Ostrich Hardcover – 5 Sep 2013
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|Hardcover, 5 Sep 2013||
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A coming-of-age story of some brilliance. I laughed heartily, sobbed unexpectedly (Nathan Filer, author of THE SHOCK OF THE FALL)
Ostrich has given me the most enjoyable reading experience I've had all year and has one of the funniest and most engaging young narrators I've had the pleasure of reading. Matt Greene is seriously funny and in Ostrich proves comedy can be the finest of arts (Matt Haig, author of the Radleys and the Humans)
Irresistible! Ostrich is loaded with wit, charm and wisdom. Alex is one of the sweetest and most inspiring narrators I've ever encountered. I dare you not to laugh, cry and fall utterly in love (Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
One of the bravest novels I've read in a very long time. Greene lets the reader become detective and clue by clue we uncover not only the truth of Alex's world, but the deepest truths of what it means to love and lose (Carol Rifka Brunt, author of Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
Alex is a memorable narrator with a unique perspective on life and this is a highly engaging and funny coming-of-age story that becomes all the more poignant as we begin to wonder how much coming-of-age Alex is going to get (THE BOOKSELLER)
Reading Ostrich is an experience that your emotions will thank you for. It has sad, sweet and funny moments all at once and an ending that takes the breath away. It's close to being the perfect book for adults and young readers alike. (www.thebookbag.co.uk)
it is impossible not to compare Ostrich with another - very well known - book; The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time... well written and well paced, so if you enjoyed the bestseller that inspired Ostrich, you may well enjoy this, too (Christena Appleyard DAILY MAIL)
This is an endearing debut novel from Matt Greene, with an inspired and hilarious take on adolescence...Greene's unusual style and his enchanting wordplay will not only gain him favourable comparisons to Mark Haddon, but potentially earn him a place in the bestseller's list. (TIME OUT)
At once hilarious and heart-wrenching (Robert Douglas-Fairhurst THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
This is a classic case of the unreliable narrator, and the result is both hilarious and heartrendingly poignant. The most powerful aspect of the story is what is not mentioned, and how Alex's parents treat him. They are magnificent. The character portrayals, revealed mainly through dialogue, are so magic I'm going to reread this book immediately...before I pass it on to my son. Read this, and like. And share (Afric McGlinchey IRISH EXAMINER)
Authors are queuing up to lavish praise on this novel: Matt Haig (The Humans) says: "The most enjoyable reading experience I've had all year. It's Seriously Funny". Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette?) says: "Irresistible!". Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell The Wolves I'm Home) says: "One of the bravest novels I've read".See all Product description
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I'm not going to provide a summary of the plot, partly because other reviewers have done this already and partly because in Ostrich the most important things are always the things that are left unsaid, but I will say that having read the book a second time there is not a paragraph out of place. This isn't just a book you HAVE TO READ, it's one you have to re-read, which I did with my jaw on the floor. On my first reading I thought Ostrich was the funniest, saddest, sweetest, most authentic portrait of adolescence I'd ever encountered. On my second reading I realise its also the most cleverly constructed novel I've read in many, many years. Details that I initially thought were only in the book for the sake of authenticity (and hilarity) on re-examination turn out to be so, so relevant all along, which in retrospect only makes the ending more beautiful... and more inevitable.
About the ending. I don't want to talk about it too much at the risk of spoiling it for anyone but all I will say is you haven't guessed it even when you think you've guessed it. That and it WILL BREAK YOUR HEART in the very best possible way.
Ostrich is the only book I've ever read that manages to combine quantum physics, Tricolore French, divorce, fate, brain surgery and the funniest (and most moving) analysis of internet pornography that you will ever read. It's not just the best book of read this year, it's one of the best books I've read in my life. It's a book I know I'll revisit and one that I'll give to my kids when they're old enough to appreciate it. It's completely unlike anything else (comparisons to The Curious Incident To The Dog In The Nighttime are understandable but woefully inadequate) and it will stay with me for a very, very long time. (And it will have me writing in brackets for even longer!)
A child with epilepsy and a brain tumour is neither an obvious nor easy subject for any book. To have created a début novel of this quality (with as many comedic high notes and to have avoided the pitfalls of sentimentality) is a high achievement. I am looking forward to his next book.
I really enjoyed the book, and raced through it very quickly (in a couple of days). When I finished, I was confused as to what had happened, but leafing back a few pages, it was clear just paying a bit better attention in the final chapters would have solved that!
The comparisons to Mark Haddon's Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime are understandable, but largely superficial. This is a very different book. Overall, very enjoyable, very well written and thought out.