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. Download and start listening now!