A piercing epistolary novel, The Antagonist explores, with wit and compassion, how the impressions
of others shape, pervert, and flummox both our perceptions of ourselves and our
Gordon Rankin, Jr., aka “Rank,” thinks of himself as “King
Midas in reverse”—and indeed misfortune seems to follow him at every turn.
Against his will and his nature, he has long been considered—given his enormous
size and strength—a goon and enforcer by his classmates, by his hockey coaches,
and, not least, by his “tiny, angry” father. He gamely lives up to their
expectations, until a vicious twist of fate forces him to flee underground. Now
pushing forty, he discovers that an old, trusted friend from his college days
has published a novel that borrows freely from the traumatic events of Rank’s
own life. Outraged by this betrayal and feeling cruelly misrepresented, he
bashes out his own version of his story in a barrage of e-mails to the novelist
that range from funny to furious to heartbreaking.
With The Antagonist,
Lynn Coady demonstrates all of the gifts that have made her one of Canada’s
most respected young writers. Here she gives us an astonishing story of sons
and fathers and mothers, of the rewards and betrayals of male friendship, and a
large-spirited, hilarious, and exhilarating portrait of a man tearing his life
apart in order to put himself back together. Download and start listening now!