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Farthing’s Fortunes is a rollicking,picaresque tale that follows the fortunes of Bill Farthing as he travelsthroughout North America at the turn of the 20th century.Seduced at 15 by his amorous guardian, Mrs. Fletcher, and fleeing ruralCanada for a life of adventure, Farthing joins up with an irrepressiblecompanion, Cass Findlater, perhaps one of the last great Americanentrepreneurs. Farthing’s journey is also a quest, a devoted search for the love ofhis life—a red-headed music hall beauty, the incomparable Sally Butters.It is a search that takes him to the bustling, immigrant-filled New YorkCity of the 1890s; to the Klondike Gold Rush; to Europe, where he runsinto the "war to end all wars"; and to the rail yards and hobojungles of the Great Depression. Whether they are riding in a Pierce-Arrowor on a box car, Farthing and Findlater are always in the company of anassortment of characters: bootleggers and poets, aristocrats and tramps,confidence men and chorus girls. Wright casts a splendidly irreverent eye on a colourful period andcreates a coming-of-age tale that is a triumph of comic imagination.
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