King Crow
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King Crow

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  21 reviews
An offbeat and fascinating take on the eternal triangle, this debut novel from the Bradford-based playwright mixes intense emotion with ornithology.

Outsider Paul sees everyone as birds and finds making friends difficult. Yet, when he is thrown together in a journey to the Lakes with Ashley, who is tough, good-looking and has an abundance of street cred, they form an unlike...more
Paperback, 186 pages
Published 2011 by Bluemoose
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The Sense of an Ending by Julian BarnesThe Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWittBefore I Go To Sleep by S.J. WatsonWhen God Was a Rabbit by Sarah WinmanThe Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
Man Booker Prize Eligible 2011
103rd out of 154 books — 254 voters
Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Cult fiction
125th out of 125 books — 83 voters

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KRUSTAL-chan Joanna
сюжет - 1
идея - 2
герои - 1
жанр - 2
поетика - 1

Внимание, по-голямата част от тази книга дава подробна информация за птиците - тяхното поведение, външни белези, разпространение, систематика и анатомия. Ако не искате да четете за разликата между зеленики и обикновени чинки, за изхранването на ястреба-врабчар, за птицата носорог, която не живее в Англия, за всички 187 от 636 птици, от които Пол вече е видял в естествена среда, е по-добре да не подбирате като четиво "Крал гарван". Защото тя ще ви нака...more
I am sorry to say that I didn`t like this book. There was nothing interesting in it, the description of birds in every chapter were something new and fresh, but after fifty pages it was just something that was distracting me from the plot. The characters weren`t interesting enough.
To be honest this book was sucking energy out of me, and I read it till the end just cause my collegue asked me to and was talking about how great this book was for weeks.
But I did like the last 30 pages very much, t...more
This is a great read, a first time novel by Michael Stewart.
It's about Paul Cooper, teenage boy from dysfunctional fatherless family, lesbian mother who seems to bring a lot of women through her bedroom and a sister he prefers not to think about. But what sustains Paul through his painful, guilty, confusing life; what he loves and what he thinks and reads about constantly, is birds. Paul is consumed by birds, they are his soother, his passion.
The reader learns that they are about 636 bird specie...more
David Hebblethwaite
King Crow is narrated by sixteen-year-old Paul Cooper; not the most sociable of boys, he’s more interested in ornithology (and peppers this first-person account with facts from his bird books). But Cooper’s life takes a turn into darker territory when he becomes friends with Ashley O’Keefe at his new school; Ashley is mixed up in drugs, and double-crosses a local gangster in a bid to strike out on his own. Cooper and Ashley end up stealing a car and driving to Cumbria – one to flee the gang, the...more
J A Brunning
You know from the start that the central character, Paul Cooper, is a lonely boy, introverted and inhabiting a world of his own on quite a profound level. Even engaging with the reader, he's a slippery character, hiding behind his obsession about birds right from the first line:

'When I look at people, I wonder what sort of birds they are.'

He distances himself from other people in every way he can, even introducing himself by his surname, and not because he's from an upper class public school e...more
My partner, Jane, picked up a copy of this novel, signed by the author, and, frowning, began to read. After about fifteen minutes, she looked up and asked me, ‘Does it go on about chuffing birds all the way through?’ Yes, Jane. It does indeed go on about chuffing birds nearly all the way through. Most of the chapters are short, and every one is named after a kind of bird.

The main narrative of ‘King Crow’ is in the present tense and the first person – my favourite narrative mode.

The main charac...more
I was hipped to this book by a pamphlet on New North-West Writing in NW libraries picked up from my local library. It's set in Salford which I'm fairly familiar with, however I was kind of freaked out towards the end when the plot led me to my actual place of work some 200 miles away from where Paul Cooper starts his journey. I came out of this book feeling like I'd learned a lot about both animal and human behaviour. Michael Stewart's philosophical wit and beautifully drawn characters kept me w...more
I heard Michael Steward at his own author reading a little while ago. King Crow is his debut novel and what an enjoyable read it is.

Paul Cooper who comes form a dysfunctional family is only interested in birds and sees people as birds. He and his newly won friend Ashley go on a journey together and encounter a number of strange, even dangerous people as well as Paul falling in love with a young girl.

It is a fascinating story, told from Paul's perspective with a surprise ending - or maybe not qui...more
Very readable, atmospheric book. Really enjoyed it until the implausible ending.
A cheeky little number. Gets under your skin, creeps up behind you and taps you on the shoulder, jumps out from behind a tree.

This is a very cleverly written novel. Narrator Paul Cooper is a bit odd, but completely draws you into his increasingly bizarre world. Don't let the first couple of chapters fool you into thinking this is going to be a kitchen sink drama. It's not. It reminded me of Marc Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and of Ross Raisin's novel God's Own Coun...more
Pat Stearman
Read this because the author did a talk in the library! I did enjoy it but I wouldn't recommend to my 'book group' of mum and friend as I really don't think it's their thing.
Protagonist is a strange and isolated teenage boy with an obsession for birds (this seems quite usual, had lots of kids in my first library - urban deprived area - who were into birds - maybe it says something about escape?)
Never sure what's in his imagination and what's really happening (I hate this!- see review of bluee...more
Elisabeth Shuker
I bought this book when it won the 'Not a Booker Prize' and started it when it arrived, then forgot about it amidst university reading lists. I finished it off a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed Stewart's narrative style and the development of the protagonist, Paul, is interesting and endearing. The 'twist' at the end, however, was somewhat predictable and not dealt with in a particularly original or meaningful way. Whilst this book was an enjoyable read, it's also forgettable.
This was my book group read for the month. It's a fairly easy read though somewhat strange it kept me interested. I'm not really sure what I thought about it to be honest. Since I read it through I obviously didn't dislike it but I wouldn't particularly recommend it either. Distracted me for a few hours - I'll settle for that.
Jonny Gibbings
A very smart book. An interlaced plot that twists. Cooper make liking books of birds cool, and theft of them worthy. Like my espresso, dark and intense, up there with the best. Refreshingly different an unapologetic in its approach. A fantastic book. As in 'I love Chuck Palahniuk and it will be sharing shelf space with his' good.
Paul Holland
Would've been a 4 star but it dropped off significantly towards the end. Very good book though with some excellent parts.
Frances Brody
I was 'hand sold' this book by the manager of Bradford Waterstone's just before Christmas last year. It's a gripping tale about a troubled lad, absorbed in his passion for birds, who goes on a strange journey. It's beautifully written and with an unexpected twist.
John Morris
A really great read, I did see the twist coming eventually but not until I was well into the book. This was sad and funny. A boy inventing a world where people actually paid him attention and cared for him. The question is how much is made up?
wasnt sure what i was getting myself into when i agreed to read this for our bookgroup.
I really enjoyed it and would even consifer re reading it which is unheard of for me.
Lisa Bower
The bird part was a little dense which probably lost me occasionally but there were some spectacular dynamics between characters and it was a surprising read.
I found, at times that the bird analogies felt a little bit overworked and forced for me.
Hooked from the very beginning.
Tom Simpkins
Tom Simpkins is currently reading it
Aug 25, 2014
Kara marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2014
Katie Haden
Katie Haden marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2014
Desislava Nikolova
Desislava Nikolova marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2014
Lorna marked it as to-read
May 27, 2014
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