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Come, Thou Tortoise Paperback – Mar 9 2010


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Come, Thou Tortoise + Making Light of Tragedy
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34th Annual Amazon.ca First Novel Award Winner

Congratulations to Jessica Grant, winner of the 2009 Amazon.ca First Novel Award for Come, Thou Tortoise.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (March 9 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307397556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307397553
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Jessica Grant’s Come, Thou Tortoise should be issued with a health warning: you will split your sides laughing, your eyes will leak, your heart rate will accelerate, and the abundance of wit will rewire the synapses in your brain. This book is astoundingly unique. A novel about fathers and daughters, love and loss, the wisdom that accumulates over the ages, and that ancient instinct to come home. Joyful. A tortoise de force."
—Lisa Moore, author of Alligator

"In Come, Thou Tortoise, everything on the top shelf is now in the bottom drawer, and all the things you left in your backyard happen to be under your pillow. Mysteriously, this difference is all the encouragement you need to evict nonchalance from your heart. Please — I beg you dear reader — read Jessica Grant."
—Michael Winter, author of The Architects Are Here

"Jessica Grant’s debut novel is one of those rare books that manage to entwine humour – in this case, even outright silliness – with poignant insight and a captivating plot. . . . Come, Thou Tortoise is many things: a story about finding belonging, a paean to the importance of family, a commentary on relationships, and a kindhearted critique of modern life."
Quill & Quire

“Simple poetry filled with warm absurdities, all delivered in Canadian deadpan. . . . This low-key story works because Grant avoids yanking on heartstrings. . . . The real success here is not the reptilian point-of-view or playfulness with language, but that Come, Thou Tortoise manages to be touching without excess sediment. Sorry, sentiment.”
Toronto Star

“It’s extraordinary, original and simultaneously both deep and lightheartedly charming. . . . Jessica Grant has an engaging, wry and forthright style which echoes Miriam Toews, Don DeLillo, Lewis Carroll and Kurt Vonnegut Jr…. It’s a delight. Pick it up, and prepare to see everything from Methusalan mice to palm trees in England. Pack a lunch. You may end up reading all day.”
The Globe and Mail

“This is a novel that has the power to jab you in the vitals. . . . A funny and sad and splendid first novel.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“Grant is exuberant and gutsy, putting to use a sharp eye for the tragic comedy of family life, love, and that perilous place we call home. . . . A writer whose work twinkles with wordplay.”
North Shore News (North Vancouver)


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jessica Grant is a member of Newfoundland’s Burning Rock Collective (members include Michael Winter and Lisa Moore). Her first collection of short stories, Making Light of Tragedy, includes a story that won both the Western Magazine Award for Fiction and the Journey Prize.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anita Flegg on July 22 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book -- well-written, and happy/silly/sad/goofy/punny.
Very touching and very warm; don't let the talking tortoise deter you.
This is a story about family, about love and loss, and it's also a mystery.
The author does a wonderful job of the slow reveal -- the pieces come together slowly.
I recommend it very highly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jean Bullard on May 30 2010
Format: Paperback
Seen on the web, the first few pages insisted that I buy the whole book, and I was not disappointed. From Oregon to Newfoundland and points east, this delightful and insightful novel drew me onward, page by page, until no more pages were left. Two voices tell the tale. An ancient tortoise of many names(because many owners)makes her new home on the Rock, and offers us her hilarious point of view as her (current) caretaker returns to her old home on the Rock, in the wake of her father's death. As our human heroine begins to learn what home is really about, add in Clint's taxi, a 12-year-old mouse and a cast of equally unlikely characters for a narrative that would be true anywhere, but could only take place in Newfoundland.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JLWS on June 4 2010
Format: Hardcover
There's nothing typical about this book, from the lack of quotation marks, the use of a tortoise narrator, and the deceptively simple language that deals with deep themes. If you like quirky, character-driven and ironic, you'll adore this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Brigid O'Sullivan on Dec 22 2009
Format: Hardcover
It is the rare book I read that grabs me and won't let me go until the final page while I still want more. This is such a book. It is offbeat, mysterious, treats language beautifully and delights the imagination. Brava to Jessica Grant, a wonderful new voice on the writerly horizon and congratulations on the powerful and poignant character of Oddly. I absolutely loved this book and so far, in 2009, it is up there in my top 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Breadner on May 6 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was sold to me as a "mystery", but buyer beware: it is NOT. The ending did surprise me, however it is nowhere near a traditional Who Dunnit.

It is instead, a character-based journey of one very different and "special" young woman's self-discovery and healing...with a talking turtle. BUT don't let it be disregarded as "fluff". It was funny, well written, and yes, okay "cute" (retch). Slow-paced and descriptive, and full of Canadian humour. I liked Jessica Grant's knack for quirky, real characters. They're not JUST odd ducks, but odd ducks with flaws.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Schmadrian TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 25 2010
Format: Paperback
A bit of personal disclosure up front: I'm a whimsy-sort-of-guy. I have to be; I write tales starring a fully animated stuffed rabbit named Brogan She features in a screenplay I wrote, 'I Married Alanis Morissette'. If you Google it, you'll find it. Eventually.), who's been an enormous part of my life for the better part of two decades. So the notions on which this novel is predicated...especially by way of one of the narrators in particular...sat with me perfectly. (The fact that I'm a Canuck helped, I'm sure.) Unquestionably, I was the perfect audience for 'Come, Thou Tortoise'. Conversely, I can fully appreciate someone not being as charmed as I was; being on the right wavelength as a piece of entertainment is probably the most important factor where resonance is concerned. Or, whether or not you recommend the thing to anyone.

'Charmed' is the descriptive I would use were I only allowed one. I was caught totally off-guard by Ms Grant's style, the gentle power of her storytelling...the whimsy that she weaves her tale with, never overdoing it, always getting the balance right.

'Tortoise' is a strange tale with some strange characters and some strange bits and pieces making up its body. Charmingly strange. Delightfully strange. And entertainingly strange. Even the way she arbitrarily exludes almost all punctuation save for the simple period, the pedestrian full-stop is strange...in a consistently endearing way.

There's a lot in this book, but it's delivered in a sitting-in-a-neighbourhood-diner-with-booths, rat-a-tat conversation sort of way; it's a four-hundred page novel that, written conventionally, would have topped-out at over six-hundred, easy.
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