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Summary

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 sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him.

As weeks turn to months and the pain of loss gives way to memories, the little unit of three starts 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.

©2015 Max Porter (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"An agile, life-affirming account of mourning." ( Sunday Times)
"Utterly astonishing. Truly, truly remarkable." (Nathan Filer)
"A blast and a breeze and, strangely, a delight." (Jonathan Gibbs, Independent)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kaggy
  • United Kingdom
  • 10-11-16

How to miss a mother

The pain and acute sadness of loss is beautifully expressed in this elegy to a loved wife and mother. This poetically describes the grieving process as two little boys and their dad struggle to come to terms with the sudden death and disappearance of the most intimate person in their lives. Although the subject matter is tragic, sometimes it is good and actually uplifting to reflect on what really matters in life, especially when the outside world looks so ominous. I recommend this for a moment of quiet reflection and the joy of an exquisite and moving piece of writing.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Extremely Poetic!

Extremely poetic, also I found it to be weirdly relaxing considering the
genre. Apart from it being very repetitive, I thought the writer was extremely talented,
I don't know if Max Porter has written any poetry, but I think he would be very good at it if he did.
I have not figured out if the crow signifies each of the characters minds. I don't what the crow signifies.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Powerful and moving

Jot Davies reads this extraordinary memoir of grief with great skill and poetry. The perfect voice for this powerful and moving account.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Touching

Lovely story for anyone who feels loss, particularly if they have a thing about birds.

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A Study of Grief

I was at first unsure on whether to get the audiobook because I didn't know if this book could be read aloud in a way that fit. I can safely say now, it's perfect.
The book itself is a masterpiece. A monumental study of grief, family and all things Crow. Any fan of Ted Hughes will love Max Porter. Any fan of a good book will love this. Go Crow!

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Not what i was expecting at all and very short

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I have no clue who'd enjoy this book. I had taken the bird to be a metaphor not literal !

Which scene did you most enjoy?

none - it just wasn't for me

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I won't be able to part with this one!

I believe I've just finished listening to and reading one of those very special books that come your way rarely. An astonishing book that lingers in the mind long after reading, a book that makes you want to start reading all over again as soon as you've finished. Jot Davies' performance is perfect.

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incredible

a stunning portrayal of grief and half madness. it's beautiful, imaginative and haunting. read wonderfully too.

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Unsure

Brilliantly narrated and I liked the style, but I finished the book undecided about whether I liked it or not. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed reading it -- I think the narration brought it to life effectively.

While I think it is perhaps an acquired taste / you need to be in the mood for listening, I would recommend giving it a go.

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poetic and wonderful

Would you listen to Grief Is the Thing with Feathers again? Why?

yeah i think there was a lot in there and listening to again would be a good thing

What other book might you compare Grief Is the Thing with Feathers to, and why?

ted hughes poetry or slythia plath possibly - not really read a novel like that.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

the children's characters were the best bit about it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yeah

Any additional comments?

short and sweet