“Beirne’s wonderful novel. Turtle… like, say, Cormac McCarthy, is rigorously dedicated to his style. He never backs off or makes it easier for a reader. In time the rhythm gets under your skin… and in this way becomes linked to the joy you’ll derive from this book…the excellence of his storytelling.” – Times Transcript
Turtle is the classic ‘stranger comes to town’ story. In this case the stranger calls himself Rails and carries the bones of his grandmother in a pack on his back. It is a sprawling, surreal allegory about a small town, Turtle, where the identical cycle of events recurs generation after generation, until a stranger slides into town and threatens to change everything, The town was founded by the narrator, Nathan Baxter’s, grandfather. Rails moves in with Nathan and suggests that there can be more life beyond Turtle. He pits him against his own community and encourages him to alter the cycle of events by violence if necessary.
Longlisted for the 2010 ReLit Award (“The country’s pre-eminent literary prize recognizing independent presses” – the Globe and Mail)