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Synopsis

?The giant’s body has been ravaged not only by the treatment it received immediately after Edouard’s death -- being paraded in shop windows and in freak shows -- but also by the attentions of a professor who in 1907 bought the body for his experiments and classes. But the strictly clinical and physical isn’t enough, and the anatomist begins to reveal the story of the man through a series of events selected from his short life. Beginning with a sixteen-year-old’s dreams of being a cowboy, it follows Edouard’s seemingly inevitable move into strongman displays and freak sideshows, showing the uneasy mix of his need and desire for money with his self-dislike and weariness of being unable to escape his stature. The spectre of his physical weakness – caused, conversely, by his size and superhuman strength – is ever-present, as first his muscles and later, his lungs, begin to fail. By the book’s close, the physical mystery is solved, a paper published, acclaim afforded, but the narrator understands he is perhaps farther than ever from understanding Edouard Beaupré’s true anatomy.

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