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419 is a novel by Canadian writer Will Ferguson. Published by Penguin Canada in 2012, the novel was the winner of the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize.[1]

419 (Will Ferguson novel - cover art).jpg
First edition cover
AuthorWill Ferguson
PublisherPenguin Canada
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)

Titled for the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code which deals with fraud, the events of the novel are set in motion by Henry Curtis, a retired school teacher in Calgary, Alberta who dies in a car accident after becoming embroiled in an advance-fee fraud scam which has left his family destitute. Following his death, his daughter Laura travels to Lagos, Nigeria in an attempt to track down and bring to justice the perpetrator of the scam.[2]

Prior to the novel's publication, Ferguson was known primarily as a writer of humor literature.[1] At the Giller Prize gala, he told the media that the novel "began with the thought that maybe there really is a Nigerian prince somewhere who can't gain his freedom for lack of funds...but when I started writing it, the story began to turn dark, all by itself."[1]


The novel received generally positive reviews. The Globe and Mail called it "Riveting. Provocative."[3] The Toronto Star called it "a persuasive work of fiction based on a very original premise."[4]


  1. ^ a b c Quill, Greg (October 31, 2012). "Will Ferguson takes Giller Prize for novel 419". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on September 5, 2017.
  2. ^ T. F. Rigelhof, "Revenge, honour and oil in Nigeria". The Globe and Mail, April 13, 2012.
  3. ^ Rigelhof, T.F. "Revenge, honour and oil in Nigeria". Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  4. ^ Hunter, Jennifer. "419 by Will Ferguson: Review". Retrieved 6 November 2015.