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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

Narrated by: Jot Davies
Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (233 ratings)

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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)

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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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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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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing, sad, funny, poetic.

We are coppiced by grief to grow stronger. This book should be on the school syllabus.

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Processing Grief

The narrator brought the book more alive than when I tried to read it. It is just over three years since my mum died, and this novel resonated more with me through oration than reading. The crow is a tough character to get your head around; perhaps that's the point.

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Wonderfully empathetic, you'll laugh and cry.

Speaks of grief but also of love. At times difficult but well worth sticking with.

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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.

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Blimey!

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

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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.

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interesting, mixed feelings

took me time to get into the crow pieces. got better with listening. appreciation if Yed Hughes a distinct advantage.