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King Crow [Kindle Edition]

Michael Stewart
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £2.27 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

THE GUARDIAN - "A beguiling mix of anomie and ornithology.This novel is brilliant.' DAVID PEACE. " A brilliant novel. One of the best debuts I have read in years." Paul Cooper is an outsider. When he looks at people he wonders what bird they are. He finds making friends difficult especially when he has to move from school to school, so he obsesses about ornithology until he meets Ashley...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 248 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Bluemoose Books (3 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,320 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael Stewart is a multi-award winning writer, born and brought up in Salford, who moved to Yorkshire in 1995 and is now based in Bradford. He has written several full length stage plays, one of which, Karry Owky, was joint winner of the King's Cross Award for New Writing, as well as securing work in radio and television.

He was the winner of the BBC Alfred Bradley Award in 2003 and his plays have been performed in Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, London, and extensively throughout the country. His radio play Excluded was shortlisted for the Imison Award 2008.

He was writer in residence at Theatre in the Mill in Bradford, and is now senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Huddersfield, where he is the director of the Huddersfield Literature Festival and the editor of Grist Books.

His fiction has been published widely in anthologies and magazines, including Route, Leaf Books, Brand Magazine and Aesthetica. His debut novel, King Crow, was published in January 2011 by Bluemoose Books. It is the winner of the Guardian's Not-the-Booker Award and has been selected as a recommended read for World Book Night.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King Crow: Page turner! 19 Jan. 2011
King CrowIf it's an innovative story you're after, then this is certainly the book to choose. Beautifully written - with a twist which, upon second reading, seems so effortlessly woven into the plot, you'll understand exactly why you missed it - this is a fast moving, gripping tale from the perspective of a damaged teenager with an unusual way of coping. Informative, exciting, and, at times, intense!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Future cult classic 13 Aug. 2011
By Joanne Sheppard TOP 1000 REVIEWER
King Crow by Michael Stewart is the story of a lonely, neglected boy, dragged from one Salford estate (and consequently school) to another by his mother, who, since the departure of his father, has lurched between numerous failed relationships, all with women, and appears to suffer from clinical depression. Clearly an intelligent boy, Paul doesn't make friends easily: he's only really interested in birds, relates all people to them, and struggles to understand why everyone else wouldn't be interested in them too. His social awkwardness and atypical thought processes mean he doesn't do well at school, and his unstable home life doesn't help - so he's a serial truant and spends lessons drawing pictures: he's worked out that in most of his schools, under-achieving isn't a problem if you're quiet and keep your pen on the paper.

Paul is an obvious target for bullies then, and his saviour in this regard is Ashley O'Keefe. Good-looking, tough and charismatic, Ashley is everything that Paul isn't - but he's also a runner for a local criminal gang. A chain of events straight from a gritty urban thriller means that Paul and Ashley are soon driving a stolen car to Cumbria, where Paul's beloved ravens circle above Helvellyn and where matters are complicated by Becky, a middle-class raver who spurns streetwise Ashley for shy, awkward Paul. The catalytic effect that Becky has on Paul and Ashley's relationship and their foolish decision to accept hospitality from a former violent bank robber with a fondness for skunk, turn Paul's life upside-down.

Much of the book takes place in rural Cumbria, but the details of Paul's life in Salford, first introduced in the early chapters and recurring throughout in flashback as Paul recalls them, are exceptionally well-observed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to re-read 14 Jun. 2011
By Annie O
My mother picked up this book to give me as it was set in Salford, where she still lives and I grew up. Stewart creates a good sense of place as well as a sympathetic portrait of Cooper, who has issues - and a good line in deadpan humour. The bird motif is beautifully done, and with a light touch. It's a gripping and original tale (even the more far-fetched plot twists are believable as you read them) and it certainly lingers with you. The ending - which I did not see coming - gave me a sleepless night. I rarely re-read a book, but King Crow may be the exception.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the hallmarks of a cult classic 12 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading this novel and found it to be refreshingly original, both in terms of the written structure and also the approach, in which Paul Cooper retreats from a lonely, dysfunctional life into a world dominated by birds. His entire sense of identity is linked so strongly to the birds he loves and the narrative structures so much of the plot around his appreciation and knowledge of the subject matter.
I don't want to drop any spoilers in here but this is also a damn good story with a satisfying twist. Michael Stewart gives Cooper a believable voice, one that whilst sometimes desperate in its loneliness, is never prone to self pity and avoids the possible pitfall of relying too heavily on the bird angle and making the adolescent Cooper too off the wall to relate to. I was intrigued and touched by the narrative and as the plot threads come together the climax was unexpected until it unfolded and yet the clues had been skilfully woven in such a way that no reader could feel suddenly cheated.
I imagine that this title will build a steady and loyal fan base as time passes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who is the target audience? 30 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a first novel and as such, a brave mix of topics. First we have the "fantastic" story of the young boy's school life and adventures outside. The story's heavily interspersed with beautifully written passages describing the physical and personality aspects of various birds,the young boy's passionate hobby. I found myself wondering what sort of person these two very different parts old the novel would appeal to. My view is that the fantasy element is aimed at adolescents, but how many of those share a deep love of ornithology?
I not especially interested in birds. Although I appreciated the descriptive passages, they were lengthy and I found myself skimming them. The fantasy element was not my taste .
Whilst I don't wish to dismiss the book out of hand (I read it as a reading club exercise, therefore not my choice) I did find myself wondering just what audience he was aiming for . I didn't work for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book with depth and feeling 20 Jan. 2011
Out of the 10 books I have read in the last six months, Brighton Rock and this are my top two. I felt this book got more and more interesting as the story developed. Being Northern I definitely felt affinity with the areas and descriptions, but this is a book for all who want good page turning intelligent literature
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Immerse yourself
I love this book. It's innovative, daring and in places it reminds me so much of my own childhood and adolescence. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sinka
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Great depiction of a boy growing up in hard times, moving and sad with an unexpected twist and largely revealing the human creative imagination to muddle through. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Melanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I bought this for my 19year old son, and he loved it. He couldn't stop reading it. Excellent condition. I would recommend this book.
Published 13 months ago by Mrs Lynn Caress
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift whatever your interpretation
A great many reviews here,including the positive ones,seem to undersell Michael Stewart's debut novel. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Spuddles82
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, original and highly readable
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The voice of the central character is intriguing and convincing throughout and his central 'oddness' compels you to read on. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars great twist at the end
I really enjoyed this novel. Main character is very believeable and i like the references to birds, they made it a bit different and are a good way of getting under the characters... Read more
Published on 22 Jan. 2013 by hostelgirl
3.0 out of 5 stars not a turkey, but ...
the constant bird references were annoying and clunky. They felt like an add-on to bolster the story and came across as a bit forced. A bit of a curate's egg this one.
Published on 7 Jan. 2013 by F. Metcalfe
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Found the bird facts very interesting. The main thread was a bit weird but all in all a very enjoyable read.
Published on 8 Dec. 2012 by Antoinette Fisher
3.0 out of 5 stars Twist? What twist?
I should start by saying that I enjoyed reading this book. It is my style of literature and, knowing the areas of Salford mentionned, I was able to feel like I was inside the head... Read more
Published on 11 Sept. 2012 by J. Lowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Twist at the end
I ordered this book when I saw the great reviews about it. I'm so glad I did, it is very cleverly done, I learned a lot about birds too and the descriptions of nature were a joy, I... Read more
Published on 3 Sept. 2012 by Jane E. Marsden
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