The Antagonist by Lynn CoadyThe Antagonist by Lynn Coady

The Antagonist

byLynn Coady

Paperback | June 9, 2012

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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.

Lynn Coady is a novelist and essayist whose fiction has been garnering acclaim since her first novel, Strange Heaven, was published and subsequently nominated for the Governor General's Award for Fiction when she was twenty-eight. Her short story collection Hellgoing won the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada's most prestigious liter...
Title:The AntagonistFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.93 inPublished:June 9, 2012Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770891048

ISBN - 13:9781770891043

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Slow going It was so hard to get into and it was slow as all get out.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Great title Very depressing I hate to think university life is what this book depicts.? I feel like I need to read something light now to take away the bad taste
Date published: 2014-03-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Antagonist Very good read really gets into the heart of human emotions
Date published: 2014-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Antagonist This book griped me from start to finish. I was intrigued by Gordon Rankin and his story. I loved watching his story unfold.
Date published: 2013-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Manly, yes. But I like it too. A boozy, burly, anxty, punch out, college boy story of vomit and redemption.
Date published: 2013-08-31
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:
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

Editorial Reviews

"[Lynn Coady] has a hearty wit and a piercing understanding of human nature . . . [she] has made herself one of our essential writers." - Jeet Heer, Quill and Quire"The Antagonist could have not have come at a better time. In our fast, media-saturated world, this novel gives the reader the refreshing and increasingly rare opportunity to take a closer, more compassionate look at someone wrongly judged by his outer shell." - Heather Leighton, Rover Arts"... thoroughly engrossing ... a breathless and frequently hilarious narrative ... one of the freshest voices in years." - Zoe Whittall, FASHION Magazine". . . a richly comic creation . . . a revealing effort in cross-gender empathy." - Joel Yanofsky, Montreal Gazette"A deft blend of farce, tragedy and wry social comment, The Antagonist is no mean feat." - Barbara Carey, Toronto Star". . . far more complex than the hilarious one-liners that make her work so irresistible to read." - Margaret Gunning, Edmonton Journal"In this coming-of-age tale, male friendships and relationships are explored in all their goofiness and complexity . . . [Lynn Coady is] one of Canada's best writers of fiction." - Dana Medoro, Winnipeg Free Press". . . a readable, quixotic coming-of-age story, a comedy of very bad manners, and a thoughtful inquiry into the very nature of self. It's the sort of novel -- and Coady the sort of writer -- deserving of every accolade coming to it." - Robert J. Wiersema, National Post". . . by turns angry, funny, tender and sad . . . The Antagonist is a full-bodied work of fiction." - Giles Blunt, Globe and Mail"The Antagonist is a crafty, technically-accomplished series of meditations on subjects ranging from manhood and self-knowledge to tricky father-son relationships." - Brett Joseph Grubisic, Vancouver Sun"Unhinged at times, cathartic, lyrical and brave ... the reader must simply sit back and enjoy." - Nathaniel G. Moore, Rabble"... [a] strong new comic novel." - Michael Bryson, Winnipeg Review"Sentence for sentence, Lynn Coady is one of the most dynamic prose stylists in Canadian letters." - Andre Mayer, Walrus"[Lynn Coady] is entering old-pro territory ..." - Laurie D Graham, Malahat Review"Only a writer as wonderfully gifted as Lynn Coady could elicit such extraordinary sympathy for a character as full of self-destructive rage as Rank, her main character. You won't soon forget either him or this haunting novel." - Richard Russo" and very funny...the pathos and humor brought to a challenging life story will appeal to many readers." - Publishers Weekly"A genuinely fascinating character [whose] emails evolve from clumsy rages to thoughtful, measured ruminations on crucial events in his life...But it is Coady's ability to realistically portray his teens and university years and empathetically conduct his search for self that makes The Antagonist more than just entertainment." - Booklist"Smartly tuned and as unsettling as it intends to be...Coady expertly renders a man who's compelled to address his past but not entirely ready to look in the mirror [and her novel] is a caution to tread carefully." - Kirkus"... a stunning new novel. Coady's writing is witty and sensitive... this is a fantastic book that shouldn't be missed." - Daily Beast/Newsweek"...[a] clever and sympathetic exploration of male friendship." - Ron Charles, Washington Post