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Travel Essays & Travelogues

The Boy on the Back of the Turtle

Seeking God, Quince Marmalade, and the Fabled Albatross on Darwin's Islands

by (author) Paul Quarrington

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Aug 2003
Essays & Travelogues, Personal Memoirs, Ecuador & Galapagos Islands
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2003
    List Price

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In The Boy on the Back of the Turtle, Quarrington attempts to discover his own little niche in the cosmos. Cruising the volcanic Galapagos Islands on a 90-foot liner called the Corinthian in the company of his daughter, age 7, and his father, age 73, he tries to find his place as a Son, as a Father, as a Mortal frolicking beneath the heavens.
One of the funniest and most talented writers on the planet, Quarrington employs his trademark combination of wry wit and poignant observation as he takes readers on a wide-ranging investigation of everything from blue-footed boobies, careerism, taxonomy and the nature of creation to pirates, frigate birds, Herman Melville and the precarious ecology of the islands and the planet. And as the Corinthian travels in the belly of night from one island to another, Quarrington wrestles with questions great and small. Given that the Galapagos is the historic site of God’s greatest setback, he points out, it is a fitting place to play out the battle within himself. A more engaging--and entertaining--battle has seldom been waged.

About the author


Paul Quarrington won numerous awards for his work, including the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour and Canada Reads 2008 for his novel King Leary. His Governor General's Award-winning Whale Music was made into a critically acclaimed feature film. He also won awards for his writing for the television series Due South and for his screen play for Perfectly Normal. On January 21, 2010, he succumbed to lung cancer and died at his home surrounded by friends and family. He is missed.


Paul Quarrington's profile page

Other titles by Paul Quarrington