Pure pleasure...A Long Time Ago is a thoughtful, funny, and beautifully written story...[Van Ert's] critiques of the Kenner action figures are both scathingly hilarious and bang on, and that's pretty much a microcosm for the whole book....it rewards the reader with an echo of the excitement, disappointment, anger, delight, and, ultimately, love, that Van Ert feels for the franchise.
Cory Doctorow review on Boing Boing
A Long Time Ago is a wonderful look back on growing up with Star Wars...Van Ert [has] written a great little memoir about life as a boy with Star Wars and his trials as an adult with his boyhood fascination.
Dave Banks review on Wired.com's GeekDad blog
This is a beautifully written book - touching, and very funny. For anyone whose childhood was shaped by George Lucas...it will bring back many happy memories...A treasure trove for Star Wars fans.
A.D. Barker review on Amazon.co.uk
The book is written in a very humorous way and contains many smart and beautifully written statements about Star Wars and its impact on our lives. I consider this book a mandatory reading for everyone who grew up with the original Star Wars and its toys in the 70s and 80s and for everyone who wants to understand and learn about the beauty of the Star Wars of yesterday.
Review on Yet Another Star Wars Blog
For those of us who grew up with Star Wars, this is like a page from our own lives.
Gareth-Michael Skarka review on Amazon.com
Some time in the summer of 1977, sitting in the back seat of a borrowed station wagon at the only drive-in in town, Gib van Ert saw the first ninety minutes of a film that changed his world—and the world in general—forever. Then he fell asleep. So began a torrid thirty-five-year love affair with Star Wars, complete with infatuation, lust, devotion, jealousy, betrayal, despair, separation and reconciliation.
In A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars, van Ert describes how Star Wars captivated his imagination as a boy, broke his heart as a young man, and is foisting itself upon him again today through fatherhood. At once a personal memoir and a reflection on the shared experience of a generation, A Long Time Ago explores Star Wars fandom with equal parts humour and thoughtfulness, nostalgia and regret.
Get excerpts from the book
View the Keener promotional pamphlet
If you're an old-time Star Wars fan, you'll remember the glorious brochures Kenner used to insert into its playsets and vehicles. Here's an example. Below is a Kenner-style brochure with photos of the people and places portrayed in my book.
CBC Radio One Vancouver interviewed me about the book, and Star Wars generally. Listen to the interview.
CTV News BC interviewed me. Click here to watch the video.
About Gib van Ert
Gib van Ert, 40, is a lawyer and father in Vancouver, British Columbia. He studied law at the University of Cambridge and is the author or co-author of several books and articles on international and constitutional law. A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars is van Ert’s first book directed at a broader audience.