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The Man Who Spoke Snakish
by Andrus Kivirähk and Christopher Moseley


Overview - A bestseller in the author s native country of Estonia, where the book is so well known that a popular board game has been created based on it, "The Man Who Spoke Snakish" is the imaginative and moving story of a boy who is tasked with preserving ancient traditions in the face of modernity.  Read more...

 
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More About The Man Who Spoke Snakish by Andrus Kivirähk; Christopher Moseley
 
 
 
Overview
A bestseller in the author s native country of Estonia, where the book is so well known that a popular board game has been created based on it, "The Man Who Spoke Snakish" is the imaginative and moving story of a boy who is tasked with preserving ancient traditions in the face of modernity.
Set in a fantastical version of medieval Estonia, "The Man Who Spoke Snakish" follows a young boy, Leemet, who lives with his hunter-gatherer family in the forest and is the last speaker of the ancient tongue of snakish, a language that allows its speakers to command all animals. But the forest is gradually emptying as more and more people leave to settle in villages, where they break their backs tilling the land to grow wheat for their bread (which Leemet has been told tastes horrible) and where they pray to a god very different from the spirits worshipped in the forest s sacred grove. With lothario bears who wordlessly seduce women, a giant louse with a penchant for swimming, a legendary flying frog, and a young charismatic viper named Ints, "The Man Who Spoke Snakish" is a totally inventive novel for readers of David Mitchell, Sjon, and Terry Pratchett."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780802124128
  • ISBN-10: 0802124127
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
  • Publish Date: November 2015
  • Page Count: 400
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-07-06
  • Reviewer: Staff

Leemet is a child of the forest who communicates with animals in the ancient language of Snakish and dreams of seeing the godlike Frog of the North. The pull of village life is irresistible to many of the forest people, and Leemet and his family are among the few who remain in the forest. His loneliness is somewhat assuaged by his friendship with the adder Ints. At its best, this peculiar coming-of-age story explores interesting themes of religion and lost culture. However, readers unused to wandering aimlessly in the thickets of allegory and folklore may also balk at the frequent scatological references and portrayals of frisky bears that stalk young women in the hopes of mating with them. This lengthy, patience-trying work was a runaway hit in its native Estonia, making one wonder just how much was lost in translation. Agent: Frédéric Martin, Éditions Le Tripode (France). (Nov.)

 
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