Against his will and his nature, the hulking Gordon Rankin ("Rank") is cast as an enforcer, a goon — by his classmates, his hockey coaches, and especially his own "tiny, angry" father, Gordon Senior.
Rank gamely lives up to his role — until tragedy strikes, using Rank as its blunt instrument. Escaping the only way he can, Rank disappears. But almost twenty years later he discovers that an old, trusted friend — the only person to whom he has ever confessed his sins — has published a novel mirroring Rank's life. The betrayal cuts to the deepest heart of him, and Rank will finally have to confront the tragic true story from which he's spent his whole life running away.
With the deep compassion, deft touch, and irreverent humour that have made her one of Canada's best-loved novelists, Lynn Coady delves deeply into the ways we sanction and stoke male violence, giving us a large-hearted, often hilarious portrait of a man tearing himself apart in order to put himself back together.