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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 listeners say about Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

12 people found this 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.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Stunning

Guttural and full gizzarded beautiful pisstaking honest grief and love. My first review. More words? Couldn’t read it better than he narrates it.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Just Wonderful

I was fully aware that at 1 hr 43 mins, this was an expensive read for my monthly credit, but do you know what? It was worth a year's worth of credits.

I saved it for an afternoon of filing boredom and what a precious saviour it was.

It's so beautiful written and so tenderly read that it was like listening to a love poem (albeit a quirky one, with colourful language)

I love the way Max Porter writes. I really enjoyed the way that Jot Davies read the words.

A perfect match.

2 people found this helpful

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beautiful language

dream like, spelling, weaving of words. put me in a trance and took me to grief.

2 people found this helpful

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Emotional but self indulgent

Not sure how I feel about this, my feelings are mixed, but then I suppose that is the point. It is beautifully written and emotional, but it also felt a bit self indulgent.

2 people found this helpful

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Blimey!

This is both heartbreaking and hilarious. And really rings true... thank you very much Max Porter

2 people found this helpful

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Not for me

Couldn't get into it. Tried 4 times over last year. Not sure why, too many words in a jumble I can't focus on it like I would a text.

1 person found this helpful

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Superlative

A poem, a part paean to grief, a joy of family with all its flaws.
Loved it

1 person found this helpful