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The Antagonist 

By Lynn Coady (House of Anansi Press)

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Gordon Rankin Jr.---“Rank” to his friends---is a hulking goon; a hockey enforcer; a bouncer, held in awe by all due to his impressive size and presumed criminal tendencies. When Rank discovers one of his oldest and most trusted friends has published a novel turning his most tragic moments into an embarrassing cliche, Rank writes his own story, through a series of rebuttal emails, revealing the man behind the violent reputation. To do so, the man who has spent 20 years hiding from his past, must reconnect with his “small, angry” father, his old friends and girlfriends and the small coastal town where he grew up. We all know (or knew) someone like Rank---but how many incorrect assumptions have gone into our image of this person, and how do we correct it? In The Antagonist, Coady brilliantly explores how the expectations of others influence who we are and who we become.

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