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Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile

Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile

Written by Verlyn Klinkenborg

Narrated by Josephine Bailey


Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile

Written by Verlyn Klinkenborg

Narrated by Josephine Bailey

ratings:
4.5/5 (2 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 3, 2006
ISBN:
9781400172559
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Few writers have attempted to explore the natural history of a particular animal by adopting the animal's own sensibility. But Verlyn Klinkenborg-with his deeply empathetic relation to the world around him-has done just that, and done it brilliantly, in Timothy; or Notes of an Abject Reptile.



This is the story of a tortoise whose real life was observed by the eighteenth-century English curate Gilbert White, author of The Natural History of Selborne. For thirteen years, Timothy lived in White's garden-making an occasional appearance in his journals. Now Klinkenborg gives the tortoise an unforgettable voice and powers of observation as keen as those of any bipedal naturalist. The happy result: Timothy regales us with an account of a gracefully paced (no unseemly hurry!) eight-day adventure outside the gate ("How do I escape from that nimble-tongued, fleet-footed race? . . . Walk through the holes in their attention") and entertains us with shrewd observations about the curious habits and habitations of humanity. "To humans," Timothy says with doleful understanding, "in and out are matters of life and death. Not to me. Warm earth waits just beneath me. . . . The humans' own heat keeps them from sensing it."



Wry and wise, unexpectedly moving, and enchanting at every-careful-turn, Timothy will surprise and delight readers of all ages.
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 3, 2006
ISBN:
9781400172559
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Verlyn Klinkenborg is the author of The Last Fine Time, Making Hay, and The Rural Life. His articles have appeared in many magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Audubon, Smithsonian, and The New Republic. He teaches creative writing at Harvard University.

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  • (5/5)
    Wise fun as Timothy, the 80 year old tortoise who lived in Gilbert White's garden in Selborne, England, gives his viewpoint on the famous naturalist and human society in general.
  • (4/5)
    This is an American, current companion volume to Gilbert White's Natural History of Selbourne, narrated by Pastor White's own tortoise Timothy. Many times Timothy cites what Mr White said as there is such "a propensity in mankind towards deceiving and being deceived...that one cannot safely relate any thing from common report, especially in print, without expressing some degree of doubt and suspicion" (85). Timothy soon adds, " Mr White's true music is the repeated, unresolved music of birdsong. Melody that never finds the tonic again"(90).Klinkenborg is a deft and skilled writer, a journalist of course, though not in this book. Associative, fragmentary disjunctive and surprising writing.