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The Back Of The Turtle Hardcover – Sep 2 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 2 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1443431621
  • ISBN-13: 978-1443431620
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 699 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“Gracefully written, this is a fable-like morality tale. With King’s trademark flashes of humour, irony and deadpan delivery, The Back of the Turtle is populated with wounded characters who are trying to heal in the wake of an environmental disaster.” (Toronto Star)

“King’s writing is sharp, the characters are well-drawn, and his topic is suitably grave.” (National Post)

About the Author

Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter and photographer of Cherokee and Greek descent. His acclaimed, bestselling fiction includes Medicine River; Truth and Bright Water; One Good Story, That One; and A Short History of Indians in Canada. In addition to its many award distinctions, Green Grass, Running Water was named to Quill & Quire’s Best Canadian Fiction of the Century list. A member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of an award from the National Aboriginal Foundation, Thomas King is a professor of English at the University of Guelph, Ontario.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
3.5 stars
I would probably rate the book higher if I were to reread it. I very much liked the beginning and the conclusion, but got bogged down and bored at times. Now that I understand how everything fits together I would rate it higher in retrospect.
The book starts with despair, chronicles a dreadful environmental and human disaster, and ends with a glimmer of hope.
We meet Gabriel while he is waiting for the tide to sweep him out to sea to his death. He plays the drum and sings while awaiting his suicide. It is interrupted when he sees a girl with almond shaped eyes and long black hair who appears to be drowning. She must have fallen from the sky into the sea. This resembles Native creation folk lore about a woman who fell from the sky. Gabriel rescues her and then others appear thrashing in the water. He struggles to save them, and exhausted discovers they have all vanished. Magic realism or something else?
The tide is now wrong for his suicide, so he must wait. We learn that Gabriel was a brilliant scientist who developed a defoliant called Green Sweep. This was used by a company called Domidon to remove vegetation around a pipeline, and was never approved for use. Gabriel has come to the town of Samaritan Bay on the BC coast.
This town was a popular tourist destination where people flocked to see the annual hatching of the baby turtles and their journey to the sea. Then came the 'Ruin' when the rivers and sea became poisoned, destroying the turtle nesting ground, fish, animals and sea birds. Stores and other businesses shut down. A nearby Native Reservation was horribly affected. Many died and the survivors were moved away. Gabriel's mother and sister were among those who died.
Gabriel feels guilty and depressed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thomas King is a wonderful writer. This book is full of colourful characters and clever cultural references (e.g., "we don't need no stinking badges") set against the backdrop of an environmental catastrophe that devastated a coastal community. As the remaining residents try to make sense of what happened they help each other to heal with a tremendous generosity. The ocean forms the backdrop for most of the action and almost is a a character itself. I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfactory read.
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This was a great book and particularly poignant, reading it this week because I live in Vancouver where we just had an oil spill in our harbour! Thomas King's writing style with alternating chapters for characters was particularly engaging and enjoyable. I have recommended this book to a number of people.
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Being Canadian and living in BC, with companies wanting to build & install pipelines to remote towns along the coast, extract natural gas in BC and pipe it as well, this story comes very close to home. Very the characters, the storyline and the whole quirky personality of the book. Great read.
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It didn't occur to me until the climactic scene at the end that this could easily serve as a Doctor Who series with very few alterations. It even has a role for K-9. Fantastic!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A découvrir! Tres talentueux!
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Love this book. Plan on reading it several times over.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A bit disappointing. A decent read but does not fill potential to be a spiritual journey.
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