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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and courage go hand in hand in these two novellas
Pulizer-Prize winning Paul Gallico is, alas, almost forgotten today; many of his wonderful stories, including the classics "The Man Who Was Magic" and "The Hand of Mary Constable" are out of print. But "The Snow Goose" has endured, and it is arguably his greatest work. Cutting across ages, generations and paradigms, it portrays the inner...
Published on 6 Jun 1999

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Manipulative and sentimental
A hunchback artist called Rhayader moves to a lighthouse to paint the coast and the birds. He lives a lonely existence because of his appearance. The nearby village begins circulating rumours that the hunchback is magical and an ignorant girl called Frith takes a damaged snow goose to him to heal which he does with basic medicine (splints, bandages, etc.). The two bond...
Published 1 month ago by Sam Quixote


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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and courage go hand in hand in these two novellas, 6 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Pulizer-Prize winning Paul Gallico is, alas, almost forgotten today; many of his wonderful stories, including the classics "The Man Who Was Magic" and "The Hand of Mary Constable" are out of print. But "The Snow Goose" has endured, and it is arguably his greatest work. Cutting across ages, generations and paradigms, it portrays the inner beauty of Philip Rhayader, a man grotesque in appearance yet filled with the deepest compassion for all beings in distress, whether a wounded bird or wounded soldiers. The love triangle between Rhayader, the goose, and the child-woman Frith is unequalled in literature.
The Small Miracle, the other novella in this book, is about love and courage of a very different sort. In this, a young boy takes on the rigid rules of the Catholic Church in his bid to take his dear dying donkey - his only true friend in the world - to the crypt of St Francis so that she may yet be healed.
A must buy - before this also joins other Gallico works in the out-of-print category in an age which no longer seems to value simplicity in writing and prefers passions of the flesh to those of the heart and the mind.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful and valuable story, 23 May 2001
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
I found this book by the sleeve notes from the progressive rock album by Camel. I had always enjoyed the music but never knew the story behind the album.
The book is the story of a man and his relationship with others. He overcomes all the disadvantages of his life to prove that courage and bravery are not the sole territory of the few.
Read this book because it has an emotional impact that is rare in this day and age. If you are an ageing progressive rocker, this book will give real meaning to a seminal work of the era.
I only wish that I had read this work as a teenager and taken to heart the values and emotions that are in this story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two classic stories, 2 Oct 2009
By 
S. Whittaker (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Both The Snow Goose and The Small Miracle are unforgettable stories which I would recommend to anybody who enjoys good literature. I first read them myself many years ago when a teenager but bought a copy through Amazon recently as I wanted to re-read and to share them with my fifteen-year-old daughter.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Snow Goose legend, 1 Dec 2009
This review is from: The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
This really is a lovely short story that can be read and appreciated by kids and grown up kids as well. Probably one of the best short stories of its kind. Recommended to all with a sentimental streak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Manipulative and sentimental, 24 Oct 2014
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
A hunchback artist called Rhayader moves to a lighthouse to paint the coast and the birds. He lives a lonely existence because of his appearance. The nearby village begins circulating rumours that the hunchback is magical and an ignorant girl called Frith takes a damaged snow goose to him to heal which he does with basic medicine (splints, bandages, etc.). The two bond over the snow goose which returns each year to visit until eventually it settles down to live with Rhayader all year round. Then World War 2 begins and their small idyllic existence is forever lost.

I'm really puzzled as to who the audience for The Snow Goose is.

It looks like a kid's book - at 40ish pages, it's a short story, and it's fully illustrated - so it might be aimed at kids 10 or under. But then a large part of the story centres around the Dunkirk evacuation from WW2 and unrequited love - military history and complex adult emotions aren't really things I'd say pre-pubescent junior school kids would have any knowledge of.

Unless it's not aimed at kids and it's supposed to be for teenagers and older? Except it looks like too much of a kid's book to appeal to any teens. I know when I was in high school, I only had eyes for books by Terry Pratchett, Stephen King and Douglas Adams, steering well clear of anything for kids.

And adults? Would a 40ish page illustrated short story appeal to them, and would they be engaged with the thin story, one-dimensional characters and excessive sentimentality? Besides highlighting that there was an evacuation at Dunkirk in 1940, it doesn't provide any insight to the event.

It's baffling, though I'm an adult (technically anyway!) and I picked this up as I was told it's a classic. Except it's not. Neither Rhayader or Frith could be considered well-written, rounded, memorable characters in the least, and the story is extremely boring for the most part. It becomes mildly interesting - though incredibly far-fetched - once Rhayader and the snow goose take off in a skiff to the coast of Dunkirk to help ferry stranded British soldiers from the beach to the larger ships anchored nearby. But that little piece of fantasy doesn't really make this a classic.

There's far too much mawkish sentimentality over unspoken love, and tragic and needless death, and so on, but it felt manipulative of the author rather than genuine. I wasn't saddened by the ending, I just wondered what the point of it was. It's much too brief a story to make you feel anything about any of the "characters".

I suppose kids might enjoy the book - it's not a challenging read, though I'm not sure what a kid is going to get out of it. Older readers are likely to be unsatisfied with the brevity of the shallow tale. The Snow Goose, aka Hunchbacks Need Love Too, is a forgettable and trite short story that easily impressed romance fans or readers looking for sentiment for the sake of sentiment will enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tiny book - but it packs a huge emotional punch!, 11 Jun 2010
By 
This review is from: The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
I had two customers come into our bookshop asking for this book in the last week or so - a frequent occurrence when something has been recently featured on the radio. The second customer, a sweet little old lady, fell into a tone of deep reverence and told me it was 'lovely, just lovely - I knew I needed to have a copy!' Well, happily for me, I did have a copy, so I searched it out and read it straight away!

The back of my edition says 'The Snow Goose' is 'a beautiful tale of a hunchbacked artist, a girl, a wounded bird and a courageous act at Dunkirk.' It being a short story, there really isn't much I can add to that without ruining it. All I CAN say is that my customer was right - it IS lovely. From the first page it resounded with poetry and bravery, deep sadness and a profound love and respect for the natural world. By the end I was in tears and absolutely certain that this book wouldn't be leaving my shelves any time soon.

The second story, 'The Small Miracle', is a modern fable about a poor orphaned Italian boy, Pepino, and his quest to save his best friend and only remaining family, his beloved donkey Violetta. She is very sick, and his only chance is to get her into the crypt of his local church at Assisi for St. Francis to heal her. Again, it's a very moving story - orphan boy, sick donkey, here come the tears again! - and it's woven through with an appealing atmosphere of innocence and faith.

For me, the first story will be unforgettable; the second story less so, but still far surpassing every other short story I have ever read, at least as far as my memory serves! Very highly recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure, 26 Jan 2007
By 
Vicky Ward (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
My Dad handed me a very old copy of this book to read a few years ago and I recently re discovered it's brilliance.

It is a beautiful short story that is written in such a captivating way that it would be hard to stop reading till you get to the end in just one sitting.

I would recommend this to anyone who appreciates the beauty of description and emotion a book can sometimes offer a reader.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, gripping, and deeply moving., 3 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
What an incredible book. Beauifuuly written and incredibly moving, I read this book within a matter of hours, and finished with tears streaming down my face. It is one of those incredibly powerful books, which you are actually sad to finish because it was so enjoyable to read. I would definitely recommend to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Gallico The Snow Goose, 26 May 2010
By 
C. Woodward (cheshire england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
I have had this book for quite a while only reading it this week. It is an extraordinary and moving story of a gentle but disfigured man alone but for his birds and a young girl. I would love to see this story filmed,but it would need great sensitivity or it would fail for lack of understanding and sincerity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snow Goose, 8 Aug 2010
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This review is from: The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
A very quick read but thoroughly enjoyable. Had been recommended it by a friend and eventually got round to ordering it. Poignant and moving.
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The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin)
The Snow Goose; And The Small Miracle (Essential Penguin) by Paul Gallico (Paperback - 22 Feb 2001)
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