The Antagonist, Lynn Coady

“It’s funny how it’s the memories of shame that hang on longest.”

I actually finished this book three days ago but I haven’t had the time to sit down and blog. (Thank you, work, for ruining my chances of success at Bookstravaganza!)

Even for people who are really big readers, I think everyone has a book niche; that is, a type of book that just really speaks to them.  For an old junior high friend of mine, it was dragons – while she’d certainly read other books, her favourites were the ones with dragons in them. For my brother, it’s books that involve real-life wars.  For me, it’s books about assholes – misunderstood assholes, or assholes trying to redeem themselves or are redeemed by someone else.

My first book for Bookstravaganza was About A Boy, in which Asshole Will learns to open his heart and be less of an asshole after meeting Marcus. My favourite book of all time will always be The Catcher in the Rye, in which Holden Caulfield, who is inevitably an asshole on some level, explains his reasons for hating everything and goes on a little journey of self-discovery.  Another favourite book of mine is The Picture of Dorian Gray, and its title character is most definitely a narcissistic asshole.  I’m not sure why it is I love flawed, antagonistic characters so much; you can go into that psychoanalysis at a later date.

Lynn Coady’s The Antagonist fits very well into my love of books about misunderstood assholes. Gordon Rank is one of the most interesting main characters I’ve had the pleasure of encountering, and yeah, he came across as kind of a douche at first, but by the novel’s end I was crying for him as I cried for Holden Caulfield. Coady writes at a brilliant pace and the way she unfurls Rank’s life story is both compelling and heartbreaking.

Please read this book if you haven’t already.

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