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If you've ever seen a self you barely recognize reflected back in the eyes of another, you know the agonizing frustration consuming protagonist Rank as "The Antagonist" begins. Frustration deepens into anger as Rank ruminates on the injustice of how a former friend turned novelist Adam has "stolen" his life for a recent book. Luckily for the reader, when Rank is angry, Rank is very sarcastic, very caustic, and very funny.
The story unfolds in a series of emails to his old college buddy, Adam. After reading Adam's book, Rank is determined to set the record straight. Adam's treatment of Rank's past and person is both intrusive and reductive. How can some events loom so large in Adam's "novel" while the thing that rocked Rank's world is dismissed with one sentence? The answers come but not without raising more questions - and this keeps the reader hooked into the tale until the very last word.
Narrator MacLeod Andrews was great - perfectly pacing Rank's smart, articulate rants while giving poignant moments the respect and emotion they deserved. The story is set in eastern Canada so there are some speech patterns and inflections to contend with and Andrews does this well.
I devoured this book IN ONE DAY. I know. But I just kept finding projects to do that enabled me to keep listening. It was that good. Author Lynn Coady has done a masterful job addressing the many components of identity while telling a deceptively simple but riveting story.
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