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The Strange Bird: A Borne Story by Jeff…

The Strange Bird: A Borne Story (edition 2018)

by Jeff VanderMeer (Author)

Series: Borne (1.5)

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208794,494 (4.17)9
A short story set in the world of BORNE.
Title:The Strange Bird: A Borne Story
Authors:Jeff VanderMeer (Author)
Info:MCD x FSG Originals (2018), Edition: First Edition, 128 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Strange Bird: A Borne Story by Jeff VanderMeer


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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Man I forgot how much I love Jeff VanderMeer. This book was a great little reminder of the Borne universe before I get the next book in the series on hold. The Strange Bird had a great voice to follow and a really disturbing and tragic story. Humans suck. Some are ok but mostly they suck. ( )
  katebrarian | Jul 28, 2020 |
Strange Bird is a short novel set in the world of Borne. It is a dispatch from that broken world. Strange Bird sits very comfortably on its own and could be read first in the Borne (series) (cycle) the three Borne books can be read in interchangeable order. The Strange Bird at the end of it all is a love story wrapped up in a tale of abused biotech trying to make sense of a world that it knows but does not know. It is about the process of self discovery and becoming something new while already being something else. Themes of change and transformation and love abound hardcore.

This tale is so beautifully written. It is lyrical and poetic and just devastatingly beautiful to read a wholly original take on life that is thoroughly nonhuman but also is a person. Just totally stunning and a must read. Its all at once tragic and uplifting. ( )
  modioperandi | May 12, 2020 |
In a beautifully written novella, Jeff VanderMeer has given us the story of the Strange Bird, a minor character from his novel, "Borne". The bird is a construct: part bird, part human, part other things. Told by the bird itself, its story from life to death is both wonderfully uplifting and ultimately tragic and yet…

This is how the story begins:

"The Strange Bird’s first thought was of a sky over an ocean she had never seen, in a place far from the fire-washed laboratory from which she emerged, cage smashed open but her wings, miraculous, unbroken. For a long time the Strange Bird did not know what sky really was as she flew down underground corridors in the dark, evading figures that shot at one another, did not even know that she sought a way out. There was just a door in a ceiling that opened and a scrabbling and scrambling with something ratlike after her, and in the end, she escaped, rose from the smoking remnants below. And even then she did not know that the sky was blue or what the sun was, because she had flown out into the cool night air and all her wonder resided in the points of light that blazed through the darkness above. But then the joy of flying overtook her and she went higher and higher and higher, and she did not care who saw or what awaited her in the bliss of the free fall and the glide and the limitless expanse.
Oh, for if this was life, then she had not yet been alive!"

I may have enjoyed this novella even more than the novel, but it is perhaps not fair to compare the two as if they were like things. [The Strange Bird] is a seductive and transportive tale that can, more or less, be read without having read the novel first. ( )
  avaland | Sep 3, 2019 |
Another chance to visit the world of Borne - same time period and location. I don't want to spoil even a second of it for Borne lovers, so I'll say no more except read it! ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
My library tends to always have novellas in their new books section, and I tend to always check them out immediately. This past week I found a book called The Strange Bird by Jeff VanderMeer, which is a title I hadn’t heard of before. Once I’d checked the book out and gotten home I realized I was in the middle of two other novels by the same author – Annihilation, the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy, as well as Borne.

Such are the struggles of reading six or seven books at once I suppose.

The Strange Bird is the story of, well, a strange bird. This is a creature that is aesthetically beautiful, but clearly a lab creation. One day it escapes the lab it calls home and flies out into the world for the first time.

This novella is set in the same world as Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne. While reading Borne first will no doubt provide more background and world building, it isn’t necessary to the plot. This is partially due to the manner in which it is told. We follow the strange bird as it escapes and tries to survive. It is this one point of view from a character with total ignorance to the workings of the world around it which makes this work so very well.

The world of the novel is not the same as it is today. This is a land that has been ravaged, though by what I am unsure. The reasons are hinted at, but never stated outright. The strange bird tries to navigate this harsh landscape with no real idea of what freedom is, or what the world is like.

I do want to warn readers that this book does get a bit horror-esque at times. This is not a post-apocalyptic world with everyone trying to do their best. This is a post-apocalypse with broken individuals, scientists who have experimented with genetics, and performed terrible mutilations. The world is a scary one, and the strange bird goes through some truly frightening, awful situations.

As dark as the story can get, it never felt totally hopeless. The ending is not something I want to spoil, but it was very good and I really loved it.

Despite being a novella I can’t necessarily call this a fast read. The writing style and material do not really support that.

The Strange Bird by Jeff Vandermeer was very good, a fantastic look at a post-apocalyptic world through truly unique eyes. I really enjoyed reading this novella, and can’t wait to read more of the author’s works.

This review originally found on Looking Glass Reads. ( )
  kateprice88 | Jul 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Borne (1.5)
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Thanks to Sjón for allowing me to borrow one of his blue foxes.
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The Strange Bird's first thought was of a sky over an ocean she had never seen, in a place far from the fire-washed laboratory from which she emerged, cage smashed open but her wings, miraculous, unbroken.
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A short story set in the world of BORNE.

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