Ragged Company

Ragged Company

Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Copyright Date: [Toronto] :, Doubleday Canada,, c2008
ISBN: 9780385661560
Branch Call Number: F WAG NVD
Characteristics: 376 pages ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 13, 2021

I enjoyed this story immensely. I think knowing that the author has experienced homelessness he knows his characters very well. We all dream of winning the lottery and how we would spend the money and wonder if it would change us. This story brings together the state of homelessness with all of a sudden money is no object. How will it change these people? It’s a great read and I actually bought the book later to keep in my collection.

Aug 22, 2020

This was the best book I have read for awhile. Great writing! Made me feel....

Nov 18, 2019

A haunting tale. Kept thinking about the characters for days after finishing this book. Richard Wagamese is such an excellent writer.

Aug 03, 2019

A very long & winddddyyyyy story :) , which took a while to read; however, it was well-written, imaginative, compelling and character driven intercepting many mini-stories. Being an unusual story line: the author knew how to grip his readers and keep them anticipated in wanting more with exciting twists and turns throughout his book. This is 'native-based', with their spiritual belief system intertwined.
However, this fictionous work has some bases in reality: I heard of a native couple who won a big $50M, lottery in Winnipeg, that lived on an Indian reserve in a run-down trailer park on disability assistance at the time they won the jackpot! They were Walmart shoppers :) lol....You can google this fact to verify it. Thx.

Jul 23, 2019

I am a huge Wagamese fan having read many of his novels. Every one has been compelling to the point I can’t choose a favourite. Every one has a new and surprising plot. Such imagination and human insight he had. I’m sad that he’s gone.
I couldn’t put Ragged Company down, read it in 2 days sneaking peeks at work, not guessing how it could end. Loved the concept, humanity, generosity and ‘goodness’ of the Square
Johns who became their friends and ‘care-givers’. I fully expected someone to turn and take advantage but no one did; they were all true. I was also afraid that the Company might reject the opportunities that came along, but they were willing to open and grow.
Don’t want to think of this story as a fairytale, instead, just one with a happy ending.

May 24, 2018

Prepare yourself for a journey into the real world of the street people. I guarantee it will have a profound affect on the way you have been conditioned to appraise and avoid them. Ragged Company ranks right up there with all the other, must reads. 5 star from beginning to end.

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

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.

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.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Dec 09, 2019

Coming together is sacred.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at NVDPL

To Top