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An English Guide to Birdwatching By NicholasRoyle,

  • Title: An English Guide to Birdwatching
  • Author: NicholasRoyle
  • ISBN: 9781908434944
  • Page: 132
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Silas and Ethel Woodlock have retired from the business of undertaking to spend their twilight years by the sea but things are not as easy as they d hoped, and it s all to do with herring gulls Stephen Osmer and Lily Lynch are a glamorous young couple on the London literary scene While Lily pursues an ambitious public art project about cinematic intentions , we encounteSilas and Ethel Woodlock have retired from the business of undertaking to spend their twilight years by the sea but things are not as easy as they d hoped, and it s all to do with herring gulls Stephen Osmer and Lily Lynch are a glamorous young couple on the London literary scene While Lily pursues an ambitious public art project about cinematic intentions , we encounter Osmer s brilliance as an arts journalist, writing a dangerously provocative essay about social justice and the banking crisis, as well as a diatribe about two people called Nicholas Royle, one a novelist, the other a literary critic.Nicholas Royle s magnificent new novel combines a page turning story about literary theft, adultery and ambition with a poetic and moving investigation into our relationship to birds and to the environment It is exquisitely inventive and very funny, juxtaposing the stuff of scandalous gossip with scathing reports of how the world has gone to hell in a handcart Playfully commenting on the main story are 17 interlinked Hides Beautifully illustrated by artist Natalia Gasson, these short texts primarily about birds, ornithology and films including Hitchcock s give us a different view of the themes that fly out of the novel the messy business of being human, the fragility of the physical world we inhabit and the nature of writing itself Compelling, audacious and dazzling in its linguistic playfulness and formal invention, An English Guide to Birdwatching explores the fertile hinterland between fact and fiction In its focus on birds, climate change, the banking crisis, social justice and human migration, it is intensely relevant to wider political concerns in its mischievous wit and wordplay, and post modern or post fiction sensibility, it pushes the boundaries of what a novel might be.Reviews An English Guide to Birdwatching is a daring novel, both wickedly playful and deeply touching Alison MooreThis is one of the strangest novels I ve read in years Digressive but coercive, impassioned but fey digressive and coercive, impassioned and fey , it s a curiously compelling investigation of the nature of writing and the writing of nature I ended it moved in ways I could not explain I also ended it rather dizzied and thoroughly gulled Robert Macfarlane
    An English Guide to Birdwatching Silas and Ethel Woodlock have retired from the business of undertaking to spend their twilight years by the sea but things are not as easy as they d hoped and it s all to do with herring gulls Stephe

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    1. 3.5 To read a book in terms of its author s intentions is to embark on a wild goose chase This is one of the stranger novels I ve ever read I enjoyed all its parts individually a young literary critic s pet peeves, a retired couple s seaside torture by squawking gulls, the confusion between the two real life English novelists named Nicholas Royle, even the odd bird themed vignettes called Hides even though they don t always seem to fit together in the same book Still, this is so joyfully over th [...]

    2. As we take, in fact, a general view of the wonderful stream of our consciousness, what strikes us first is this different pace of its parts Like a bird s life, it seems to be made of an alternation of flights and perchings.William James, The Principles of Psychology 1890 the work that introduced the term stream of consciousness I want to focus here on the work of just two writers a novelist and a critic The former has not long ago published his seventh novel, variously praised as clever , compel [...]

    3. I would like to write a post fiction novel about love and death, spectrality and the poetics of extinction I fantasise about a book that would be a new form of music, a transformed birdsong, a work of many voices mixed sexes and identities in flight a completely new species of literary psittacism.And I dream about the idea of a hide Jekyll and Hyde No Well, yes and no You have to reckon with what Stephen King calls basement guy and at this point the woodlouse flashed a smile at where they stood [...]

    4. Less a Novel than a Book of EssaysAll right, I should know better than to judge a book by its cover I picked this up in a bookshop in Edinburgh, charmed by its photo of birds, intrigued by the blurb s claim that this would combine fiction with what I took to be nature essays, and anticipating something pleasantly neo romantic and oh so English Wrong The only birds in the story are screeching, swooping, shitting gulls The essays are about politics, contemporary society, and literary theory And th [...]

    5. I want to focus here on the work of just two writers a novelist and a critic The former has not long ago published his seventh novel, variously praised as clever , compelling and ingenious as a cutting edge, vital new British novel as strange, memorable and, arguably, way ahead of its time The latter has not long ago published his tenth book of literary criticism, variously praised as extraordinary , fascinating and exuberant as a book that shows the way forward for literary studies I should str [...]

    6. An English Guide to Birdwatching, by Nicholas Royle, is a novel that plays with words in a manner that makes it a challenge to describe, and in places to read Written in two distinct parts, albeit with the occasional cross reference and a shared conclusion, it poses interesting questions, mesa and meta, about reactions to literature and those who curate it Although fiction, it draws heavily on reality, including roles for the author and his Manchester based namesake It delves into the conceits o [...]

    7. Lily Lynch and Stephen Osmer are your archetypical fashionable couple she is an artist and he is a journalist and critic and they are heavily involved with the glamorous arty people of London Osmer likes to write confrontational stuff about all sorts of subjects, including about an author and critic both called Nicholas Royle Silas and Ethel Woodlock have retired to the Sussex coast to spend their final years near the sea, but what they had not taken into account is how much noise and distress t [...]

    8. Well done, the cover designer I think this must be the first book I ve ever bought just purely because I loved the cover Without the little a novel seagull poo blotch, I would have assumed it to be, just that, a birdwatching guide.Fascinating, bewildering, bizarre and atmospheric, this book pulls the reader in many directions and challenges conventional style As someone who spends quite a lot of time gawping at birds generally, I found the writing stayed with me and added to my musing over their [...]

    9. The first part of this book has flashes of brilliance weaved in amongst a tale that s trying to be a bit too clever for its own good This verbosity was paletable because of the eventual payoff, which I very much enjoyed It felt like it had been squished in though there was so much room for expansion, and I d have preferred to find our about the characters in the first half of the book than have had the Hides section included It was meticiulously researched and incredibly well written, without [...]

    10. One of the most self indulgent, arrogant, messes of a book I ve ever read Nicholas Royle has tried to write a book that encompasses a variety of styles, fiction and non fiction, but it s like going to one of those world buffet food restaurants There s a variety on display, which excites you, but non of it is actually done very well, so you just end up with badly cooked food, none of which goes with anything else that s on the plate with it But in this case it s also really fucking smug and conti [...]

    11. Anyone expecting a guide of any sort to birdwatching is going to be disappointed or at least discombobulated by this book It s a novel, though a strange novel, that at one point breaks down into a series of meditations on different types of bird hides Nicholas Royle is not only the name of the author but of two of the major characters in the novel, characters who of course get confused with each other throughout the course of events The story revolves around a short story on the subject of Gulls [...]

    12. Some good bits but rather look at me I m Writing bits I wasn t sure what the second part was for including lists and lists of things I skipped.

    13. the book is divided in two, part novel part essay the novel was a good satisfying read, witty, opinative lost myself a bit at the essay filled with meaning, i m sure, but for most of the times i couldn t quite grasp an understanding.

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