Helpful votes received on reviews: 100% (8 of 8)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 271,630 - Total Helpful Votes: 8 of 8
A Sparrowhawk's Lament: How British Breeding Birds&hellip by David Cobham
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Anyone with a real interest in diurnal raptors will learn something from this book; if you think you know a few species well, here's a shortcut to the rest. Nicely written in proper English, packed full of information, but also a very engaging read and further enlivened by many of Bruce Pearson's paintings (which typically capture the bird and the setting to perfection). This is not a 'quick & dirty' desk study using sources on the internet but a reflection of decades of the author's engagement with his subject and of contact with like-minded observers and activists. Taking each breeding species in turn, the author gives an overview of their historical and recent status, based in part on… Read more
The Black Spider (New York Review Books Classics) by Jeremias Gotthelf
The Black Spider is an allegorical tale seeking to demonstrate the benefits of a fervently God-fearing life and the contrasting hell-on-Earth that results from dealing with the Devil. And I do mean God-fearing because the book's closing sentence is explicit that God is the source both of the powers of men and of the evil done by The Black Spider! Written in the first half of the 19th century, the tone of the book is almost mediaeval (bringing to mind those vivid altarpiece paintings of the torments of hell). The author was born in 1797, the son of a pastor, and himself became a pastor in the Emmental. Jeremias Gotthelf (pen name of Albert Bitzius) has written a narrative that is… Read more
When the Time Comes by Josef Winkler
When the Time Comes by Josef Winkler
Gosh. Where to start with this one? Unusually, the blurb on the back is a reasonable guide to the contents. The "Time" in the title is the time of a person's death, and the book is indeed a kind of necrology: an enumeration and study of the ever-increasing dead in a rural village in alpine Austria. There is no real plot, little elaboration of characters, but a remorseless succession of deaths by suicide, accident or illness. Few features persist: the village built in the shape of a cross, the calvary with its terrible figure of Satan next to Christ, the overarching grip of Catholicism. The recurring human character is the Bone Collector - a now ninety year old man who looks after the… Read more

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