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The Beothuk Saga

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  55 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
This astounding novel fully deserves to be called a saga. It begins a thousand years ago in the time of the Vikings in Newfoundland. It is crammed with incidents of war and peace, with fights to the death and long nights of lovemaking, and with accounts of the rise of local clan chiefs and the silent fall of great distant empires. Out of the mists of the past it sweeps for ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 16th 2002 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 1999)
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Mary Soderstrom
Apr 01, 2013 Mary Soderstrom rated it really liked it
A week ago, as a group of Native Canadian young people completed a 1,600 kilometer trek from Northern Quebec to Ottawa, I was reminded of a .book whose ending I knew before I started reading, but which kept me fascinated all the way through anyway. It is The Beothuk Saga by Bernard Assiniwi (translated from French by Wayne Grady, published more than a decade ago, but increasingly relevant.

People who have listened even with one ear to the sad tale of North America's First People know that there
Aug 25, 2013 Sean rated it liked it
It started out in a cheese romance-novel vein crossed with "Clan of the Cave Bear," not an auspicious beginning. Assiniwi tells three stories, the last of which is fragmented and ends up coming from the European/white point of view, which is not the intention of the book. The other two sections are more interesting-- he makes some imaginative assertions, as he has to (there's so little evidence of Beothuk culture). What at first reads like misogynistic nonsense becomes a prolonged, sincere inves ...more
Harlan Hague
Oct 03, 2013 Harlan Hague rated it really liked it
This review contains spoilers: A bold attempt at an account of the life of the Beothuk, the tragic tribe that lived in Newfoundland until they were wiped out by the European invaders. The story is fiction, but the author tries to weave his tale around the little that is known for sure of the Beothuk. A bit wordy and convoluted at times, this nevertheless is a useful and interesting story that runs from the origins of the tribe to its tragic end in the early nineteenth century.
Aug 24, 2013 Megan rated it really liked it
This was a heavy read. It is broken into three sections, The Initiate, The Invaders and Genocide.
As you can imagine the story just gets sadder and sadder.
I knew from history about the Beothuk people, but this book opened my eyes and my heart.
It is unimaginable to me that humans (ie the English, French, etc.) could treat other humans in such a manner.

Highly recommended read.
Feb 07, 2010 Blake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
book had it's up and down parts, I liked the first section, it was the most that was a like a story, the rest moved to fast and didn't get much chance to know the char. It was sort of the same thing written over and over. Text was written in a very basic form, not sure if this was due to the translation or ment to imulate the way they though/ spoke.
Margaret Greenway
Oct 13, 2014 Margaret Greenway rated it really liked it
Great read. The story is captivating and follows the Beothuk through time. I enjoyed the inclusion of locations and was thankful for the map. Recommended for anyone who is interested in Newfoundland and enjoys a bit of a historical narrative
Marg Corjay
Mar 04, 2015 Marg Corjay rated it liked it
It was a in-depth look at the native peoples of Newfoundland/Labrador. Started off engaging but tended to lose pace towards the end.
Sharon Angus
Sep 10, 2009 Sharon Angus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, couldn't even finish it. Pure crap. I wish it were better, but it just wasn't. I really wanted to like it, but I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy it. Ugh.
May 26, 2014 Janice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing storytelling. I can't image the research that was needed to write this book. A story that all Canadians should read. Really.
Aug 01, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: donated
A difficult book to read. Gripping and horrifying at same time. The annihilation of the Beothuk race.
Aug 17, 2011 Goransle rated it liked it
I usually don't read this type of book so it was an interesting break for me. I find myself becoming more and more interested in historical fiction these days.
Jun 02, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
The tears come in part 3.
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