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Nature writing at its best,
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This review is from: The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
Recently I have read birdlife described by birders, a stand up comedian and a prize-winning journo. The beauty of this writing surpasses them as the Golden Jubilee Diamond does cubic zirconia.
It relates the author's obsessive stalking of a peregrine falcon and its mate across the East Anglian countryside. He transforms the insouciant weather, landscape and falcon into interlocking metaphors of each other.
The falcons soar and stoop over their territory, their progress tracked by the clouds of birds that burst up as they pass. Sometimes foolhardy crows, jays and blackbirds pursue them, but they are dropped by the disdainful wing flicks of this the world's fastest creature.
At times the descriptions of savagery are simultaneously beautiful and breathtakingly visceral. Almost every paragraph contains a gem in a carefully crafted setting:
"...The kingfisher shone in mud at the river's edge, like a brilliant eye. He was tattered with blood, stained with the blood red colour of his stumpy legs that were stiff and red as sticks of sealing wax, cold in the lapping ripple of the river. He was like a dead star, whose green and turquoise light still glimmers down through the long light years."
A book to be read slowly and enjoyed with full visualisation.