Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Antagonist

Finished September 20
The Antagonist by Lynn Coady
This book is told in a series of emails from one man to another. Gordon Rankin (Rank) is nearly 40 and is led to begin these emails by coming across a book written by a man who he considered his closest friend 20 years earlier. Rank feels the book betrays that friendship, exposing Rank's inner thoughts and yet still portraying him as a caricature.
Rank is a big man and beginning with his father has been cast in a role that he doesn't want. The role is enforcer, bouncer, goon. His father, his university hockey coach, his friends, all consider him as a man who is defined by his size and not what goes on inside his head.
He is haunted by a dual tragedy that occurred when he was a young man and has lived his life in fear of such a tragedy occurring again.
This is a book to shake you out of your assumptions, to open your eyes to how we see each other. Particularly in light of recent tragedies related to those hockey players defined as enforcers, this is a book for the times. The novel shows insight, character growth, and shows our society in a new light. A wonderful read that I could barely put down.


  1. It was hard to put it down, wasn't it? I think she did a great job of capturing Rank's compulsion to write; as much as he desperately needed to keep writing those emails, we felt we needed to read them!

  2. It was like Rank was using the writing as therapy. You could see the change as the writing progressed.