- 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: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Come, Thou Tortoise Paperback – Mar 9 2010
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"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.
Top customer reviews
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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.
'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. Because there is so much 'space between the words', and because of the way they're presented to us, it's the swiftest, easiest-going four-hundred page journey I've ever been on.
If you're looking to have your spirits raised, read this book.
If you're interested in a glimpse of another world -or several other worlds- read this book.
If you want to know what being in the hands of a caring storyteller is like, one whom has such a wonderful career ahead of her (and her readers, some wonderful experiences), read this book.
After all; how can you go wrong with a tortoise named Winnifred?
Personal rating: 8.5/10
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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