An English Guide to Birdwatching by Nicholas Royle

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

But however unconventional An English Guide to Birdwatching may be, it must satisfy; to fail to do so, as this novel does, is to commit the cardinal sin of self-indulgence.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Silas and Ethel Woodlock have retired from the business of undertaking to spend their twilight years by the sea but things are not as easy as they'd hoped, and it's all to do with herring gulls. Stephen Osmer and Lily Lynch are a glamorous young couple on the London literary scene. While Lily pursues an ambitious public art project about 'cinematic intentions', we encounter Osmer's brilliance as an arts journalist, writing a dangerously provocative essay about social justice and the banking crisis, as well as a diatribe about two people called Nicholas Royle, one a novelist, the other a literary critic.Did Royle, the literary critic, steal and publish a manuscript written by Silas Woodlock on the subject of 'Gulls'? With whom is Lily Lynch having a passionate affair? A midsummer party at a farmhouse by the sea provides the fateful climax.Playfully commenting on this main story are 17 interlinked 'Hides', primarily about birds, bird photography and films (including Hitchcock's), ornithology and bird mythology.Like the birdwatcher's hut, these 'hides' afford a new outlook as well as a commentary on the themes that fly out of, or nestle within the novel: possession and betrayal, identity and mortality, and the dangers unleashed by desire and ambition. At once comic and profound, this mischievous, inventive, word-juggling novel brims with joy at the transformative possibilities of language, but also shows extraordinary sensitivity to the messy business of being human and the fragility of the physical world we inhabit.
 

About Nicholas Royle

See more books from this Author
NICHOLAS ROYLE is the author of six previous novels, including "The Director's Cut" and "Antwerp," as well as two novellas and a short story collection, "Mortality." Born in Manchester in 1963, he runs Nightjar Press, reviews fiction for the" Independent," and is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. He divides his time between Manchester and London.
 
Published May 25, 2017 by Myriad Editions. 352 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for An English Guide to Birdwatching
All: 1 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Melissa Harrison on May 31 2017

But however unconventional An English Guide to Birdwatching may be, it must satisfy; to fail to do so, as this novel does, is to commit the cardinal sin of self-indulgence.

Read Full Review of An English Guide to Birdwatching | See more reviews from Guardian
×