Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Grief is the Thing with Feathers 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 empt

  • Title: Grief is the Thing with Feathers
  • Author: Max Porter
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 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 emptiness.In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter This self described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving familyIn 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 emptiness.In 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 heal.In 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.

    • Grief is the Thing with Feathers « Max Porter
      384 Max Porter
    • thumbnail Title: Grief is the Thing with Feathers « Max Porter
      Posted by:Max Porter
      Published :2019-08-23T00:03:39+00:00

    About "Max Porter"

    1. Max Porter

      Max Porter works in publishing He lives in South London with his wife and children.

    118 thoughts on “Grief is the Thing with Feathers”

    1. 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 spoiler)[I am intrigued by the technique of altering variations on a theme, like in music, and keen on searching for changes in harmony, rhythm, melody, or orchestratio [...]

    2. 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 book.Unusual because their "grief counsellor" is a crow. Yes, a black bird.Unusual because only at the end do we truly know what happened to the mother.Unusual because, in truth, it doesn't matter HOW the mother died, but what happens to those left behind.Unusual for its language which i [...]

    3. 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 here.but 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 quickly 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 [...]

    4. 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 wonderful.We 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 Hug [...]

    5. For 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 form.Read all of my thoughts and my full review here

    6. (Nearly 4.5) 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 u [...]

    7. A moving and tragicomic prose poem which centres on a grieving father and his two young sons as they cope with the sudden death of a wife and mother with the "help" of Ted Hughes's Crow. A deeply original work which deserves the hype - I am no expert on Hughes, and I felt that greater familiarity would have made it even more resonant.

    8. Words are refusing to come to me. But the tears are flowing. This was unlike anything I've ever read and my heart is bursting. This was dark, sad, funny, light, hopeful, desolate Part novel, part verse And every part of it was beautiful. Every emotion stripped back and true. It is the story of a father and his sons after the death of their mother. And how a crow comes to live with them. How this symbolises their unending grief; and its manifestation and infection of all their lives. "Grief felt [...]

    9. This book is a wonderful reading experience, one of a kind. It's presented as a novella, but for me it was more like a collection of poems. The language is inventive and brutal and beautiful. It's not an easy read (especially if English is not your mother-tongue), even though it is very short, and you should definitely take your time to digest this book. And: the 'Dad' in the book is a Ted-Hughes-scholar, i.e. it helps for your understanding of the book if you also read Crow, a collection of poe [...]

    10. A Ted Hughes scholar and his two young boys grieve over the death of their wife/mother. 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 [...]

    11. Here is a case study in not appreciating a book: I was lent this prose poem about grief, which I most definitely would not have chosen off my own bat, and challenged by the lender to read it in less than 45 minutes. I timed myself and it took me 27 minutes. I am a compulsive speed-reader, something that really isn’t conducive to the enjoyment of poetry, even poetry that I actually like. And this I did not like, unfortunately. The self-referential style did not charm me and the use of language [...]

    12. I'm putting this on my poetry shelf even though it isn't really poetry, but the way it is written feels like prose poetry sometimes.This is fiction and so many of the grief books I have been reading lately are non-fiction, so in some ways it doesn't feel as "true." Partly because it is imagined in the way fiction always is, but also in the way that the father in the story is writing from the perspective of an imaginary crow, because it connects to Ted Hughes and he is a Ted Hughes scholar, and b [...]

    13. I liked the character of Crow. There were amazing flashes of goodness throughout, and flashes of "that is what it must be like" too. As an extended meditation on grief though I didn't buy it--it felt clever, instead of deep, and sometimes it edged toward sentimental. Pretty, but it's pretend. Mourning is not this way.

    14. Nearly everyone alive has lost someone dear to them. Not everyone can write well about it but Max Porter has done it in breathtaking fashion.A man has lost his wife suddenly, unexpectedly due to an accident. His two young sons have lost their mother.Three voices reach out to us:The boys as a sort of braided, combined consciousness, with the young boys-eye-view of the events, the emotions, the weird adjustment to a life run only by dad and a home without a mom.The dad, figuring it out day by day, [...]

    15. Part novel, part poem, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers cycles quickly through the perspectives of “Dad”, “Boys”, and “Crow”, a physical manifestation of a family’s grief who enters by declaring, “I won’t leave until you don’t need me any more”. Crow’s pecking prose serves as an overhead view of a father and his two sons following the sudden death of their wife and mother.“The house becomes a physical encyclopedia of no-longer hers, which shocks and shocks and is the pr [...]

    16. I’ve never read Ted Hughes’s Crow, and I definitely think reading that poetry collection ahead of, or in tandem with, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers would have made for a more enriching experience. Even so, this was a vivid, poetic novel about the loss of a loved one. I was moved by its wisdom and awed by its originality, and I even laughed occasionally despite how sad it was. I can see myself reading this again at some point—for such a short book, there’s a lot going on.

    17. An year ago I lost my best friend. The feeling was impossible to describe and until now nothing I had read made much sense to me. But then, I read this:"Moving on, as a concept, is for stupid people, because any sensible person knows grief is a long-term project. "In the day after this "anniversary", I was in France and I went to Shakespeare and Company and the first book I notice was this. I took it, I turned some pages, I put it down, but in the end I brought it with me. I read it in the aerop [...]

    18. This grim little poetry book starts off as being really eerie, but it soon builds up into a profound story of how grief can hold onto people after the loss of a loved one, and of a dysfunctional family, falling apart at the seams and milling about with no direction. Will the characters simply "move on" from their bereavement, or will they try to really cope with it? Grief Is the Thing With Feathers is a superb and beautiful story, a legend-like ballad that anyone who has ever lost somebody shoul [...]

    19. A terrific read, bursting full with feelingsA Grief is the Thing with Feathers is the moving story of a widowed father and his sons after they lose their mother. It deals mostly with the huge amounts of grief that would follow such a situation but also has room for plenty of comic relief as well. The family is visited by Crow, who takes on the role of caretaker and stays with them until the family are ready to ‘move on’, although the book does make the point of saying that ‘moving on’ do [...]

    20. Largely incomprehensible rubbish. A story of a father and two sons grieving and coming to terms with the death of their mother. The reason we know that? Because the synopsis tells us that's what this "novel" is about. If it hadn't, and we were just to read this nonsensical crap, we would be utterly clueless as to the point. Primarily, because there is no point. This is one of those books where the author chose a topic least likely to garner criticism (who's going to pan a story about young kids [...]

    21. Mislim da je ovo jedna od najčudnijih knjiga koje sam ikada pročitao. Da li je poezija? Ili je proza?Suptilni genij pisca nekog novog književnog pravca nedavno stvorenog a čiji sam začetak ja prespavao?Skup škrabotina čoveka kojem je dosadno?Šta god da je – divno je.Knjiga je, pre svega, čudna. Emotivna. Bezobrazna. Iskrena.Govori o gubitku i podnošenju istog.Ali ne na uobičajeni način na koji smo navikli. Mame više nema. Tata pati. Klinci nesvesni zbivanja.Kada sve preti da implo [...]

    22. “Once upon a time there was a demon who fed on grief. The delicious aroma of raw shock and unexpected loss came wafting from the doors and windows of a widower's sad home. Therefore the demon set about finding his way in.” [Actual rating: 4.5]It took a bit to get used to the writing style as it's quite experimental, but once I did, I wanted to savour it and not put this book down. It's an amazing and hopeful message about coming to terms with loss and the process of grief and what one turns [...]

    23. This is a very short book written in a prose poetry style about a Mum who dies and leaves Dad and two Boys behind. Dad is writing about the Ted Hughes poetry collection Crow and interestingly enough the infamous Crow comes to visit the Dad and two boys to help them grieve.There are some lovely stories and insights here. I loved the Dad’s young adventures in Oxford to met his hero Ted Hughes, the glimpses of the fun and competent Mum, the boys antics, cruelties and games. There are three narrat [...]

    24. Intriguing, strange, dark and so sad. A very brief novel that captures how a man and his boys work through the death of their wife/mother. It's much more like a long poem or a short story, written with blocky paragraphs of thoughts in short "chapters". It's a bit heartbreaking but it captures so well the essence of loss and what this man and his boys must do to process it and survive it through their very own observations of each other.

    25. 3.75/5"I plucked one jet feather from my hood and left it on his forehead, for, his, head.For a souvenir, for a warning, for a lick of night in the morning.For a little break in the mourning."From the moment I arrived in London a few weeks ago, this book has been peeking out at me from the display windows of every Foyles and Waterstones I have walked past. I finally decided to pick it up this weekend and, although initially put off by the stylistic devices employed in the book, I must admit that [...]

    26. First thing that attracted me to this book was the cover, closely followed by the title. It kept reminding me of something, like a song, until finally I got it - one of Emily Dickinson's poems:"Hope” is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words - And never stops - at all -Deeply moving, this is not an easy read, showing a grief-stricken father and his two young boys. We witness their disjointed thoughts, memories and conversations, all reeling [...]

    27. 4.5 I don't know what to say about this book . I should mention that the poet Ted Hughes and his work Crow are referenced many times. If you are familiar with this work (I am not)it would most likely help as Crow is one of the four main characters. It is about the grief of a man, his two young sons and the crow that comes to take care of and help them with their overwhelming and dislocating grief. This book is both novel and poem- it is filled with emotion, unusual, heart-rending, and beautifull [...]

    28. This is an interesting book about grief—of Dad, Boys, and Crow, but it is not everyone's cup of tea.

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