Synopses & Reviews
Originally published in 1996, The Englishmans Boy is the first in a Guy Vanderhaeghe trilogy that includes the nationally best-selling novel The Last Crossing, with the third book due to be published next year. By far his most successful book in his native Canada, The Englishmans Boy expertly depicts an American West where greed and deception act side by side with honor and strength. In 1920s Hollywood, elusive movie studio owner Damon Ira Chance is obsessed with making pictures rooted in American history and experience, with the poetry of fact. So when he discovers that one of the most popular bit players in the Westerns is a real-life tin godthe last buffalo of the old West, Shorty McAdoohe commissions an ambitious young screenwriter named Harry Vincent to hunt Shorty down and retell his story. Richly textured and evocative, this is an unforgettable story about power, greed, and the pull of dreams. At once an intensely original character study and a hugely entertaining page-turner, The Englishmans Boy is a gritty, resonant novel of timeless beauty and insight.
The Englishman's Boy brilliantly links together Hollywood in the 1920s with one of the bloodiest, most brutal events of the nineteenth-century Canadian West - the Cypress Hills Massacre. Vanderhaeghe's rendering of the stark, dramatic beauty of the western landscape and of Hollywood in its most extravagant era - with its visionaries, celebrities, and dreamers - provides vivid background for scenes of action, adventure, and intrigue. Richly textured, evocative of time and place, this is an unforgettable novel about power, greed, and the pull of dreams that has at its centre the haunting story of a young drifter - the Englishman's boy - whose fate, ultimately, is a tragic one.