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Touch Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Apr 12 2011

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Hardcover, Deckle Edge, Apr 12 2011
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; 1st Edition edition (April 12 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307399443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307399441
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #209,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Deborah in BC on Sept. 26 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Touch" is an entrancing tale, hauntingly told, of three generations of the Boucher family and those that were intertwined with their lives.
The time span of the story takes place between sometime in the mid to later 1800's up until WW2. Though the wars play essentially no part in the book, they help to ground the timeline.

The story is crafted beautifully , almost poetically at times. It is most evocative. Touch also has the most startling and vivid word imagery. For a seamless read, I suggest creating a family tree of the characters early on in the story.

Touch is the most fascinating story I've read in some time. It can be a bit challenging to follow because though it is essentially told from the perspective of 40 year old Vancouverite Paul, the story very often goes off on a tangent timewise and narrator wise to Paul's father and grandfather and their memories and stories.

I won't recount the story, but I wanted to address the mention of the "supernatural " or "Grimms Fairy Tale" aspect of this book.

Though the element of magical realism is present, I found that it flowed most naturally in Touch. This element can be easily understood as a part of the hypothermia suffered by frontiers man Grandfather Jeannot or by the lonely imaginings that emerge from isolation of a long cold winter . The magical realism can also be taken at face value, or as part of the flawed memories or re-tellings of family memories which become a part of both a truth and a family mythology.

As grandfather Jeannot explains of he and his wife's isolation of winter on page 203 : " It was the sound during the those months... that was hard to get used to. At first they had the wind and and the pelting snow...
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By Pat Joubert on June 19 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In the same vein as River Thieves (Michael Crummey) and The Last Crossing (Guy Vanderhaeghe), it mixes a bit of the fantastic and the life in the Canadian wild a hundred years ago. Fascinating, engrossing, magic. I loved it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joann Bidgood TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 16 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this book~!! Really, really good~!! The outline doesn't really do the book justice, but it probably couldn't without giving the story away. I highly recommend this book~!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 31 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A gloriously satisfying read April 18 2011
By Elli - Published on
The setting, a small village named Sawgamet in northern British Columbia, is extraordinarily strong in this novel. Stephen is an Anglican priest returning to visit his dying mother in the wilderness village settled by his grandfather Jeannot. Rich details of the rough town, the wild forest and terrifying weather, and the dangerous logging life are combined with a multi-generation love story. The novel shifts back and forth between Jeannot's memories, Stephen's boyhood, and his return to bury his mother and take over his stepfather's church. It shifts back and forth as well between the boom to bust history of the town and Jeannot's evocation of the wood witches and forest spirits. This is a haunting and gloriously satisfying read.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Couldn't put it down, buy this BOOK! April 9 2011
By cindy buranek - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a mystical tale of heartbreak and love and generations of history.
There is a spot in the book, and I won't spoil it, that brings such a vivid picture to your mind
that I literally had to put the book down and catch my breath.
This is a lovely book, the writer is a great storyteller. It is an easy read, downloaded it in the morning and was done reading by the afternoon.
As a writer myself, I want the author to know,
keep writing, ignore any and all bad reviews, and just keep writing...
Very well done, I loved it and will tell everyone I know to read it.
Just as "Art of Racing in the Rain" grabbed me, this book did too.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
"I had seen enough to know that ghosts and monsters lived in the woods." March 26 2011
By Luan Gaines - Published on
The North American wilderness is the setting for a novel part Brothers Grimm and three generations of family bonded by history and the "crippling beauty of winter". Sawgamet, a former mining town become logging village, was founded by Jeannot Boucher, Stephen Boucher's grandfather. Sitting vigil at his mother's bedside in her final days, forty-something Stephen uses the quiet hours to reflect on his childhood, where a demanding landscape requires extraordinary sacrifices, yet yields magical images of a land between worlds. This is a tale of love, loss and the realization that anything is possible where survival and beauty coexist. Jeannot's larger-than-life presence in the boy's life has a profound effect from their first meeting, when ten-year-old Stephen has lost his father, Pierre, and sister, Marie, both trapped beneath the shelf of ice where Marie fell through while skating. Father and daughter float, still visible, hands near touching in a tragic tableau.

While Pierre has taught his son the meaning of strength and courage, it is Jeannot who embodies the magic and the myth in the land of the trickster, the loupgarou and the gallupilluit (sea witch), Flaireur, a singing dog and Gregory, a Russian miner returned for revenge for his untimely death. Thanks to the determined efforts of sixteen-year-old Jeannot, a young man in search of his fortune in gold, Sawgamet grows from mining town to a more sustainable logging community, Jeannot as much myth as man. Confiding to Stephen, "I've come back for your grandmother. I've come back to raise the dead", Jeannot spends hours with the boy, describing how he walked the lonely terrain alone, guided by a stubborn dog who refuses to bark but finally sings, drawing forth a flurry of beating wings and sharp beaks, birds that will sustain man and dog through the winter.

Through the prism of Stephen's understanding, Jeannot's world is hard, yet achingly beautiful, from a golden creature appearing to Martine and Jeannot to monsters that prowl in search of souls, couples buried under snow for long winter months, the unavoidable demands of survival: "With a single bite he called down a vengeance upon himself." Envision a boy of ten enthralled by his grandfather's tales, the loss of beloved father and sister still fresh and raw; a driven young miner who cobbles together a shelter as winter strikes, sleeping back to back with his animal; a couple striding naked through a magical forest in pursuit of a golden caribou, gilt sprinkling the air like snowflakes; a father reaching for his young daughter's hand under the ice, their fingers nearly touching. The "magical realism" of the author's transcendent prose is both fascinating and terrifying, the melding of three generations, a place "where mountains loom... where shape shifters fly past us in the dark", where Stephen links hands with the past and "memories are another way to wake the dead". Luan Gaines/2011.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Love, death, ghosts in the woods July 26 2011
By Ginahmk - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had not seen any reviews about this book and bought it based on Amazon recommendation (got it right this time!). Wow, what can I say that others haven't said already. This is highly original multi-layered story of love and death set in the harshest environment. Brave humans with goodness and hope battle against the sinister, seductive woods and rivers of nature filled with the violence of nature and spirits. Stephan, the grandson of the village's founder, has returned to his childhood home and tells his family history while he sits vigil at his mother's death bed. The author captures the beauty, mystery and fables of northern Canada, the undying dreams and romance of youth, the realization of middle-age and weaves a hypnotic spell. I could not put this book down. The characters twine into your heart as you go back and forth to discover the secrets and tragedy of this family's battle against the wilderness and it's deadly magic to settle this town. There is the death of Stephen's sister and father, the shame of his grandfather's murder and the incredible longing and sorrow as family members are lost to early death or old age. One of the best fantasy novels I have read in a long time, like no other in theme and setting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not a bad read Jan. 27 2013
By Pen Name - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's decently written but I found myself getting bored at times or trying to hurry through the book to get done.

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