Thomas Savage

The Power of the Dog
  • The Power of the Dog

  • Thomas Savage’s dark poetic writing about bachelor brothers in a small town in early 20th century American will hook you in.

    Phil and George are brothers and joint owners of the biggest ranch in their Montana valley.

    Phil is the bright one, George the plodder. Phil is tall and angular; George is stocky and silent. Phil is a brilliant chess player, a voracious reader, an eloquent storyteller; George learns slowly, and devotes himself to the business.

    Phil is a vicious sadist, with a seething contempt for weakness to match his thirst for dominance; George has a gentle, loving soul. They sleep in the room they shared as boys, and so it has been for forty years.

    When George unexpectedly marries a young widow and brings her to live at the ranch, Phil begins a relentless campaign to destroy his brother's new wife. But he reckons without an unlikely protector.

    From its visceral first paragraph to its devastating twist of an ending, The Power of the Dog will hold you in its grip.


    WITH AN AFTERWORD BY ANNIE PROULX

    ‘With its echoes of East of Eden and Brokeback Mountain, this satisfyingly complex story deserves another shot at rounding up public admiration' Guardian

Thomas Savage was born on 25 April 1915 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to a large sheep-ranching family. His parents divorced when he was two years old, and on his mother’s remarriage Savage moved with her to Montana. He studied at the University of Montana and worked as a ranch hand for several years, but when an article he wrote on horse-breaking was published in Coronet magazine in 1937, Savage enrolled at Colby College in Maine to study English. He went on to have a variety of jobs, including welder, insurance man and plumber as well as teaching English at Brandeis and Vassar. His first novel, The Pass, was published in 1944 and he went on to write twelve more, including The Power of the Dog. He was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 1980. Thomas Savage died in Virginia on 25 July 2003, aged eighty-eight.