Turtle Diary

Turtle Diary

3.99 (1,489 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Wonderful, life-saving ... places Russell Hoban among the greatest, timeless novelists' The Times

Born to swim thousands of miles in the ocean, the giant sea turtles are now trapped in a tank of golden-green water at London Zoo. But not for much longer. Two lonely people, a bookseller and a children's illustrator, have begun thinking turtle thoughts. As they come together to hatch a plan to release the turtles into the sea, their diaries reveal how they find their own lives changing in imperceptible and quite unintended ways.

'Crackles with witty detail, mordant intelligence and self-deprecating irony' Time

'This lovely human fable seems to me one of the best things of its kind - a fine and touching achievement' John Fowles
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Penguin Modern Classics

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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 12mm | 157g
  • Penguin Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9780241485767
  • 92,301

Review quote

Russell Hoban is our Ur-novelist, a maverick voice that is like no other. * Sunday Telegraph * Worth rejoicing in ... a banquet of whimsical delights. Each Russell Hoban book is surprising ... but you also know what you're getting, which is curiosity, wonder and a world-encompassing empathy. -- John Self * The Guardian * This wonderful, life-saving fantasy places Russell Hoban where he has got to be - among the greatest, timeless novelists. * The Times * Crackles with witty detail, mordant intelligence and self-deprecating irony. * Time * [Turtle Diary] has medicinal qualities. I only need to think about it and I'm in a better mood. -- Max Porter A story about the recovery of life ... Like other cult writers - Salinger for instance, or Vonnegut - Hoban writes about ordinary people making life-affirming gestures in a world that threatens to dissolve in madness. * Newsweek * This lovely human fable seems to me one of the best things of its kind - a fine and touching achievement. -- John Fowles Tragicomic pleasure ... Metaphysical speculation undercut by dry humour is the signature style of Russell Hoban. -- Richard Preston * The Times *
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About Russell Hoban

On his death in 2011, The Times described Russell Hoban as 'perhaps the most consistently strange writer of the late 20th century'. He thought and wrote in an extraordinary range of genres, becoming first a bestselling writer of children's books, particularly the immortal Frances stories and his first novel, The Mouse and His Child (1968). After its publication he continued to write for children (most notably perhaps the Captain Najork books with Quentin Blake and The Marzipan Pig), but focussed most of his energies on a sequence of wonderful novels, which began with The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (1973) and ended with Angelica Lost and Found (2010). He also wrote the libretto for Harrison Birtwistle's opera The Second Mrs Kong (1994).

His novels were wildly various, but share his obsession with objects, animals, specific works of art and pieces of music, his love of words and sense of humour. Penguin Modern Classics publishes his first eight novels: The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz, Kleinzeit, Turtle Diary, Riddley Walker, Pilgermann, The Medusa Frequency, Fremder and Mr Rinyo-Clacton's Offer.
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Rating details

1,489 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 32% (483)
4 41% (611)
3 21% (315)
2 4% (56)
1 2% (24)
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