A best seller 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 listeners of David Mitchell, Sjón, and Terry Pratchett.
©2007 Andrus Kivirähk. Translation copyright 2015 by Christopher Moseley. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
Narration really added a separate and more endearing element of story imagery to the author's carfully chosen words, characters, and setting. I was immediately drawn into our protagonist's struggle with humanity's daring dance to change and be the change we want to see in the world, more specifically in society. It takes peer pressure to the extreme while harkening the keen voice of J. Swift's "Modest Proposal" in all his satirical glory!
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