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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A multifaceted gem
Some cultural history makes one feel that the author thinks only other cultural historians are a worthy audience. This wonderful book is not one of them. It is the sort of thing that makes you feel smarter by the minute. It links the culture and mythology of falcon imagery to the riveting details of ancient and modern falconry and sandwiches them together with an...
Published on 24 Jan 2006 by Christina McLeish

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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
After a short introduction this book is divided into six parts: 1: Natural History. 2: Mythical Falcons. 3: Trained Falcons. 4: Threatened Falcons. 5: Military Falcons. 6: Urban Falcons. These chapters are followed by a timeline, references, bibliography and associations and websites and there is an index.

Although the work is packed with interesting...
Published 22 months ago by H. A. Weedon


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A multifaceted gem, 24 Jan 2006
This review is from: Falcon (Animal) (Paperback)
Some cultural history makes one feel that the author thinks only other cultural historians are a worthy audience. This wonderful book is not one of them. It is the sort of thing that makes you feel smarter by the minute. It links the culture and mythology of falcon imagery to the riveting details of ancient and modern falconry and sandwiches them together with an examination of falcons and the military (my favourite part).
Macdonald writes with unpretentious erudition, ease and wit, and has that rare quality (in a historian) of knowing when parts of history are just funny as hell. Look out for the story of the New York falconer who was run out of town because his peregrine was eating the Mafia's racing pigeons. The book is lavishly and gorgeously illustrated, with brilliant and often hilarious captions which all by themselves make the book a brilliant browser. Stills from the Royal Tennenbaums and A Canterbury Tale, the US Airforce's mascot peregrines, heart-stopping shots of the peregrine's famous 200mph stoop. With human skydiver in tow.
Seriously. Falcons are just cool. And after this, you'll know why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, 13 Nov 2013
This review is from: Falcon (Animal) (Paperback)
Fantastic book full of interesting information on all species of birds not just the falcon. Easy to read and take on board, looking to buy more in this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 13 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Falcon (Animal) (Kindle Edition)
It's a fascinating subject, beautifully and intelligently written in a way that is way, way above what you would call 'normally good writing'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 6 Dec 2012
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H. A. Weedon "Mouser" (North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Falcon (Animal) (Paperback)
After a short introduction this book is divided into six parts: 1: Natural History. 2: Mythical Falcons. 3: Trained Falcons. 4: Threatened Falcons. 5: Military Falcons. 6: Urban Falcons. These chapters are followed by a timeline, references, bibliography and associations and websites and there is an index.

Although the work is packed with interesting information under each heading, which many readers will find interesting, it lacks focus. There are no distribution maps and no family tree showing the relationship of falcons amongst themselves and in relation to birds in general. The illustrations have been included in a rather haphazard fashion.

The book is also unfair to European readers in that it's not even handed. It over-concentrates on peregrines in America to the detriment of the UK and the rest of Europe and, indeed, other parts of the world. This is, in fact, a 'curate's egg book' - good in parts. It's a missed opportunity and could have done better. The truth is, there are quite a number of better books about falcons and falconry, most of them available on AMAZON in one form or another.

This is all very sad because the book is filled with promise that never quite materialises, hobbled as it is by muddled illustrations and, a times, slapdash presentation. In a way, it depends on what the reader is looking for. If it's just as an interesting read, then you will probably like it well enough. If you're looking for a focussed reference work, this book is not for you.
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Falcon (Animal)
Falcon (Animal) by Helen Macdonald (Paperback - 9 Jan 2006)
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