- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (5 Sept. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408821206
- ISBN-13: 978-1408821206
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 20.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In Hardcover – 5 Sep 2011
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Mills is a true original who has always ploughed his own - occasionally surreal - furrow in a series of comic gems. His latest, a quirky mix of fairy tale and political satire, offers clear parallels between the fictional world and our own. It's like Orwell's 1984 rewritten by Tolkien. **** (Mail on Sunday)
'Comedy's blackest, funniest and most astute practitioner' (Daily Telegraph)
Just when you think Magnus Mills couldn't possibly get any better, off he goes. This is a masterpiece. (Dan Rhodes, author of Timoleon Vieta Come Home)
A beautiful, singular book; funny and acutely observed. (Independent on Sunday)
One of our finest comic stylists on top form. (Financial Times)
Magnus Mills is Britain's most original writer, so forget everything you've been told about fiction - he has never even heard of the rules that apply to everyone else (The Times)
'He has no literary precedent, and he also appears to have no imitators. He mines a seam that no one else touches on, every sentence in every book having a Magnus Mills ring to it that no other writer could produce' IndependentSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
As in other books, Mills achieves a pleasantly defocussed tone by being non specific about references to the real world. For example, composers are mentioned, and we may guess who they are, but their names are not given. The approaching winter festival is the "Twelve Day Feast". The play that the Ministers are rehearsing may be MacBeth. Above all, the "I" who narrates the book - Composer to the Imperial Court (though the actual composition is carried out by one of the serfs in the orchestra) and one of the Cabinet - is never named, nor is his (they are all male, and indeed I don't think there is a single female character in the book, save perhaps for the dancing girls who are mentioned a few times but never appear) background (or any of the others) given.Read more ›
It's a shame the novel isn't longer, I didn't want it to end!
write the way he does. I can well imagine some people may think he's mad until they realize he's making a very valid point about human behaviour. His books may not be very long but they say much more than many books with 4-500 pages. A Cruel Bird is yet another example of the way in which he makes you think about things - where are we heading? I've read everything Magnus Mills has written and will continue to do so - if you've not read any of his books then do yourself a favour and start now, you wont regret it.
The story is narrated by an unnamed man who has just been appointed by royal decree to be the Principal Composer to the Imperial Court Greater Fallowfields, never mind that he has no training in music whatsoever. He joins the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Postmaster General, the Astronomer General, the Comptroller for the Admiralty, the Surveyor of Imperial Works, the Pellitory-of-the-Wall, and the Librarian-in-Chief, as the cabinet to the "His Exalted Highness, the Majestic Emperor of the Realms, Dominions, Colonies and Commonwealth of Greater Fallowfields." Unfortunately, his majesty is entirely absent, and in the absence of the emperor, the cabinet must keep Fallowfields running smoothly. However, in the days leading up to the "Twelve-Day Feast," it becomes evident that not all is well in the surrounding realms, as a group of traveling players bring ill rumors, and someone appears to be building a railroad headed straight for the imperial capital.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like Magnus Mills already you will love this. If youve not read him before prepare yourself for some 'whats going on' type of normality; nothing too strange, and to be... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Alex
Have to apply a bit of a caveat to this review. I'm a big fan of Magus Mills. After reading his first book "Restraint of Beast" I've been hooked on his writing style that... Read morePublished on 30 April 2015 by Andrew Gibson
Clever without being patronizing, funny without being broad, it has something to say without shoving it down your throat and politicized without being antagonistic. Read morePublished on 6 Nov. 2014 by Lee Hazell
goes nowhere slowly and is it having a dig at the Great British Empire .? not Mill's best effort in my view as I have read all his other booksPublished on 19 May 2014 by jon duckham
I like Magnus Mills novels. I like the brevity of the prose. I love the quirky sideways slant from which he approaches his subject. Read morePublished on 20 Jun. 2013 by Paul Villa
This was recommended by a friend whose views and values I respect. At no point did I wish I wasn't reading it but very rarely was I delighted by the words on the page, which is... Read morePublished on 22 Jan. 2013 by Jessie M
I bought this book for a friend who introduced me to Magnus Mills when his first book was published. He is a quirky but brilliant writer in my opinion. I have read all his books. Read morePublished on 19 Jan. 2013 by Annief1