Ragged Company

Ragged Company

Book - 2008
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Four chronically homeless people-Amelia One Sky, Timber, Double Dick and Digger-seek refuge in a warm movie theatre when a severe Arctic Front descends on the city. During what is supposed to be a one-time event, this temporary refuge transfixes them. They fall in love with this new world, and once the weather clears, continue their trips to the cinema. On one of these outings they meet Granite, a jaded and lonely journalist who has turned his back on writing the same story over and over again in favour of the escapist qualities of film, and an unlikely friendship is struck. A found cigarette package (contents: some unsmoked cigarettes, three $20 bills, and a lottery ticket) changes the fortune of this struggling set. The ragged company discovers they have won $13.5 million, but none of them can claim the money for lack proper identification. Enlisting the help of Granite, their lives, and fortunes, become forever changed. Ragged Company is a journey into both the future and the past. Richard Wagamese deftly explores the nature of the comforts these friends find in their ideas of home, as he reconnects them to their histories.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2008
ISBN: 9780385661560
0385661568
Branch Call Number: FIC Wagam
Characteristics: 376 p

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k
kathleenwyatt
Mar 20, 2017

My first reading was a library book. Now I own a copy......
Every time I read it, I get a new perspective on our small world, and my life in relation to it.
I will never look at a homeless person the same way again. Funny, sad, profane, moving,
So worth your time!
RIP Richard Wagamese

a
aTimeBeing
Aug 29, 2015

Thanks to whomever put this book out on the display in front of the stacks. This is my first Wagamese and I look forward to reading the rest.

b
becker
Mar 25, 2015

The plot and structure of this book was very good and the characters were so interesting. It was a huge statement about the value of a human being within society. Like all good books, it allowed you to experience the world from another perspective.

LaughingOne Nov 02, 2014

“There’s four directions in the Great Wheel of Life. The Medicine Wheel. Each has things that make it special, give teachings to the People. The whole point of being is to learn to move through all those directions and pick up the teachings on the way. … So we came together for a reason. To be strong together. To be whole. To be a circle.” (page 294) Amelia One Sky gathered to her three other homeless people -- Double Dick, Digger, and Timber. Together they looked out for each other and survived on the streets of the city. One really cold winter they took refuge in a movie theatre, to spend a few hours in its warmth. They discovered movies and were enthralled by them. During that cold winter they scrounged enough money to go to the movies every day; it gave them warmth and escape into a world different from what they lived in. At the movies Amelia befriended a man who was there alone – Granite, to whom they gave the street name of Rock. An unlikely friendship developed as they continued to run into each other at the movies. A found cigarette package containing some cigarettes, three $20 bills, and a lottery ticket changed their lives. The bulk of this amazing novel is about what happens to these people after they win over $13 million. As they move through this new and changing world, we find out things about their pasts. The movies they watch are an ongoing thread in the story, and some trigger reactions that bring the past into the present. The characters in this novel are complex and fascinating, wounded and strong, good-hearted and weak, loyal. Richard Wagamese is an incredible storyteller. I was immersed in the story and only put it down because I had to sleep. As Dick would have said, I was permeated by it. I laughed, I cried, I felt their pain and their joy. I was heartened by the way they created their own family. There are many lessons from the Medicine Wheel that can help us live with gratitude in this world.

smc01 Aug 15, 2013

One of the most amazing books I have read in a long time, about the power of stories and friendship. Nothing I say could compare to the eloquence of Richard Wagamese. I wish I could meet all of the characters in this book, that's how special they are. A reviewer said "Wagamese is capable of true grace on the page." How true. How wonderful.

l
lalalady
May 08, 2012

A heartbreaking and uplifting read. While the voices of the five speakers were not always distinct, the story more than made up for any writing faults.

y
Yemalla
Feb 16, 2012

One word: Fabulous! This book started out slow and I admit to a bit of resistance to it. But, boy, oh, boy, was I wrong. The story is incredible; moving, touching, funny, sad, and most of all humbling. As four homeless people struggle to survive, fate steps in and hands them everything they could ever possibly need or want. But at what cost? Winning a lottery changes things. There's no doubt about that, but as the old saying goes - You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy. - and money cannot erase the streets completely. The struggle alters, but doesn't get any easier, really. The demons they faced on the street are the same demons they face in their new home on Indian Road.

p
Paige_Turner2
Oct 06, 2011

This is one of my favourite books. I don't normally read passages of books I'm reading out loud to my family, but I did with this one.

Cdnbookworm May 18, 2011

Wagamese really got inside the head of his main characters here and made me feel like I was there too.
Four of the main characters are homeless people, living in a large city: Amelia One Sky (also known as One for the Dead), Timber, Double Dick, and Digger. They have gradually found each other and now move through the major part of their day as a group. As the book begins, they decide to take refuge from the cold by going to a movie. They encounter the fifth main character, Granite, at the movie theatre, and continue to run into him as they keep going to movies.
When Digger finds a cigarette package that still contains some cigarettes as well as money and a lottery ticket, their lives begin to change. The lottery ticket turns out to be a big winner, $13.5 million, but they can't claim the money as none of the four have identification. They bring Granite in to assist them.
As their lives transform, we see how they adjust to their new situation. We also see how they got to be where they are now and how they deal with their pasts. How one sees the world is a big part of the plot.

Scout_WPL Dec 22, 2010

Engaging exploration of what forms a community. Wagamese storytelling is full of rich characters who we walk with, cry with, and share great moments.

Time spent reading this book is well worth the effort. It is memorable and may change not only your view of the others but of yourself.

I am certain many will wish to share this book with friends so they may discuss many of the humanitarian values found within the pages.

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