The Antagonist

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The Antagonist

by Lynn Coady

House Of Anansi Press Inc | August 2, 2013 | Hardcover

The Antagonist is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 2.

Winner of the 2012 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and shortlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Against his will and his nature, the hulking Gordon Rankin ("Rank") is cast as an enforcer, a goon -- by his classmates, his hockey coaches, and especially his own "tiny, angry" father, Gordon Senior.

Rank gamely lives up to his role -- until tragedy strikes, using Rank as its blunt instrument. Escaping the only way he can, Rank disappears. But almost twenty years later he 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 heart of him, and Rank will finally have to confront the tragic true story from which he's spent his whole life running away.

With the deep compassion, deft touch, and irreverent humour that have made her one of Canada's best-loved novelists, Lynn Coady delves deeply into the ways we sanction and stoke male violence, giving us a large-hearted, often hilarious portrait of a man tearing himself apart in order to put himself back together.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.98 in

Published: August 2, 2013

Publisher: House Of Anansi Press Inc

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0887842968

ISBN - 13: 9780887842962

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Antagonist: A Review from The Bibliotaphe Closet The Antagonist by Lynn Coady was a short listed book finalist for the prestigious Canadian Giller Prize for 2011. So, when I opened the book, I approached it as such and expected a literary eloquence in narrative, details of landscape in setting, and a myriad of complex characters in an elaborate plot that speaks to a high order of the privileged few about its philosophy on the potential downfall or evolution of society. (Insert breath, here.) Yeah, one of those books. A book that is heavier than my hand in writing this first paragraph. Because heavy-handed is not a place a writer wants to be, nor does a reader. I know. I’m both. So, it was much to my relief that this book surprised me (but, only after the fact, because really, I don’t like it when an author initially says in his or her writing, “Ha! And you expected Northrop Frye!”). So much for what I know. It’s said you “shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” but the lesson learned here, too, is you shouldn’t judge a book by its seal of award nominations – long-listed or short. That’s not to say it was a poorly written novel, unworthy of its shortlist Giller acclaim. It’s not. It’s a deceptively simple narrative, a confessional collection of email written by the main character, Gord Rankin Jr., also known as Rank, in response to his best friend’s (Adam) book publication in which he discovers he is the star and central character. But, star is too kind a word for the “antagonistic” email-writer who resents being fictionalized in a novel without first granting his explicit permission, if not disclosing the full “truth” behind its story – his story. Thus, an onslaught of daily conversational rants becomes the collective essence of the book, which through its dialogue reveals the true nature of its hulking giant and his overly scrutinized temperament. Gord Rankin Jr., as Rank, a name he imposed on himself, has but, one main identity flaw: he is big. Big for his age, bigger than his friends, and feels the pressure associated with his bulk as a weight to act out a premature manhood that he has not yet emotionally identified with, and yet has unexpectedly manifested itself into his overgrown body. To read the rest of my review, you may visit my blog, The Bibliotaphe's Closet: http://zaraalexis.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/the-antagonist-more-than-just-a-fist-of-fiction/
Date published: 2012-09-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling From the first chapter I found Coady's style intriguing as the Protagonist/Antagonist unravelled his story through a series of e-mails. I enjoyed the random pattern of character development, particularly of Adam, the recipient of the outpouring of e-mailed emotions.
Date published: 2012-01-15

– More About This Product –

The Antagonist

by Lynn Coady

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.98 in

Published: August 2, 2013

Publisher: House Of Anansi Press Inc

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0887842968

ISBN - 13: 9780887842962

From the Publisher

Winner of the 2012 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and shortlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Against his will and his nature, the hulking Gordon Rankin ("Rank") is cast as an enforcer, a goon -- by his classmates, his hockey coaches, and especially his own "tiny, angry" father, Gordon Senior.

Rank gamely lives up to his role -- until tragedy strikes, using Rank as its blunt instrument. Escaping the only way he can, Rank disappears. But almost twenty years later he 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 heart of him, and Rank will finally have to confront the tragic true story from which he's spent his whole life running away.

With the deep compassion, deft touch, and irreverent humour that have made her one of Canada's best-loved novelists, Lynn Coady delves deeply into the ways we sanction and stoke male violence, giving us a large-hearted, often hilarious portrait of a man tearing himself apart in order to put himself back together.

About the Author

Lynn Coady is the author of the bestselling novel The Antagonist, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, as well as the novels Mean Boy, Saints of Big Harbour, and Strange Heaven and the short story collection Play the Monster Blind. She has been shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and has four times made the Globe and Mail's annual list of Top 100 Books. Originally from Cape Breton, she now lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where she is a founding and senior editor of the award-winning magazine Eighteen Bridges.