Spanish Fly

by Will Ferguson

Penguin Canada | September 9, 2008 | Trade Paperback

Spanish Fly is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 4.
Raised by his father in the dying town of Paradise Flats, Jack McGreary has learned to live by his wits. The year is 1939. Drought has turned America’s heartland into a dust bowl, and the world is on the brink of war.

Jack's father wants him to head north to Canada to sign up in the fight against fascism. But when a pair of fast-talking swindlers named Virgil and Miss Rose blows through town, Jack falls in with them instead.

Together, they go on a crime spree across the Southwest, staging a series of inventive and often hilarious cons, while sexual tension between Jack and Miss Rose grows… Someone is being set up.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 408 pages, 8.26 × 5.3 × 1.06 in

Published: September 9, 2008

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143055143

ISBN - 13: 9780143055143

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely fabulous This book has it all - intrigue, romance, criminal activity and flight. This is all expertly put together by a very talented writer. He manages to write, teach and add a little humor into this highly recommendable book. This is my first book by Will Ferguson and I am so impressed I bought "Happiness" in hopes of delighting in his writing once again. Scams - they are funny to read about but people really get hurt. Will deals with that issue and slams a home run with a whopper of an ending. Both men and women will like this read.
Date published: 2009-06-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Tricks of the Trade This witty novel could also be classified as an entertaining manual for con artists. Perhaps a smart screenwriter will pocket the real money by turning it into a great movie.
Date published: 2008-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rip Roaring Snake Oil Cons!! Spanish Fly, a new novel by Calgarian humourist Will Ferguson. I expect that Mr. Ferguson's captivating new novel will garner the readership and accolades as did his debut novel Generica a.k.a. Happiness(TM). This new shrewd but humorous tale weaves the desperation of the Great Depression/Dust Bowl years in the American S.W. (W.F. explains the location in his afterwords) with a young, bright, handsome, Jack McGreary finding his purpose in life. Jack tags along with experienced con artists Virgil Ray and Miss Rose to learn, as Virgil says, "When 'they' hand you their money willingly, it doesn't count as stealing." Jack's got the head for increasingly complex cons but does he have the heart for them? Herein lies the tension which turns the pages quickly to make this book such a satisfying read.
Date published: 2007-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Will Ferguson Unplugged Yeah, the man is funny. He always gets well deserved credit for it. But this book is a gem, at times funny without gags, but always with an undercurrent of discovery; a young man testing himself to discover what he's really made of, what he's capable of, and what he isn't. Will himself points out on his website that "Spanish Fly" is different in tone from "Happiness" and it's true. If anything, what struck me about the book was that readers shouldn't be surpised by the shift in style. I kept thinking that "Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw" was a bridge between "Happiness" and "Spanish Fly" because I saw a progression: Ferguson is just getting better and better. I can't wait to see what he does next.
Date published: 2007-09-27

– More About This Product –

Spanish Fly

Spanish Fly

by Will Ferguson

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 408 pages, 8.26 × 5.3 × 1.06 in

Published: September 9, 2008

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143055143

ISBN - 13: 9780143055143

From the Publisher

Raised by his father in the dying town of Paradise Flats, Jack McGreary has learned to live by his wits. The year is 1939. Drought has turned America’s heartland into a dust bowl, and the world is on the brink of war.

Jack's father wants him to head north to Canada to sign up in the fight against fascism. But when a pair of fast-talking swindlers named Virgil and Miss Rose blows through town, Jack falls in with them instead.

Together, they go on a crime spree across the Southwest, staging a series of inventive and often hilarious cons, while sexual tension between Jack and Miss Rose grows… Someone is being set up.

About the Author

Travel writer and novelist Will Ferguson is the author of several award-winning memoirs, including Beyond Belfast, about a 560-mile walk across Northern Ireland in the rain; Hitching Rides With Buddha, about an end-to-end journey across Japan by thumb; and most recently the humour collection Canadian Pie, which includes his travels from Yukon to PEI.

Ferguson's novels include Happiness™, a satire set in the world of self-help publishing, and Spanish Fly, a coming-of-age tale of con men and call girls set amid the jazz clubs of the Great Depression. His work, which has been published in more than twenty languages around the world, has been nominated for both an IMPAC Dublin Award and a Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and he is a three-time winner of the Leacock Medal.

www.willferguson.com

Editorial Reviews

“An eminently readable novel… Like Robertson Davies, Will Ferguson has the gift of linkage, of letting unlikely novelistic strands interleave and thicken into a significant braid.” - The Globe and Mail“A remarkable novel that is sure to become a modern-day classic…. Ferguson combines fact and fiction to produce a compelling and surprisingly humorous coming-of-age tale that will appeal to all readers…. Ferguson builds a tense climax by skilfully planting morsels of key information throughout the story. This leads to an exhilarating and unpredictable conclusion that will have readers guessing until the final page.” - Winnipeg Free Press“Ferguson has written history and humour side by side many times, and this is the first time he has fused them together so successfully… It’s a pleasure to ride with our sort-of-heroes in their 1939 Nash Ambassador.” - Telegraph Journal“Stunning…. Spanish Fly will be in high demand because of Ferguson’s name, but it should be in high demand because of his talent. Nuanced and enthralling, Spanish Fly is undoubtedly the best writing he has ever done.” - Quill & Quire Books of the Year review“Ferguson is a novelist to be reckoned with…. This is a man who has found his storytelling voice, using the Great Depression as a backdrop for three grifters who are blowing through the American South one scam at a time. If it were up to me, I would have put this book on the Giller list.” - The Ottawa Citizen“A remarkable work, steeped in history and arcane know
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