Spooked by some ball lightning on his wedding night, repressed young Catholic Griffith Smolders interprets this as a sign and abandons his conjugal responsibilities by escaping through the window, enduring a series of misadventures along the way involving, among others, con men, murderesses, shipwrecks, and autodidact biologist hermits. Giving chase, his betrothed, Avice Drinkwater, finally runs Grif aground in a tiny island community, and prepares to exact her revenge.
Set in the rough-and-tumble late nineteenth century backwoods, The Iconoclast’s Journal is wildly kinetic, a madcap picaresque and comic anti-romance by one of the most inventive writers at work today.
Praise for The Iconoclast’s Journal
“Terry Griggs’s second novel [The Iconoclast’s Journal] is as exuberantly inventive, verbally juiced up and sexually outrageous as her first, The Lusty Man―and more pointedly iconoclastic….The language, the verbal fireworks, the apparently limitless stream of image and metaphor―startling, heady, hilarious―do it all.”―The Globe and Mail
“…smashes apart Victorian society (and modern society by extension) and rebuilds it as a Swiftian fantasy, raucous as Huckleberry Finn and nearly as bizarre as Alice in Wonderland…intensely intoxicating and bestowing delicious feelings of hallucination.”—Quill & Quire
“[a] humorous novel, delivered with verbal panache and the writer’s tongue firmly planted in cheek…a delightful fairy tale for adults, a fable set in Victorian Canada with an enjoyable cast of characters, and quite probably a moral or two hidden somewhere within its pages.” —New York Journal of Books
“Ribald and rambunctious… the greater pleasure of it is where it travels. Whenever you think you know where the tale is heading it zigs once and zags twice, bringing you to places you never imagined going.” —James Crossley, Mercer Island Books
“Terry Griggs’s The Iconoclast’s Journal compels thoughts, things, places, and faces to populate its pages with their hidden stories: too outrageous to be believed yet too convincing to be doubted, and universally successful in exposing the truth, tragedy, and humor within.” —Foreword Reviews (starred review)
“[Grif] stumbles, quite literally, into one adventure after another, treating each with bewilderment and hope … strongly picaresque, in the irreverent manner of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass … The humor is punctuated by moments as tragic as they are comic.” —Arkansas International
“Terry Griggs has just immortalized the runaway bridegroom. She’s a wildly inventive storyteller, gifted with a superb turn of phrase.”—The Montreal Gazette
“This book is a carnival, filled with freaks and wonders. The narrative is preposterous, the characters fabulous, drawn sharper than life, coloured more brightly, yet after you put the book down, you see them everywhere.”—The Ottawa Citizen
“The strangeness of Griggs’s novel is matched by its panache. She takes the tall tales of rural Ontario and turns them into a story that moves with the speed and certitude of a bullet. [The Iconoclast’s Journal] has the hilarity of a Jack Hodgins’ novel and the inquisitive menace of the Melville who wrote The Confidence-Man and Moby Dick. It’s definitive proof that fiction about the Victorian bush doesn’t have to be stodgy, dull, or conventional. For those who enjoy a good smart cock-and-bull story, [The Iconoclast’s Journal] is a must-read.”―Jack Illingworth
“…a rollicking romp and frivolously fantastical; it’s not heavy, but heavenly.”—The Hamilton Spectator
“I’ve long been an admirer of Terry Griggs’ writing. Her language is precise and evocative, even magical. Her talents are on full display in The Iconoclast’s Journal…this book is a delight.” —Andrea Curtis, 49th Shelf
“Never should have gone out of print . . . the novel now has a home worthy of it.” —David Worsley, 49th Shelf