The Bird Room and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£2.79
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK. Your order will be picked, packed and dispatched by Amazon. Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Bird Room Paperback – 22 Jan 2009

60 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 22 Jan 2009
£0.01 £0.01

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card for your child's school by voting for their favourite book. Learn more.
  • Prepare for the summer with our pick of the best selection for children (ages 0 - 12) across Amazon.co.uk.


Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card and 30 Kindle E-readers for your child or pupil's school.
Vote for your child or pupil(s) favourite book(s) here to be in with a chance to win.

Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books (22 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847672604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847672605
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.6 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,323,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Killen was born in 1981 and lives in Manchester. He is the author of the novels In Real Life (2015) and The Bird Room (2009).

Product Description

Review

A blackly comic tale of awkward young love. --Guardian



The Bird Room is an astonishingly good first novel. I was gripped from the first page. (M. J. Hyland)

A strangely merry look at the agony of true love. (Dazed and Confused)

The Bird Room is a beautiful Chinese puzzle of a novel. (Toby Litt)

Sparely written, cool, jaunty, darkly comic, with a sharp ear for voice and manner. (Guardian)

Chris Killen's first novel is either disturbingly brilliant or brilliantly disturbing. Whichever, I loved it. (Steven Hall)

A darkly stylish comedy of sexual manners. (Metro)

Beautiful, laconic and chockablock with uneasy sex - like having a threesome with your girlfriend and Richard Brautigan. (Richard Milward)

Creates a cast of unlikeable and morally dubious characters yet still makes his books compelling [with] flashes of linguistic brilliance.

Review

Creates a cast of unlikeable and morally dubious characters yet still makes his books compelling [with] flashes of linguistic brilliance.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lou Ice on 4 May 2010
Format: Paperback
The only thing I didn't like about this book was the title. But at the moment I can't think of a better one ... Perhaps Will and William.

To use the same name for the protagonist and the antagonist is key in this story. It keeps you confused until the very end ... and then all of sudden everything makes sense. It made me feel sad and disgusted and happy at the same time.

In short Will or William (who's just left his job and spends his days doing nothing) can't believe his luck when a girl called Alice wants to be his girlfriend. He just makes one big mistake: introducing him to his so-called best friend Will or William ...

In another part of town, Helen - a girl not unlike Alice - is making money from acting. But it's not exactly Shakespeare ... and her path crosses Will's or William's path in a way you'd not expected.

I was hooked from the first chapter and couldn't stop reading. I loved the Bird room because of the way it's written. It's simplistic yet complicated with a clever twist.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leyla Sanai on 20 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
The Bird Room is Chris Killen's first novel. It came out in hardback this year and the paperback edition is being published in January 2010. It's slim enough to read in a day, and the simplicity of its style means it's an undemanding read, gobbled up as easily as a comic. Yet despite its easy readability, it's quirky and whimsical - think Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with black adult streaks; a slight delight that can be snaffled between heavier fare.

Related mostly in the first person and the third person, the story unfolds in the present tense interspersed with flash-backs. At the start, the narrator is introducing a girl called Alice to his friend Will, a louche, shallow artist. Why is he introducing them? Is he match-making? We soon realise this is not the case. This neurotic young narrator has worried himself into a corner, created problems where there were none. In short, his paranoia about why his girlfriend likes him is destroying his relationship. Hampered by emotional inarticulacy, he anxiously digs himself into a hole. Meanwhile, his introduction of Alice to his 'friend' Will backfires.

This is a sweet, funny novelette which zips along like one of those cartoon relationships they used to have in girls' magazines of the '70s and '80s like My Guy and Jackie, only it's told from the boy's point of view rather than the girl's and with darker aspects of life thrown in. And we find out that boys can be just as over-analytical, worried and self-destructive as girls.

The humour comes from the way young men and women circle each other like mating animals, laughing coquettishly and trying to impress each other; acting parts.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 May 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a very short book which I read in two sittings, but since I finished it a few days ago I've found myself thinking about it more and more - the first time a book has nagged at me for a long while.

The book seems simple enough at first, telling the story of a man (Will) and his girlfriend (Alice), and Will's artistic friend who is also called Will. Non-arty Will introduces Alice to arty-Will, and from then on their relationship crumbles. A simple, if bleak, opening.

Then, the story shifts, and deals with another girl, Helen, who seems to work as a prostitute, and she has a (imaginary?) sister, and lives with a woman who doesn't approve of Helen's job and is herself rarely seen due to her night-time job in a casino. Helen hears from a potential client who wants to have sex with her on camera... and his name is Will too...

From this point the story becomes something of a puzzle, and you find yourself wondering who is who - is Helen really Alice; is the Will visited by Helen arty-Will or non-arty-Will or another Will entirely; is the Helen storyline set before, during or after the Wills & Alice story... and so on. In some ways any of these could be possible, and in the end the story ends ambiguously, almost as though the author wasn't quite sure himself.

Some have commented that they feel the urge to read the book again in case they missed something obvious, and I myself feel a little like this. I found myself flicking back through the book every now and again when certain things were mentioned which I was convinced I'd previously read, and sure enough there are plenty of links between the characters and storylines to be found. To be honest, I did enjoy the book and found it intriguing, but am I going to read it again to see what I missed?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By O E J TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Official reviewer M J Hyland states that this is "an astonishingly good novel. I was gripped from the first page". That's laying it on a bit thick, as the first page is made up of five lines, the most meaningful of which include "I'm standing in the corner of the living room, naked. Her favourite hat hangs from my erection." Sorry, but that wasn't enough to grip me. Another official reviewer also quoted on the back cover, Toby Litt, opines "An extremely engaging combo of sex, melancholy and killer one-liners." Again I have to disagree, the sex wasn't engaging and most of the one-liners left me straight-faced. In fact, novels in general are difficult to make funny and the overwhelming majority that I have read, and which claim to be laugh-out-loud hilarious, have been lead-balloons in reality. And there's little I like more than a good laugh.

So with the book having a sense of humour failure, I turn to more fundamental issues such as the quality of the story and the characters. First of all I did not like the near permananent use of writing in the present tense, it was a distraction that I could have done without and while I became accistomed to it I always felt it to be a niggling distraction that more conventional past tense writing would not have caused. The storyline is well documented here on Amazon and I would concur that it is, in a nutshell, a lot about nothing much. That could have been reconciled by fascinating character development, but in my opinion it was never anything special and the bottom line is that I cared little for any of the main characters involved, and that's a fatal flaw in any novel even if the story is good and the writing of good quality.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback