In Sawgamet, a north woods boomtown gone bust, the cold of winter breaks the glass of the schoolhouse thermometer, and the dangers of working in the cuts are overshadowed by the mysteries and magic lurking in the woods. Stephen, a pastor, is at home on the eve of his mother's funeral, thirty years after the mythic summer his grandfather returned to the town in search of h
What's the short and skinny of it? Official summary: "In Sawgamet, a north woods boomtown gone bust, the cold of winter breaks the glass of the schoolhouse thermometer, and the dangers of working in the cuts are overshadowed by the mysteries and magic lurking in the woods. Stephen, a pastor, is at home on the eve of his mother's funeral, thirty years af...more
How do you know what is real and what is not? That is the question posed to readers of Alexi Zentner's Touch. One never knows who (or what) is going to pop up in the woods of Sawgamet. Your deceased grandmother? A golden caribou?
The setting is the best thing (to me) about Touch. Zentner vividly describes the Sawgamet woods through the seasons, including the utterly dangerous winters. This is the story of Stephen, a pastor...more
There are some books that I am better off reading in large chunks rather than the bits and pieces that l...more
Alexi Zentner eases you into the narrative, enchants with superb story-telling, and introduces the magical elements slowly and subtly as the plot progresses. A plain-spoken and earnest narrator makes it easy for to suspend disbelief and get lost in the vivid and mesmirizing landscape, characters,...more
April 28, 2012:
I finished this book yesterday, but part way through my reading, I had tweeted on Twitter that I was examining my fingertips for gold dust at every turn of the page. W...more
Three plot lines: the narrative one, set in WWII in the narrator's adolescent home where he's tending to his dying mother, reflecting back in preparation for her eulogy.
He reflects back on the winter his mother remarries and his grandfather returns. He also weaves in stories of his grandfather's youth and the town's origins with his father's youth. All of this, plus the fact that the narrator is a priest, gives the story credibility. Credibility is essential, because the myths the boy/...more
The chronological back-and-forth isn't always graceful; there wasn't all that much centralized suspense (though I kept turning pages, so Zentner was doing something ri...more
The book is about Stephen, an Anglican Priest, basically narrarating three generations of his family; himself, father and grandfather living in the
boomtown Sawgament that Stephen's grandfather Jeanott discovered when he was 16. The book tells of the stories his father and grandfather told him when he was
young, but through the narration he adds his own wonder. The stories off family life and tra...more
I particularly enjoyed the mystical aspect of the book. There are a lot of creatures from Native American/Canadian folklore scattered throughout the narrative, and I think...more
He recounts the stories, of Jeannot, his grandfather, who started the town of Sawgamet. Along with his grandfather there are stories of his father, Pierre, a logger, his sister Marie, and all of the people that come in and out of their lives.
There are tales of surviving the harsh winters, or in some cases, not surviving. But the bleak land...more
There's another aspect here too -- superstition, creatures from the woods, sightings of strange mythical creatures. This isn't as much my cup of tea, but it's brilliantly handled by the author, never really g...more
Stephen, an Anglican priest has returned home on the eve of his mother's death and while he keeps vigil at her bedside he recalls his childhood and family stories. The way in which Stephen's narration skips from memory to memory as actual recollection does...more
The ax is practically a character in this book.
I loved the writing, the darkness of the story and the way that ghosts and creatures that live in the forest came to life. There are some images in the b...more
I will start off saying that this is not something I would normally be drawn to. However, I really did enjoy it. This is a true storytellers story. I found the whole reality of what these people lived through fascinating. I think we all take for granted the many aspects of modern day life. I am not so sure I could handle everything this family lived through. I found Alexi Zentner's writing to be beautiful and heart...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book--it was a fast, compelling read. I enjoyed how the stories of the three generations were intertwined and advanced together. I had to pay close attention to which story was being told at any given time; however, I thought this made for a richer storytelling than if it had been simply told chronologically. I would have liked to know more about Stephen (the grandson), but perhaps there are more stories to still be told here.
I would class this as Canadian wilderness...more
Alexi’s first novel, Touch, will be published in Spring of 2011 in the USA by W.W....more