Russell Hoban

Turtle Diary

Book review by Anthony Campbell. Copyright © Anthony Campbell (1999).

The two leading characters in this story, known to us only as Neara H. and William G., narrate the events in alternate chapters. They have little in common apart from the facts that they are lonely and are obsessed with three sea turtles in the aquarium in London Zoo; they form an alliance to rescue the animals and release them in the ocean. They succeed in this. In a less good novel this would end with the two main characters pairing off and living happily ever after, but things are seldom that neat and predictable in a Hoban novel and the story continues for several more chapters after the release. William G. has a couple of fights in his lodging house with a man who refuses to clean the bath and cooker after using it; their relations improve after this. (The two fights are a nice touch; a lesser writer would have had only one.) Neara H. embarks on an affair and stops feeling so lonely.

This is a fine book, which was made into a film.

[ Titles | Authors | Subjects ]
%T Turtle Diary
%A Hoban, Russell
%I Picador
%C London
%D 1975
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0 330 25050 7
%P 191pp