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on 24 March 2013
This is a lovely book, very funny but you learn so much as you go along and of course it is a love story too!
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on 8 May 2014
This was a great little book which made me laugh out loud as I read it. A lovely twist to it.
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on 8 March 2015
A romance, a mystery, a comedy and nature guide all in one. I loved it.
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VINE VOICEon 17 February 2010
An engaging collection of shaggy dog stories and anecdotes,from the life of comic Rory McGrath, all connected to his interest in ornithology.

There are a number of autobiographical works where the author uses a love of Natural History as the unifying element in their life story; Gerald Durrell's "My Family and Other Animals" and Jocelyn Brookes's "The Military Orchid" are two excellent examples of this type of book. "Bearded Tit" falls short of these autobiograhies, for one thing, Rory McGrath's interest in birdwatching (as he readily admits) is a little haphazard; Not quite half hearted but certainly not all-consuming. This means that this book feels a bit like being buttonholed by an affable rancontuer, but not like sharing a great passion.

The format:short, slight, often very slight, episodes means the book resembles a collection of short stories. This makes for an easy enough read, but sometimes the overarching narrative is lost.

Having said that, the last chapter, with a twist-ending I must admit I didn't see coming, ties the whole work up well. It would be a churlish reader who was not able to wish McGrath well by the time we reach the end of his meandering but often moving tale.
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on 11 October 2014
Good read
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on 26 April 2009
I purchsed this for a friend and she has just reported back to me how good it was. For what it's worth, she loves birds and has a very 'broad' sense of humour!
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on 20 July 2013
Rory manages to weave birds, avian, and birds, human in a cunning comic cavalcade. Funny punny story of his early g/f experiences.
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on 2 February 2009
Just finished reading "Bearded Tit:" my advice is don't bother -- a thoroughly disappointing book. Although McGrath has excellent material he has put it together very badly to contrive a surprise on the last page. This is not so much a book as a collection loosely connected thoughts, it is as much like a book as a smart one liner is like a well crafted comedy routine. And McGrath is certainly accomplished as a presenter of one-liners.

The book starts off very promisingly with him recounting his undergraduate life at Cambridge University, although we learn very little about him apart from his obsession for the unattainable JJ. But she, like his characterisations in the whole book, lacks depth. With the failure of his freshly consummated relationship with JJ the book falls apart and we are left with some loosely connected tales -- too brief even to be called vignettes. The only name dropping he does from his time at Cambridge is a brief reference to Griff's sexual prowess (Rhys Jones one assumes).

If you are a birdwatcher you may be impressed with McGrath's encyclopaedic knowledge of the scientific names of birds, a knowledge which he does not stint in displaying.

The ending is the BIG surprise that McGrath has been contriving throughout the book. And that contriving is the reason the book fell apart. There is an interesting story hiding in here, it is a pity he did not tell it.
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on 2 January 2014
I have picked up this book and tried to stick with it but I can't get on with it .Sorry Rory not my cup of tea for a good read.
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on 26 July 2010
I can see why some reviewers enjoyed the book and others didn't, McGrath has quite a quite self indulgent writing style where he tells stories that always see him coming up with some humorous quip that in most cases are hard to believe happened. He seems to enjoy quoting the latin names of birds and showing off, which the first half dozen times is impressive and I get that he's got a good memory, but when he's still doing this in the last few chapters its gets a bit dull. Overall a book more about his life than birding.
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