“A stunning performance. Hugely enjoyable. I couldn’t put it down.” – Mordecai Richler
“The canvas is broad, the writing is vivid, and the two story-lines are deftly interwoven to contrast cinematic ‘truth’ with history as it happened. An intense and original piece of writing.” – The Bookseller (U.K.)
“A richly textured epic that passes with flying colors every test that could be applied for good storytelling.” – Saskatoon StarPhoenix
“Characters and landscapes are inscribed on the mind’s eye in language both startling and lustrous.” – Globe and Mail
“Vanderhaeghe succeeds at a daring act: he juggles styles and stories with the skill of a master…” – Financial Post
“There isn’t a dull moment.” – Toronto Sun
“A fine piece of storytelling, which, like all serious works of literature, as it tells its tale connects us to timeless human themes.” – Winnipeg Sun
“The Great Canadian Western.” – Canadian Forum
“Thematically, this is a big book, an important book, about history and truth, brutality and lies.” – Georgia Straight
“A compelling read.” – Halifax Daily News
“Vanderhaeghe shows himself to be as fine a stylist as there is writing today.” – Ottawa Citizen
A parallel narrative set in the American West in the 1870s and Hollywood in the era of the silent films. A struggling writer wishes to make an epic of the American West and believes an old-time Western actor will provide authentic content. However, the actor tells his own, different story.
These superbly crafted stories reveal an astonishing range, with settings that vary from a farm on the Canadian prairies to Bloomsbury in London, from a high-rise apartment to a mine-shaft. Vanderhaeghe has the uncanny ability to show us the world through the eyes of an eleven-year-old boy as convincingly as he reveals it through the eyes of an old man approaching senility. Moving from the hilarious farce of teenage romance all the way to the numbing tragedy of life in a ward for incurables, these twelve stories inspire belief, admiration, and enjoyment, and come together to form a vibrant chronicle of human experience from a gifted observer of life's joys and tribulations. This is Guy Vanderhaeghe's brilliant first book of fiction.