSE's legendary first promoter Alvo von Alvensleben, rumoured to be a German spy. Cruise and Griffiths have won numerous writing awards, including the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy. Both left their previous spouses in order to live and write as a couple. Their bestselling exposé about the business of hockey, Net Worth, was vilified by the NHL and former agent Alan Eagleson, but it provided new information that encouraged the NHL hockey players' strike of March, 1992 and helped retired players sue the league about mismanagement of their pension fund since 1957. It became a CBC television movie, co-scripted by Cruise and Griffiths, that received four Gemini awards. After writing a financial advice column for seven years in the Toronto Star, they released The Portfolio Doctor. Cruise and Griffiths (shown at right) live near Milton, Ontario.

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Vancouver: A Novel


Fleecing the Lamb: Inside the Vancouver Stock Exchange (Douglas & McIntyre, 1987)

Money Rustlers (Penguin)

The Great Adventure and On South Mountain, and

Lords of the Line: The Men Who Built the CPR (Penguin)

Net Worth: Exploding the Myths of Pro Hockey (Penguin, 1991)

The Great Adventure: How the Mounties Conquered the West (Penguin 1997)

Vancouver (HarperCollins 2003)

The Portfolio Doctor: Your Prescription for Investment Health (Penguin 2004)

[BCBW 2004] "Business" "History of B.C." "Sports" "Early Vancouver"