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PDF/EPUB Max Porter ☆ ☆ Grief Is the Thing with Feathers PDF/EPUB ✓ Grief

In a London flat two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother's sudden death Their father a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic imagines a future of well meaning visitors and emptinessIn this moment of despair they are visited by Crow antagonist trickster healer babysitter This self described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to memories this little unit of three begin to healIn this extraordinary debut part novella part polyphonic fable part essay on grief Max Porter's compassion and bravura style combine to dazzling effect Full of unexpected humour and profound emotional truth Grief is the Thing with Feathers marks the arrival of a thrilling new talent

10 thoughts on “Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

  1. says:

    You Cannot Prevent the Birds of Sorrow from Flying over Your Head but You Can Prevent Them from Building a Nest in Your Hair – Chinese ProverbI picked this up because the title struck me like a poem in itself sounding like an titillating modulation on that wonderful poem Hope is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson view spoilerI am intrigued by the techniue of altering variations on a theme like in music and keen on searching for changes in harmony rhythm melody or orchestration hide spoiler

  2. says:

    If you're looking for a book about grief that will make you sad but also not sad and will have beautiful lines and also some confusing passages but overall you'll leave it feeling like it was definitely worth your time because your soul feels a little bit different go on and pick this one up

  3. says:

    Moving on as a concept is for stupid people because any sensible person knows grief is a long term project This is a book about two boys and their father dealing with their mother's death It's a very unusual bookUnusual because their grief counsellor is a crow Yes a black birdUnusual because only at the end do we truly know what happened to the motherUnusual because in truth it doesn't matter HOW the mother died but what happens to those left behindUnusual for its language which is cryptic at times especially when Crow first arrives I had to read that one chapter three times and still only had a vague idea what the author was trying to say and very simple but heavy at othersThe story is being told in chapters of Crow Dad and Boys and shows how each party is feeling about and dealing with the situation And it doesn't sugarcoat anything Gradually a complete picture emerges and a progression can be seenIn between there is lots of wonderful prose Sometimes even funny especially the chapter about Gran passagesTo me the important message is the uote at the beginning of this review And the fact that this family is not functional as society would call it after the mother has died They do everything their own way and that's OK because everyone griefs differently and the world needs to finally accept and respect thatAlso I loved the concept of Crow staying with them until they no longer need it a bit like Nanny McFee but the true origin story of Crow is so lovelyIt's a small book but full of wonderfully resounding lines that strike a deep cord with the reader and stay with you for a long time Inconspicuous yet enormously powerful

  4. says:

    I read in another review 'Do we find books or do they find us?' I think it happens both ways And this book found me Perhaps a bit too personal herebut a recent family tragedy was just devastating to me I tried to read to keep my mind occupied but nothing could grab my attention I felt horrible like I was just moving on so uickly trying to do something trivial such as read books But I knew I had to continue on To be honest I really do not know how this book ended up in my hands It was likeit was there at my library for me Perhaps I ordered it at some point but it's nothing that I would normally read I know this book found meThe story is told from three points of view the dad the boys two young boys told as one story and the crow after the wifemother of the family suddenly and unexpectedly passes The dad and the boys grieve and in different ways The crow is there to help sorta with their grief The crow feeds on grief and finds humans interesting when in grief The crow is there for therapy and will stay until he is no longer needed See the father is a big fan of Ted Hughes the poet and I do think his work is heavily influenced in this book Not reading Hughes I feel that perhaps I did miss some references probably but it in no way diminished my read of this book Hughes wrote a poetry book called Crow and indicates 'Crow is a figure of myth a hungry hardscrabble chaos of feathers dark dreams sometimes a trickster sometimes a victim sometimes a guide sometimes a Prometheus of sorts' It feels like a short story feels like poetry feels like rambling of people suffering grief and not making sense and then the crowat times DOESN'T make any sense Talking in rhyming verse but sometimes with sly wit It follows the dad and boys through their grief until they no longer need crow I was half way through the book when I went back and started it again I read it slowly It made me sad it made me cry it made me think it made me want to read Hughes Did it help with grief? It helped me to know it's OK and it might take time perhaps days months or yearsbut it helped me to remember

  5. says:

    When I first saw this book I kept thinking about how familiar the title sounded and then I remembered the Emily Dickens poem “Hope is a Thing With Feathers “ is what rang a bell here hope not grief While this novella is about the depths of grief I couldn’t help but have hope for these characters There’s no uestion about it This is an odd story The narrative alternates between the Crow and the Dad and the two Boys who are grieving the untimely death of a wife and mother Crow comes into their lives as the grief itself takes over their daily lives as they struggle to find what their new lives are going to be without the woman they loved You could call it a fable and the Crow perhaps the metaphor for the grief engulfing them The Dad is a Ted Hughes scholar and I didn’t know much about Ted Hughes other than he was a poet married to poet and novelist Sylvia Plath I discovered that he wrote a book of poetry entitled “Crow” so no doubt there is meaning behind this but I don’t know enough about the collection or Ted Hughes to describe that connection I’ll leave that to others who doSo I just looked at this on a less intellectual level a emotional one that I could understand and feel Grief is something that anyone who has lost someone knows and the depiction of it here is just heartbreaking reflecting how lost the father and these two young boys are I was heartbroken for them This is a short book which I read in one sitting and it left me knowing what I already knew that while Crow left grief can remain but there can be hope for moving forward A different kind of story which I found worth reading

  6. says:

    This is no ordinary book It's part short story part myth part poetry partly narrated by a massive metafictional crow It's unlike anything I've ever read and it's absolutely wonderfulWe are plunged into the aftermath of a woman's tragic death Her husband a Ted Hughes scholar and two young sons struggle to cope with the devastating loss The father turns into a machine like architect of routines for small children with no Mum Into their house comes Crow a figure from the poetry of Hughes who becomes a kind of counsellor to guide the family towards recovery He finds every surface dead Mum every crayon tractor coat welly covered in a film of grief But he also promises I won't leave until you don't need me anyThe story is told from three points of view Boys Dad and Crow Crow speaks in a kind of onomatopoeic verse which can be a bit tricky to decipher at times But he is clear on the fact that this situation is what he lives for admitting that he finds humans dull except in grief The boys manage the adjustment to a world without their mother much easier than their father Though initially stunned they are a resilient duo and find cheeky ways of remembering their Mum by doing things she hated We pissed on the seat We never shut drawers We did these things to miss her to keep wanting her But their Dad is an empty shell who finds it almost unbearable to carry on without the love of his life I missed her so much that I wanted to build a hundred foot memorial to her with my bare hands I wanted to see her sitting in a vast stone chair in Hyde Park enjoying her view Everybody passing could comprehend how much I miss her How physical my missing is I miss her so much it is a vast golden prince a concert hall a thousand trees a lake nine thousand buses a million cars twenty million birds and The whole city is my missing her Crow takes over as a nanny to the boys while their Dad grieves He comes up with activities to keep them occupied But he also challenges their father to accept what has happened and get on with his life And with Crow and the boys' help he is able to survive They offer me a space on the sofa next to them and the pain of them being so naturally kind is like appendicitis I need to double over and hold myself because they are so kind and keep regenerating and recharging their kindness without any input from me I really can't do this book justice with a short review It's a hugely original exploration of grief and loss and though it tackles a sorrowful subject it's extremely life affirming It is full of lines that take your breath away and scenes to make your heart burst I only wish I knew about the work of Ted Hughes so that I could appreciate all of the references It's an unforgettable read one that should be savoured and treasured

  7. says:

    Library overdrive ebook I’ll start with the ending ‘first’ it’s sooo beautiful I doubt any reader could read the last page just once I took the ‘WISE’ suggestion from another reviewera little ‘late’ Had I read their review I would have learned of his or her recommendation which is “before” reading this small book around 100 book pages google “Ted Hughes and Sylvia Platte and The Crow” on wikipedia The ‘same’ reviewer written in 2016 posted on by her Norma Hayes expressed words better than anything I might add in trying to describe this thin book So I’m borrowing ‘part’ of Norma Hayes review thank you Norma wherever you are“The story is about morning and survival after the death of a loved one so the disjointed style very accurately catches your thinking and feelings at such a time This may sound depressing but it’s not it even has a few funny moments” There were a few parts I didn’t understand absolutely no problem with the context but a few of “those disjointed parts”But by staying with it I was greatly rewarded with the ending ‘Then’ going back to read ‘those confusing parts’ plus the Ted Hughes information I was a satisfied happy camper Not all readers will be as slow to catch on as me It was also ‘wonderful’ to add reading Emily Dickinson mini poem“Hope is a thing With Feathers” Crow is such a lovely ‘character’ Crow is griefCrow is supportiveCrow loves so deeply she doesn’t want you to hide away deny yourself happiness Mom died Dad and the boys meet Crow He’s part of the family One of the most original grief memoirs I’ve ever read Sad but also soo beautiful and uplifting A special thanks to Goodtreads friend Amanda for bringing this book to my attention

  8. says:

    First Read November 2016 Rating 5 starsSecond Read January 2019 Rating 5 starsHave you ever read something and thought of what an utter privilege it is that this book came into your life? I have About this bookThe synopsis of this sounds pretty simple – two boys and their father are grieving for their recently deceased mother and wife That combined with the short length could fool you into thinking this is a straightforward and austere tale But beware Don’t be fooled by these deceptions This is an abstruse and intricate story dealing with the emotional cycle of grief and the hole it places in the lives of those left behind in the wake of deathSet in short and often disjointed segments this chronicles the years that follow the loss of a loved one from the perspectives of children a spouse and the crow that visits them to ‘aid’ the family in their grief What initially appears as a melancholy yet straight forward tale soon turns to the fantasticThe symbolism of the crow is taken straight from the famed works of Emily Dickinson Ted Hughes and Edgar Allan Poe It may appear perverse to amalgamate this already renowned fictional trope into something modern but Porter skillfully weaves reality and fantasy together to provide the perfect home for this hybrid creature The crow in the book becomes the metaphor for grief It represents mourning and the coping mechanisms the individual deploys Crow can perform the roles of nurturer and fraudster in uick succession as needed “Crow is a trickster he is ancient and post modern illustrator editor vandal”The different first person perspectives chronicle the divergent approaches to dealing with death and combine to give a raw and gritty account of life lived with loss This despite the lyrical beauty of the writing is often unapologetically course and crude in its depictions “Many people said ‘what you need is time’ when what we needed was washing powder nit shampoo football stickers batteries bows arrows bows arrows”The tragicomic prose is to sum it up in one word unusual with the crow’s perspective being the most unusual of them all And through these unusual poetic solilouies comes the forward movement of time and with it the ultimate dismissal of the crow that haunts them This sadness that permeates the text is alleviated in the last portion and hope is allowed sovereignty As all those who have lost someone will know “grief is a long term project” But it provides the reader with a further insight and understanding of the nature of grief that the text does not finish on the crow reigning supreme the family unit doesFor fans of dark and atmospheric speculative fiction and those with a love of the macabre This offers the literary trope of the image of the crow as a symbol of life with grief Lyrical tragicomic bizarre and bewildering this is beauty and pain in the written formRead all of my thoughts and my full review here

  9. says:

    A Ted Hughes scholar and his two young boys grieve over the death of their wifemother Enter some magical realism A Crow appears and hangs out with the sad family as they deal with their loss I hate the cover design of the paperback edition Anything that’s plastered with blurbs like this one is just obnoxious Do I need to see that many superlatives to pick up a book? No I never read them anyway but that doesn’t stop this one from including three pages of blurbs besides the crap on the cover Oh and look it won a bunch of awards too Must mean it’s great right? Nope in fact in my experience the opposite is usually true and that’s certainly the case with Max Porter’s Grief Is the Thing with Feathers The chapters are divided between Dad Boys and Crow Dad and the Boys’ voices sound identical despite a supposed gap of decades between them Crow’s is written in bad poetry beat shit here’s an example “Gormin ‘ere worrying horrid Hello elair krip krap krip krap who’s that lazurusting beans of my cut out? Let me buck flap snutch clat tapa one tapa two motherless children in my trap in my apse in separate stocks for boiling Enunciate it rolling and turning it sadget lips and burning it Ooh pressure Must rehearse must cuss less The nobility of nature haha krah haha krap haha better not” Meaningless drivel but ARTY SOUNDING so I guess give it an award or three? Crow is apparently a reference to a Ted Hughes poem I almost never read poetry and won’t pretend I know suat about Hughes’ and Porter’s clearly a fan and wannabe poet star himself But it’s that kind of crummy writing which evokes nothing that turns me off of poetry in general There are a couple of well written scenes like the Dad getting back into dating slowly and spreading his wife’s ashes but they’re not original if you’ve come across stories like this before you’ll have seen this kind of stuff already Porter does nothing different with them here and says nothing new about grief either You get sad you get over it enough to carry on but you always carry a piece of grief with you forever I know this doesn’t everyone?? Pretentious and uninteresting Grief Is the Thing with Feathers is one level up from a creative writing student writing about his gran dying an easy sentimental subject to get some cheap empathetic tears but ordinary shallow full of obvious observations and wholly contrived

  10. says:

    Nearly 45 It may seem perverse to twist Emily Dickinson’s words about hope into a reflection on bereavement but Porter’s exceptional debut does just that tweak poetic forebears – chiefly Poe’s “The Raven” and Ted Hughes’s Crow – to create a hybrid response to loss The novel is composed of three first person voices Dad Boys and Crow the soul of the book witty onomatopoeic often macabre Dad and his two young sons are adrift in mourning; the boys’ mum died after an unspecified accident in their London flat The three narratives resemble monologues in a play with short lines laid out on the page like stanzas of a poem The closest comparison I’d make is with David Grossman’s Falling Out of TimeSee my full review at Shiny New Books