The Englishman's Boy
The Englishman's Boy brilliantly connects Hollywood in the 1920s with one of the bloodiest, most brutal events of the 19th-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 a 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." (From Emblem Editions)
In 1996, The Englishman's Boy won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction and was nominated for the Giller Prize.
The Englishman's boy turned his eyes over his shoulder and to the river bluffs across the Missouri. There the strong glow of the rising sun lit a mass of shelving cloud so that it appeared a bank of molten lava squeezed from the guts of the earth, each striation distinct and gleaming with a different fire. The topmost layer the rich ruddy purple of cooling slag; then the dim cherry of a horseshoe heated for shaping; then layers of orange and yellow which smelted down to where swollen, bulging hills met the sky in pure white fire. He faced west again where the sun over his shoulder was painting the valley hills with a tenderer light. On the crest of these hills the Englishman's boy could make out three tiny black dots, moving.
From The Englishman's Boy by Guy Vanderhaeghe ©1996. Published by Emblem Editions.