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Bird Brain Paperback – 2 Aug 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (2 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099563479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099563471
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Only a Briton could have written Bird Brain. Eccentric and anthropomorphic, you’ll either love or hate this book. I loved it. It’s high-spirited, subversive and full of wry social observation and excellent jokes. Think Paul Torday meets Chicken Run" (Daily Mail)

"A bloody brilliant book" (Spectator)

"I loved it... It's a book I've been waiting for all my adult life, for it feels to me like nothing so much as a rather adult version of that other great pheasant story, Roald Dahl's Danny, the Champion of the World" (Rachel Cooke Observer)

"A wonderfully astute satire with full confidence in its own eccentricity... Ripe, rich, fun, this is a beautifully turned story, good to the very last drop" (Sunday Times)

"Tom Sharpe meets Watership Down in the hugely enjoyable story of Basil “Banger” Peyton-Crumbe, a man who, having exulted in the slaughter of game birds all his life, is killed in a shooting accident and reincarnated as a pheasant…. It would not be quite accurate to say the book anthropomorphizes animals because they all retain, quite brilliantly, their animal natures, but at the same time Banger, even as a dim bird begins to gain insight into his shortcomings as a human being.Funny, astute and completely absorbing" (Guardian)

Book Description

A very, very funny novel about country sports, murder, intrigue - and talking pheasants.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I must admit that I did not think I would like this book. I thought that the world viewed through the eyes of animals had been done to death through Watership Down, Duncton Wood, various 'BB' stories and of course Roald Dahl's "The Magic Finger" where ducks turn the tables on their tormentors. Also I thought I would struggle to empathise with pheasants, which I have always thought to be garish, noisy, greedy creatures,
How wrong I was - I really enjoyed this book. Guy Kennaway has succeeded in creating a set of vivid characters, both animal and human, who alternately inspire love and loathing in equal measure. Kennaway also displays a comic touch which had me chuckling away to myself on a number of occasions. The way he portrays the interactions between humans and dogs is done cleverly, particularly the disdain in which dogs hold most humans, valuing them most seemingly for their ability to make 'beautiful' smells!. His finest accomplishment was in persuading me to root for the pheasants in their attempts to avoid coming to a sticky end.
If like me you are unsure whether to buy this book, be bold and take the plunge, you will not be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It is funny and fair, showing both sides of the passions, felt one way or the other, pro or contra hunting. The dogs especially are wonderful characters in themselves and the birds, well, some of them just a little bird brained.Great story, murder and treachery all bound up with talking animals,who in this story are our best friends, as always.
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book. As I started reading I wasn't quite sure what it was or where it was heading but it doesn't take long, just a few pages before the protagonist is dead. We then discover a whole bunch of unusual, well drawn and charismatic characters that take you on a journey that you most certainly have never been on before. It is so hard to review this book because the joy was in the discovery of what unfolds on the page, to mention it in too much detail is to deprive you of something special.
I am a terrible reader, a few pages and i'm off, but this book - I started and I finished in one sitting. I laughed out loud, each giggle more and more personal and heartfelt. A different world from mine and yet I fell under the skin of the characters and the world. I Love Love this book and if I could, would hand out free copies to all grey grumpy looking people especially rich ones with big estates who have no idea what is happening at the bottom of their gardens.
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By Boot-Boy VINE VOICE on 2 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As murder mysteries go this is about as original a slant on crime fiction as you'll find. Following a great literary tradition of books featuring animals that talk - from Orwell's 'Animal Farm', through Grahame's 'Wind in the Willows', to Dick King-Smith's 'Babe, The Gallant Pig' - Kennaway's delightfully entertaining tale features curmudgeonly land-owner Basil 'Banger' Peyton-Crumbe who's never happier than when he has his trusty twelve-bore shotgun tucked into his shoulder, taking a bead on a selection of high, fast birds to test his skills. When an unfortunate incident with said twelve-bore on one of his shoots sees the old boy reincarnated as a pheasant (!) the fun really begins as 'Banger' adapts to his new environment, and sees life from the other end of the barrel. With a fine supporting cast - both animal and human - and some riotous, laugh-out-loud set pieces that reminded this reader of Tom Sharpe at his 'Wilt' finest, what really shines through is the author's obvious love for and knowledge of the countryside - with some hauntingly lyrical and well-observed descriptions of landscape and seasons - not to mention his compelling argument for the proper care and management of that countryside.
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Format: Hardcover
"Bloody brilliant," said the reviewer in the Spectator. I blinked in the semi-darkness at my Kindle and though I had never heard of Guy Kennaway or 'Bird Brain' before, I turned to 'Kindle store' on the menu. In a moment or two, 'Bird Brain' had wafted down on to my screen and I began reading it. Half a world away from Hatchards or Foyles, 3G had brought me the latest offering on their tables in less time than I would have had to wait at the cash desk.
And how glad I am that I succumbed to temptation. 'Bird Brain" is very funny, almost flawless in narration, characterisation,and plot design. It is a superbly crafted piece of humourous fiction. Though set in familiar and recognizable territory (it is not entirely unlike the young A.N.Wilson novels,though much more sturdily constructed, and with echoes of Waugh and Firbank) it is quite different from any novel I have ever read before. The idea of talking animals, a man being reincarnated as a pheasant,a novel about posh folk going shooting might all seem whimsical or even dire. This book is none of those things. It is well..."bloody brilliant".
If there is any justice in this world, Guy Kennaway will rocket on to the best sellers lists with this book and 'Bird Brain' will become a classic. If that happens,it will be great news for everyone lucky enough to read it. And if it doesn't....well at least I have had the fun of reading it.

One single reservation: I don't relish the occasional rabelaisian bits about farts and bums, but may be that is because I am an old fogey.
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