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Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max…

Grief is the Thing with Feathers (2015)

by Max Porter

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
A strange book. Sad, at times hilarious and funny, but by it's strange form of writing it gives a good idea on how shattered the father and his sons are.
Not an east book, both considering style and content, but I'm happy to have read it. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Apr 9, 2017 |
This was a hard-to-find and much-talked-about little book. Now, I have read it ... and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. It was incredibly clever and unique little book about death, love, survival, family, a man without his wife, two boys without their mother, and a crow. The book consists of alternating chapters told from the viewpoint of the dad, the boys, and, of course, the crow. It has poetry, near-poetry, and irregular fiction. It may sound like a confusion on the page, but it has a simplicity that I can't yet put into words. I'm still pondering. ( )
  jphamilton | Mar 6, 2017 |
Strange, wonderful, beautifully imagined & written. Not easy, but worth it, and spot-on. Kudos. ( )
  ReneeGKC | Feb 4, 2017 |
A short, sweet, funny and heartbreaking novella, which also seems more like poetry at times. Grief is a crow when a man's wife and the mother of two small boys dies. I can tell from both the character's obsession with poetry and Porter's style that poetry is a huge influence here. However, poetry is usually like a foreign language to me, so the book was not enough like poetry to make me dislike the format. The book is filled with a ton of bizarre and separate snippets of events rather than a plot. (Plot is one of the things Crow is scared of.) But the book is short enough for this not to matter. The writing can be darkly hilarious and then rip your heart out in the next line. The book is like a quick emotional rollercoaster. ( )
  booklove2 | Jan 27, 2017 |
This little book is a novel, not a memoir but you could be tricked into thinking it is a memoir. It can be compared to such works as Grief Observed, Helen MacDonald's H is for Hawk — and Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, all of which are memoirs written by authors from their grief. The title made me think of Emily Dickenson Hope is a thing with feathers, it seems like something she might have wrote. and when I opened the book, I find this epigram, "That Love is all there is, Is all we know of Love; It is enough, the freight should be Proportioned to the groove--Emily Dickinson but the author or rather CROW has struck out Love, Love, Freight and groove and penciled in CROW. Grief is the Thing With Feathers is a wondrous, supremely literary, ultimately hopeful little book. The jacket flap describes the book as part novella, part polyphonic (multiple voice) fable, part essay on grief. So experimental in structure, it is a debut noel for Max Porter who lives in London with his wife and children. I liked the use of CROW. Use of black birds like crows and blackbirds are often used in books. There is reference in the book of Ted Hughes' Crow (poet) and to Plath (they had been married). Use of mythology, crows carrying the souls to the land of the dead. Even in Noah's ark, the first bird sent from the ark was a raven while the earth was covered with the dead.

The book is written in short, little small blocks rather than lots of sentences into paragraphs and jumps from one voice to the next (Crow, Dad, Boys) So there is a shifting perspective but mostly it is about how dad deals with his grief and how his grief ends up effecting the boys. The author is drawn to Ted Hughes and Emily Dickinson. The sections progress as the dad makes his way through the experience of grief and the reader can see that progression. I actually read a library copy. It is a paperback, the book was published originally 2015 in London and my copy was published by Graywolf Press a Minneapolis based publisher. The cover has three windows, one with shade up, shade half down and one with shade all the way down and off to the side is the title and a little black crow in flight or just landing in the upper right corner. There are a lot of white space and a dropped feather here and there. The author wanted to write about grief but used his love of his wife and boys as his foundation and the grief he experienced when his father died. The author did a good job because it felt like a memoir and I could compare this book to the memoirs by C.S.Lewis, MacDonald's and Didion. So I give this book 4.5 stars and would round up to 5 rather than down. This book should really resonate with me because I like books about grief, I liked CS Lewis's book Grief Observed, Didion's book is one of my favorites and I also love Emily Dickinson's work. I have not read Ted Hughe's Crow. Perhaps I need to do that. ( )
2 vote Kristelh | Jan 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Grief Is the Thing with Feathers is heartrending, blackly funny, deeply resonant, a perfect summation of what it means to lose someone but still to love the world – and if it reminds publishers that the best books aren’t always the ones that can be pigeonholed or precis-ed or neatly packaged, so much the better.
added by 2wonderY | editThe Guardian, Sarah Crown (Sep 12, 2015)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Max Porterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Piraccini, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Che "corvo" sia tutto quel che c'è / è tutto quel che sappiamo del "corvo"; / tanto basta, il "corvo" dev'essere / proporzionato al "corvo" - Emily Dickinson
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
A Roly
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There's a feather on my pillow.
She was not busy dying, and there is no detritus of care, she was simply busy living, and then she was gone.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0571323766, Hardcover)

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and the pain of loss gives way to memories, the little unit of three starts to heal. In this extraordinary debut - part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief - Max Porter's compassion and bravura style combine to dazzling effect. Full of unexpected humour and profound emotional truth, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers marks the arrival of a thrilling new talent.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 26 Aug 2015 05:30:35 -0400)

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