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All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld
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All the Birds Singing (2013)

by Evie Wyld

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5624425,343 (3.72)86
  1. 10
    Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle (bibliovermis)
    bibliovermis: Another novel that can be read in either direction, exploring a teenage mistake and the moving on from it.
  2. 00
    Bereft by Chris Womersley (Brindle)
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» See also 86 mentions

English (42)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
I cannot read another page. I can't even remember the last time I returned a book but this will be it. One cannot be expected to abide lines like this:

- "Clare's breath is hot fudge on the side of my face." HOT FUDGE?!? I can't even...

- "I cannot do up my shorts because my hand crunched badly against Clare's face, and it has turned into a meat fist, throbbing and swollen." Yeah, she said 'meat fist'

And so I kept reading, hoping for something validating and then this happened.

- "And when it's my turn, I do sit-ups, which are easier to talk around, and Greg plants his feet on mine to spot me. He never mentions it is strange, he never says, "Careful you'll get too manly."

Good ol' Greg. What a champion for women everywhere.

I'm done.

P.S. To the reviewer that compared the heroine (?) of this novel to Hemingway's Nick Adams maybe never read Hemingway. ( )
  ambersnowpants | Aug 23, 2018 |
This story is about Jake who is a sheep farmer. The story jumps back and forth between Australia and an island in England. The author is an Australian author and this is her second book. It won the Encore Award in 2013 and the Miles Franklin Award in 2014. I found the book had a lot of promise but ended up being lacking. The story has a lot of interesting ideas but seem to be just "over writing" as they tended to not come to any reason for their being. The birds, crows "their beaks shining, strutting, and rasping". "Like a mad woman, listening to her own voice", "five of them sat in a row in the same branch" makes for a nice beginning. The birds let us know there is danger and a group of crows are known as a murder of crows. Jake is a mystery and slowly the reader is given little bits of this mystery back in Australia. Is she mad or is there really something killing off her sheep.

It could have been a good story but the author never did anything with the spider motifs, she barely gave us any reason for Lloyd's appearance on the land. And the ending is absolutely poor. ( )
  Kristelh | Aug 5, 2018 |
This is Wyld's award winning second novel, from 2013. An exceptionally dark, often gruesome story of a somber young woman working on a sheep farm. The nasty, fly and feces environment is a constant refrain, and this quote, among many, captures it well:

"There's an uncomfortable pause, and I look at the old blood that has turned dry and black on the floor under the meat hook. The place smells of stale vomit and bleach."

The atmosphere is made more menacing by the stalking presence of something, or someone, that has mutilated a few of her sheep. (Mary-had-a-little-lamb this is not!) What emerges as the real mystery, and gained this reader's interest as it was revealed in a reverse narrative, is what befell Jake in Australia that leads to her scarred present. Nothing here becomes entirely unfurled, and even as I began to suspect this would be the case, the ending was a bit of a washout. In its entirety, the hell-bent darkness and foulness at play here is overdone, in my view. Add to this a couple of unconvincing episodes. Her writing is sharp and spare to fit the mood, and I applaud the way she structured this, but it all has a tough time rising above the mire. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Aug 1, 2018 |
Recommended as a good read for October, evidently because of the gloomy weather and shadowy beast haunting the edges, I can't say exactly why this book didn't do it for me. Strange because I quite related to certain parts of it. That combination of deep country isolation, sheep-farming, getting into situations with insidiously and increasingly controlling people. Obviously nothing quite like what happens with Jake, but still. The certainty that someone was watching, or in the house with her, or trying to break down the bathroom door, it was all too real a paranoia and definitely left me edgy around darkness for a few days.

And some of the images will stay with me. A lot of it will stay in my head, I think. But I didn't like it! And I can't say why! ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Evie Wyldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gould, CatNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, CarolineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Roz, Roy and Gus
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Another sheep, mangled and bled out, her innards not yet crusting and the vapours rising from her like a steamed pudding.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
LARGE PRINT EDITION:
Jake Whyte is the sole resident of an old farmhouse on an unnamed British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. It's just her, her untamed companion, Dog, and a flock of sheep. Which is how she wanted it to be., But something is coming for the sheep - every few nights it picks one off, leaves it in rags.

It could be anything. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumours of an obscure, formidable beast. And there is Jake's unknown past, perhaps breaking into the present, a story hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, in a landscape[e of different colour and sound, a story held in the scars that stripe her back.
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"From one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists, a stunningly insightful, emotionally powerful new novel about an outsider haunted by an inescapable past: a story of loneliness and survival, guilt and loss, and the power of forgiveness. Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wanted it to be. But every few nights something--or someone--picks off one of the sheep and sounds a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumors of an obscure, formidable beast. And there is also Jake's past--hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, held in the silences about her family and the scars that stripe her back--a past that threatens to break into the present. With exceptional artistry and empathy, All the Birds, Singing reveals an isolated life in all its struggles and stubborn hopes, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption"--… (more)

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