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As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other…

As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories (New Canadian Library)

by Alistair MacLeod

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This was a fantastic collection of short stories, that pulled me in from the start, and had me wanting to read it through in a sitting.

The first short story in this collection, The Closing Down of Summer, completely gripped me and pulled me in. In fact, most of the stories in this story had me engrossed into the collection of stories. There were many times, where I was completely lost in the stories.

The writing alone was good enough to make this collection be a great one, combined with some excellent short stories, this one became a fantastic one. The author has an exceptional style of writing, that pulls you into the individual stories and brings to life both the characters in plot. Winter Dog, may not have been my favourite one, but it did make me savour the book, and bring up a stir of emotions While, there were some stories I didn't enjoy as much, overall the collection was one well worth reading.

Also found on my book review blog Jules' Book Reviews - As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories ( )
  bookwormjules | Mar 2, 2014 |
Another great short story collection by MacLeod--maybe just a little more uneven than his 'Lost salt gift of blood'. Thematically it links up to the rest of his work. Unfortunately though there is not a large body of it. As before the stories are set in his native Nova Scotia--among the farming, mining and fishing communities. It is a very hardscrabble life for whatever the chosen vocation or occupation. There is a timeless quality to his work--generations seguing together--eking out an existence from a beautiful but oftentimes hostile and dangerous land. MacLeod remains as ever close to his Highland Scottish and Gaelic roots--the life and culture of the old country remains relevant in the new. There is not a weak story in the lot--I particularly liked Winter Dog--a teenage boy narrates how he was trapped out on an ice floe only to be saved by his dog. A few years later the same dog is shot dead in front of his eyes--that event is set up by his own father after the dog has turned mean. As well the title story is about another dog (cu mor glas [accents overs the u and o]--the big grey dog)--once real and over the generations turned into a family myth--it's appearance like a banshee presaging disaster and death. The last story in the collection--Vision--juxtaposes blindess and the ability of some to see into the future despite it.

MacLeod's depends much on emotion. The referencing of culture and family throughout not just generations but centuries is the glue that holds his work together. Beyond that he is fine writer and his stories fit together seamlessly into a whole. There is humor and sometimes much sadness but what comes out strongest may be the resilience of the people he writes about. I really like all of his work and would recommend it to anyone and everyone. ( )
  lriley | Dec 7, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0771098820, Mass Market Paperback)

The superbly crafted stories collected in Alistair MacLeod’s As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories depict men and women acting out their “own peculiar mortality” against the haunting landscape of Cape Breton Island. In a voice at once elegiac and life-affirming, MacLeod describes a vital present inhabited by the unquiet spirits of a Highland past, invoking memory and myth to celebrate the continuity of the generations even in the midst of unremitting change.

His second collection, As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories confirms MacLeod’s international reputation as a storyteller of rare talent and inspiration.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:03 -0400)

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