Modern Classics Not Wanted On the Voyage Paperback – May 16 2006
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Published in 1984, Not Wanted on the Voyage is one of Timothy Findley's most imaginative and compelling literary fictions. Findley turns to one of our essential myths: the biblical story of the great Flood, but he doesn't so much retell it as take our common knowledge of the Old Testament tale and give it an extraordinary twist. Here we have Dr. Noah Noyes, diabolical conjuror and dictatorial leader of his helpless little boat-bound band, sure of his total superiority as man, husband, and father, imposing his view of the ways of God on his wife and family. The kind and generous Mrs. Noyes stands in direct contrast to her hard-hearted husband, and then there are the Noyes children: strongman Japeth, every inch his father's son, with his delicate wife, Emma; and the sensitive Ham, every inch his mother's, with his mysterious wife, Lucy (a.k.a. Lucifer, who, having escaped from Hell, has decided to align himself with mankind). Findley, a great lover of cats, also gives us the crotchety Mottyl, making his way through his ninth and final life. Not Wanted on the Voyage is poetic and passionate and bursting with a wide-eyed inventiveness, at once a stunningly contemporary attempt at mythmaking, a grand novel of the power of the imagination, and a thoroughly good read. --Jeffrey Canton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A dazzling display of literary thaumaturgy, magic in its purest sense..." - Paul QuarringtonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In his catastrophic version of Noah's Ark, Findley twists the expected roles of God and Noah showing just how arbitrary powerful figures can be in their justice. And as the rain pours down in colourful splashes admist a mythical setting one cannot help but fall gently in love with figures such as Lucifer, Mottyl the blind cat, and sweet Mrs Noyes, Noah's wife.
Altogether, Timothy Findley's Not Wanted on the Voyage is a wonderfully written saga that opens one's mind to the complexities of religion, patriarchal society, and the importance of myth. It combines both the world of fairy tales with the violent realities of survival in the primary world. It can be read purely for entertainment or it can be read for a little bit of enlightenment. Either way it is a brilliant and unforgettable novel.
This story casts a different light on one of the most beloved tales from the bible, not the one young Christians are exposed to and fall in love with, where Noah saves all the animals. In this rendition it is only the animals that Yahweh has chosen, and only two one male and one female, well did we forget that the rest of the animals were to parish in the flood and have a horible death?
The words from these pages became branded onto my psyche for a long, long time. Findley's strength comes in truly sympathizing with all living things. I started to get choked up as the fairies hovered around the ark, getting weaker and weaker as they see their chance for salvation diminish. This book is mythical, but it's also very real: Findley's sense of social justice, his views against dictatorship and mindlessness, blind followers of authority are clearly shown. This book mourns the cruelty that is humanity, but it also celebrates heroism, bravery, and loyalty.
Findley also showes another side of Lucifer or shall we say Lucy, she, yes I said she, is a beloved character where as Yahweh is a decrypted old man who is cruel beyond measure. One of my favourite quotes is said by Lucy,
“where I was born, the trees were always in the sun. And I left that place because it was intolerant of rain. And I intend to leave this place- because it is intolerant of light.Read more ›
I would suggest that you do not read this book before undertaking writing your own book, as the sheer wonder and depth of subject matter combined with the age-old skill of spellbinding story-telling may well put you off!
"Not wanted on the voyage" strikes me as a much better novel than Findley's "The Wars" (which I have reviewed), a tale about a Canadian soldier in World War 1. I would not say there is a substantive difference in terms of writing style, but I simply found the happenings of World War 1 uninteresting to read in a fictional setting. My main criticism of this novel is the pace; the first part is almost painfully slow. The reader has to wait about 60 pages to meet Yahweh (God, who is described an ancient man, strained with exhaustion) and then, another 140 pages for the Ark to be finished and the Flood to begin. I consider the Ark and the Flood to be the main events of the story, however it may be told, and those events should be the most prominent.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I was telling a friend how much I enjoy reading Timothy Findlay and I like him so much I re bought this novel to re read.Published 6 months ago by Albert Hannon
I love this book. Have read it twice now. Its a very interesting take on the tale. Sad, but worth the readPublished 22 months ago by lkk1212
I read this book a long time ago and I heartily recommend it. I sent a copy to a relative for summertime reading. Fanciful and thought-provoking well-written fiction. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2013 by Bookologist
This reinterpretation is full of majesty as it takes the Biblical account of the flood and turns it on its head. Read morePublished on March 25 2013 by Spartnan
This is no doubt a very strange book. It is dark with some pretty disturbing scenes but somehow manages to demonstrate an achingly beautiful landscape. Read morePublished on July 25 2008 by Lyra Tallis
This was one of the most painful reads I have endured for quite some time. I found this book ridiculous, and down right silly. Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2006 by Nikki- book lover