Hazard Lepage, the last of the studhorse men, sets out to breed his rare blue stallion, Poseidon. A lusty trickster and a wayward knight, Hazard's outrageous adventures are narrated by Demeter Proudfoot, his secret rival, who writes this story while sitting naked in an empty bathtub. In his quest to save his stallion's bloodline from extinction, Hazard leaves a trail of anarchy and confusion. Everything he touches erupts into chaos necessitating frequent convalescences in the arms of a few good women-excepting those of Martha, his long-suffering intended. Told with the ribald zeal of a Prairie beer parlor tall tale and the mythic magnitude of a Greek odyssey, The Studhorse Man is Robert Kroetsch's celebration of unbridled character set against the backdrop of a rough-and-ready Alberta emerging after the war. Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction.
"Kroetsch's writing cracks with sarcastic wit, and his book ridicules booming Edmonton's desire to banish the horse in favour of a suburban, car-infested future. The city's highest literary award is named after Kroetsch, so you can't go wrong here."
Listed in Best of the West Comparisons list (between Alberta & Saskatchewan) under category "Classic Scene Setters" against W.O. Mitchell's Who Has Seen the Wind. Canadian Geographic, January/February 2005
"Always original, at times wickedly funny, and told with unrestrained enthusiasm framed by a post-war, rough-edged Alberta, The Studhorse Man showcases and documents Robert Kroetsch as one of Canada's best living writers." Wisconsin Bookwatch
"In its comic energy, The Studhorse Man recalls Rabelais, Bakhtin and the carnivalesque....This University of Alberta Press publication includes a very fine introduction by Aritha van Herk. Sharply attentive to the novel's patterns, reference field and detail, she situates it with respect not only to Edmonton, the Saskatchewan river valley, local history and literary conventions of the quest and the trickster, but also to her own experience of the local....Kroetsch's writing in The Studhorse Man is typically vital and generous; its presentation of the priapic wanderer and his odd rake's progress through a changing Albertan landscape is marked by comedy, affection and nostalgia." Brian Edwards, Australasian Canadian Studies Journal, Vol. 22, No.2, 2004 and Vol. 23, No.1, 2005
"Recognized as a classic when it first appeared, the novel's status as one of the finest pieces of Canadian fiction has only grown over the last three decades.... The Studhorse Man, now 35 years old, has far more intoxicating vigour, structural muscularity and dervish-like linguistic brilliance than almost anything being published in Canada today." Christopher Wiebe, VUE Weekly