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Fiction 20th Century

The Englishman's Boy

by (author) Guy Vanderhaeghe

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
May 2012
20th Century, Westerns, Literary
  • Audio disc

    Publish Date
    Jan 2008
    List Price
  • Audio cassette

    Publish Date
    Mar 1998
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1998
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1997
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2012
    List Price

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This brilliant and compelling novel, set in the early days of the Canadian West, is the first of three linked historical novels by Guy Vanderhaeghe, one of Canada's preeminent storytellers.

The Englishman's Boy brilliantly connects 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."

About the author

Guy Vanderhaeghe
Guy Vanderhaeghe is the author of six books of fiction. His first two books were collections of short stories: Man Descending (1982), which won the Governor’s General’s Award, and the Faber Prize in the U.K., and The Trouble With Heroes (1983). The Englishman’s Boy (1996) was a long-time national bestseller and won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction and for Best Book of the Year, and was short-listed for The Giller Prize, and the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world’s largest monetary award for a single book.

Guy Vanderhaeghe's profile page


  • Nominated, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Awards - Fiction
  • Short-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize
  • Nominated, Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book

Editorial Reviews

“It is a wonder and a glory – written by a man who has plundered the language for all its treasures. The story of the Englishman’s boy and his journey into hell and back is absolutely riveting.”
–Timothy Findley

The Englishman’s Boy is one of the finest historical novels ever written by a Canadian, an impossible-to-put-down adventure story that also packs some keen insights into the way civilization works.…”

“A vital and important novel with a bitterly coruscating message at its heart. Read it now.”
Edmonton Journal

“A great accomplishment.”
–Richard Ford

“A stunning performance. Highly 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 style 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

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