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Come, Thou Tortoise Paperback – Mar 9 2010


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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: #9,068 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Fehr on June 8 2012
Format: Hardcover
I never know what I'm going to get when I choose a new Canadian novel, and have gotten a little disillusioned with the dark, gritty navel-gazing that seems to garner acclaim in Canadian writing these days. So I was very pleased to love "Come, Thou Tortoise." Jessica Grant's characters are odd but believable and she has a gift for painting the scene vividly in the reader's mind. Oh, and some parts I just had to read again so I could laugh a little longer.
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