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The Death and Life of Strother Purcell

The Death and Life of Strother Purcell

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.


Ian Weir is a playwright, screenwriter, TV showrunner, 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 second novel, Will Starling, was longlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award and shortlisted for the Sunburst Award. He has won two Geminis, four Leos, a Jessie and a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award. He lives in Langley, BC.

380 pages
Pub date: September 4, 2018