Winner of the 2012 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and
shortlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
A finalist for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize, and
named one of the best books of the year by Amazon, the Globe
and Mail, and the Toronto Star, The
Antagonist tells the story of Gordon Rankin ("Rank"), a former
hockey enforcer driven to seek revenge on a old friend who has
published a novel revealing Rank's deepest secret.
The hulking Gordon Rankin has spent his life cast as an
enforcer, a goon — by his classmates, his coaches, and
especially his own father, Gordon Senior, an unfortunate victim of
small man syndrome. Rank duly accepts his role and spends the
majority of his high school and university years implementing the
violent commands of others. Until one day tragedy strikes, with
only Rank to blame. With nobody to turn to, he disappears.
But almost twenty years later Rank discovers that an old,
trusted friend — the only person to whom he has ever
confessed his sins - has published a novel mirroring
Rank's life. The betrayal cuts to the deepest core of him,
and forces Rank to confront the tragic true story from which
he's spent his whole life running. A diatribe, a prayer,
an ode to what it means to be a man, Rank's painful,
suspenseful, and often hilarious journey grabs us by the throat and
the heart and never lets us go. This is Rank's turn to
finally set the record straight.