New Book

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I Thought He Was Dead

a spiritual memoir

When Ralph Benmergui discovered he was literally hours away from a deadly heart attack, he realized everything had changed. 

He was entering the autumn of his life. 

What follows this awakening is a funny, profound and generous look at where he has come from – from his childhood as the youngest son of Moroccan immigrants, to his experiences during the early years as a stand-up comedian at YukYuks, his storied career at the CBC and his work in Aging to Sageing- to where he has arrived.
Michael Coren
Rev. Michael Coren
Columnist and bestselling author

A compelling mixture of memoir, reflection and philosophy, this is a startlingly honest and important book.

Kathleen Wynne
Kathleen Wynne
Former premier of Ontario

Ralph Benmergui’s book is a gift to all of us who, like him, are in the ‘autumn of our lives’ and to anyone who is planning to someday get there. He writes with the timing of a performer, the compassion of a loving friend and the wisdom of a different kind of rabbi. Ralph asks how we can bring our wisdom to the table – this book is, in part, his personal answer to that question.

Peter Mansbridge
Peter Mansbridge

Ralph Benmergui was one of the most talented people I’d ever seen walk into the Toronto studios of the CBC. And he knew it. It wasn’t long before he wanted both he and his show to ‘own’ the town. This is the story of how he almost did, what happened when he didn’t and what’s happened to his remarkable life since. It’s not a simple story and along the way, there are lessons for all of us.

Joan Jenkinson
Joan Jenkinson
Executive Director, Black Screen Office

Ralph Benmergui’s “I Thought He Was Dead” is a deeply moving work. Its raw vulnerability and masterful storytelling combine to make the book a celebration of life, faith, hope and love.

Erin Davis
Erin Davis
Broadcaster and bestselling author of Mourning Has Broken: Love, Loss and Reclaiming Joy

From stand-up to TV host to cancer patient and ultimately spiritual companion, through every star-making, humiliating stop along the way, Ralph Benmergui’s memoir is a raw, entertaining and enlightening read that is deeply funny, touching and inspirational.

Drew Hayden Taylor
Author of Motorcycles & Sweetgrass and Chasing Painted Horses

With a title like I Thought He Was Dead: A Spiritual Memoir I knew reading this book would be an interesting ride. Benmergui's journey through life is captivating. His continued travels as a broadcaster/comedian and so many other things have left him, for lack of a better term, a sage. Within these pages he ruminates on age, illness, raising kids, religion, and dealing with the changing face of society. There is humour and understanding behind his tales. I look forward to reading volume two in another fifty years or so.

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