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The Death and Life of Strother Purcell

Goose Lane Editions


The return of the western — with a definite Canadian twist. The man, the myth, the gun-toting legend.

The man, the myth, the one-eyed legend: a frontier epic for fans of Ron Rash and Cormac McCarthy.

In 1876, the fabled lawman Strother Purcell disappears into a winter storm in the mountains of British Columbia, while hunting down his outlawed half-brother. Sixteen years later, the wreck of Purcell resurfaces – derelict, homeless and one-eyed – in a San Francisco jail cell. And a failed journalist named Barrington Weaver conceives a grand redemptive plan. He will write Purcell's true-life story. All it requires is a final act…

What unfolds is an archetypal saga of obsession, lost love, treachery, and revenge, told in Ian Weir's trademark funny, fast, wickedly intelligent style. A deadpan revisionist Western, refracted through a Southern Gothic revenge tragedy, The Death and Life of Strother Purcell is a novel about two cursed brothers, a pair of eldritch orphans, the vexed nature of truth, and the yearnings of that treacherous sonofabitch the human heart.

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"A fascinating and insightful commentary on how stories are built and on our determination to see them come to light. Strother strides on the page — epic and tragic — a man trapped in the myths of manhood and gunslinging, a man of a bygone era who cannot allow bygones to be just that."

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"Masterfully crafted storytelling, witty and pacy and scratchy with grit. When it comes to the "Canadian Western," Ian Weir thrills and heartbreaks in similar ways as Guy Vanderhaeghe, and if that all sounds like a good time, it is."

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"A literary exegesis on truth disguised as rollicking, tragic Western entertainment. Cain and Abel and the Sisters Brothers got nothing on towering Strother Purcell and his club-footed half-brother. When lies are this well loved, they transform into truth and truth into history."

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"Weir takes every trope in the Western's playbook — the one-eyed avenging lawman, the feckless brother, tarts both with and without hearts, gunslingers, gimps, and gamblers — and makes of them something new and utterly wonderful. This wildly entertaining and witty yarn made me gasp, hoot, and holler."

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Ian Weir is a playwright, screenwriter, TV showrunner, and the author of two previously published novels. Daniel O'Thunder was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer'’ Prize for Best First Book, as well as the Canadian Authors Association Award for fiction, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the amazon.ca First Novel Award. Will Starling was longlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award and shortlisted for the Sunburst Award. Among his extensive television credits are his work as creator and showrunner of Arctic Air and as writer and executive producer of the acclaimed gangland miniseries, Dragon Boys.He has won two Geminis, four Leos, a Jessie, and a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award.

Born in North Carolina, Ian Weir grew up in Kamloops, British Columbia. He now lives near Vancouver.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Will Starling«

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Will Starling

Goose Lane Editions


Shortlisted, Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic

Longlisted, IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

From the acclaimed author of Daniel O'Thunder comes a rollicking, bawdy, and haunting novel about love and redemption, death and resurrection.

The great metropolis of London swaggers with Regency abandon as nineteen-year-old Will Starling returns from the Napoleonic Wars having spent five years assisting a military surgeon. Charming, brash, and damaged, Will is helping his mentor build a medical practice — and a life — in the rough Cripplegate area. To do so requires an alliance with the Doomsday Men: body snatchers that supply surgeons and anatomists with human cadavers.

After a grave robbing goes terribly awry and a prostitute is accused of murder, Will becomes convinced of an unholy conspiracy that traces its way back to Dionysus Atherton, the brightest of London's rising surgical stars. Wild rumours begin to spread of experiments upon the living and of uncanny sightings in London's dark streets.

Will's obsessive search for the truth twists through alleyways, brothels, and charnel houses, towards a shattering discovery — about Dionysus Atherton and about Will, himself.

Steeped in scientific lore, laced with dark humour, Will Starling is historical fiction like none other.

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"Ian Weir crafts a wonderfully, thrillingly fun — if truly smelly and gross — romp. The cadaver trade, slit throats, stabbings, cudgelings, bodies dangling from nooses, a villainous, hubristic surgeon named Dionysus Atherton, Resurrection Men, Doomsday Men, and the Boggle-Eyed Man, unholy scientific exploration, a could-be zombie, a deranged housekeeper hooked on laudanum, and a clockwork of machinations fill Will's clever and masterfully told 'lurid tale.'"

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"We're in 1816 Regency London, and young Will, back from the Napoleonic war on the continent, is engaged in setting up a clinic in London's dodgy Cripplegate. Weir has written a note-perfect historical novel of body snatching, murder and evil fun."

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"Like the boy who gives the book its name, Will Starling is quick on its feet, and takes pride in always staying one step ahead of whoever it';s telling its story to ... Weir's writing is so springy, and his vision so panoramic, that you won't care that the novel makes you feel as though you've got dirt under your fingernails just from reading it. Yet amid the muck, Will Starling also presents a ringing and surprisingly touching endorsement of science over legend and anecdote."

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"A rollicking good yarn with many twists and turns, Will Starling is a kaleidoscope of beautiful ghastliness. It's a lot of fun and a tale well told."

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"Will Starling is a sly, spirited hro who leaps off the page to take you on a riveting journey through London's glorious, hair-raising underbelly — surgeons' salons, gin shops, and the puzzle of Death itself — and straight into the nature of storytelling. Weir's prose is both raw and lyrical; his evocation of Regency London, magnificent. Will Starling is a must read."

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Ian Weir is a playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. His debut novel, Daniel O'Thunder, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, as well as the Canadian Authors Association Award for fiction, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the amazon.ca First Novel Award.

His extensive television credits include creator and executive producer of the CBC adventure/drama series Arctic Air and writer and executive producer of the critically acclaimed crime thriller Dragon Boys. His stage plays have been produced across Canada and in the U.S. and England, and his awards include two Geminis, four Leos, a Jessie, and a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award.

Ian Weir lives in Langley, BC, with his wife and daughter.

 
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