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Natural Flights of the Human Mind
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Natural Flights of the Human Mind

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  317 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
11 discs 13.7 hours

"Peter Straker lives in a disused lighthouse on the Devon coast, his routines dictated by the sea and weather, with two cats for company and no neighbours. He speaks to no one - except in his dreams. There he converses with some of the seventy-eight people he believes he killed twenty-four years ago. If only he could remember exactly what happened." "But
Audio CD
Published 2006 by Recorded Books
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(showing 1-30 of 572)
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Kirsty Darbyshire
Dec 07, 2010 Kirsty Darbyshire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardback

I got this to read because I'd likes Morrall's first book Astonishing Splashes of Colour a lot. I didn't have a clue what it was about and didn't read the back cover or the flyleaf or the reviews or anything like that. I just started reading and let the story slowly unfold. And it was great that way.

So I'm not going to say anything about the story, except that it's got a lighthouse in it which you can infer from the picture on the cover, and lighthouses are always a good thing, aren't they? The

Nov 12, 2012 Ceecee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like unexpected friendships
What if you were responsible for taking away the lives of 78 people? And what about the lives of the people they left behind?

These are just some questions tackled in the book. It's a story about redemption, forgiveness, and the unlikely people you meet that help you bring back together the pieces of your life.

This book was a pleasant surprise for me, considering I only bought this book because it was really really cheap, and I bought it so I wouldn't be embarrassed at not buying a book in a bo
Sandra Danby
Aug 25, 2015 Sandra Danby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I’ve been having something of a Clare Morrall fest, that thing you get when you discover an author and wish they’d written more. The worst thing is when you get that feeling but the author is dead. Thankfully Clare Morrall is alive and writing, and I have two more novels to read – The Roundabout Man, and The Language of Others.
Natural Flights of the Human Mind is an original story about two outsiders who are brought together by circumstance and who, unknowingly, help each other to come to terms
Jan 21, 2016 Alistair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Peter Straker lives in self-imposed exile in a lighthouse on the Devon coast. Living with him are his two cats Suleiman and Magnificent and 78 voices. The 78 voices exist in Peter's head and clamour to tell their stories and news. They are the voices (aren't they?) of the people he believes himself responsible for killing in a poorly-remembered train versus plane crash of which he was the pilot. Peter spends his days with the voices and a series of obsessive compulsive strategies he emplys to re ...more
Carolyn Mck
I enjoyed Morrall’s debut novel Astonishing Splashes of Colour and found her second book absorbing if at times sometimes contrived.

The main characters are Peter Straker, a man who twenty-five years earlier crashed his light plane into a train, causing the death of 78 people, and Imogen Doody, a school caretaker with a chip on her shoulder. Peter lives in a lighthouse, ‘Doody’ inherits a nearby cottage. Their meeting and later discovery of an old Tiger Moth in a disused hangar move the story for
Jun 17, 2012 Surreysmum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I may have found a new lady novelist to add to my shelves. This book is delightful to read, full of hope without sentimentality, and deft (not daft) in its wielding of symbolic landscape and symbolic objects. The protagonists are two lonely people; Peter Straker, who lives in a lighthouse, and Imogen Doody, a school caretaker who inherits a cottage nearby. Straker has a horrible incident in his past, which is revealed to us in just the right doses; Doody (as she calls herself) also has t ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Clare Morrall's Astonishing Splashes of Colour I wanted to see if another book she had written could be as good if not better. When I first started this book I felt a bit lost, but it didn't take long for that to change. I became completely engrossed in the lives of Straker and Doody and the complicated feelings, thoughts and of their minds. We never really know a persons thoughts or thought process. I enjoyed taking the journey through the lives of Straker and Doody. Thank you Cla ...more
Marilyn Saul
The story is about a self-imposed-guilt-ridden man who hides himself away in a lighthouse for 25 years and attempts to connect with the families of 78 people he killed in his reckless youth. A typical silver-spoon kid, wealthy parents (off whom he continues to live in his lighthouse), he is so racked with guilt that it became tedious (and as an ex-Catholic, I know about guilt). But just when you can't stand it anymore, the author starts unweaving the circumstances that led to his downfall, and o ...more
Sue Lang
Apr 04, 2016 Sue Lang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I found it on our book shelf and after much discussion as to who had bought it, from my daughter, my husband and myself, i read it. I was not disappointed did not know what to expect. It follows the ives of tow characters that become entwined in various ways and the history to how they have ended up in the environmant and situations they are in. There are some moving scenes especially near the end of the story. I found it made me think about how people are treated because of t ...more
May 17, 2014 Bobbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favourites
I found this book in The Works sale and bought it for about 20 pence; it was very unjust that it found itself in this unfortunate predicament. The book was very unusual and the characters were compelling, despite their being misfits in society. The author explored their feelings and thoughts with great sensitivity and insight, making this a very memorable read.
An interesting book. Morrall has created two great characters to place next to each other and interact. Present and past are interwoven throughout the story and that works well to get the total picture. In some places I would have liked a bit more pace and in other places a bit more depth, but otherwise a good read. ...more
Auf den ersten Blick (auf's Cover) wirkt es wie eine leichte Frauenlektüre. Nach dem Lesen der Zusammenfassung am Buchrücken merkt man dann doch, dass es eher ein Drama ist. Auch kein Problem. Allerdings war mir der Stoff nach den ersten 70 Seiten immer noch viel zu trocken, und schließlich habe ich es zur Seite gelegt. Die Autorin hat sich zu viel Zeit gelassen, das Buch wirklich spannend zu gestalten. Ich denke, wenn ich weiter durchgehalten hätte, wäre es vielleicht noch unterhaltsamer geword ...more
Sep 07, 2015 Fabufil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I had nothing to read, but it ended up being a really good book.

I like the fact that it's a friendship between people who seem completely opposite from each other. Both people seem to be struggling with their own problems but when they meet a friendship blossoms.

this is a book which struggles with a persons problems and how one strives for forgiveness.
Aug 10, 2014 Dorian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this while driving, and was completely enthralled. She takes these unsympathetic characters who are loners and unhappy people, and makes them understandable and human. A unique story line, part mystery.
Feb 10, 2008 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a jam-packed book! Though plot-driven, it starts off slow (not a complaint), leisurely, taking its time to spin out the story, gradually revealing its secrets, and I enjoyed the ride. Once I got close to the end, I couldn't put the book down. There are quite a few coincidences within the plot, but nothing that took away from the satisfying story.

Also full of well-drawn characters -- a main character did seem way too obtuse and unfeeling at a couple of crucial times, but that's a minor quibb
Aug 21, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it
This was an engaging story about two broken people who are brought together and are healed by their interactions. Something to think about when considering the people in your life. If you have a tendency to skip to the back of the book, listen on audio instead. Definitely worth the suspense.
Heidi Spellman
Apr 23, 2014 Heidi Spellman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A strange story but I loved it.
Aug 11, 2013 Bookmaniac70 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this writer a lot. Her writing is crisp and compassionate, her stories- unusual and engaging. "Natural Flights" didn`t disappoint either. Morrall brings together two strong and vivid characters and makes us observe with interest their strange way of communicating and interacting. Her narration flows with ease. She manages to sustain a hidden psychological dynamics which makes the novel a page-turner. The very ending seemed a bit weak, events somehow were rushed to a conclusion
but neverthe
Lauren Stringer
Jul 10, 2012 Lauren Stringer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
This is one of the most astonishing and complex, yet very readable books dealing with grief, guilt, and shame I have ever read. Set mostly on the coast of Devon with the main character living/hiding in an old light house-- that is just about to fall into the sea while at the same time a unique friendship grows around the renewal of an abandoned cottage-- so much is about loss and gain. My favorite read of the year so far and I have read some amazing books lately!
Shelagh Symonds
Enjoyed this book but I did find myself thinking it was not real.These two people so wrong for each other to somehow forge a bond despite their obvious own personal hang ups.
Good yarn though and I loved the that the story involved the old aircraft aspect.
Anna Tatelman
Dec 23, 2010 Anna Tatelman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this author. Love her elegant and beautiful prose, love her memorable characters, love the way she can turn a book with not much actual plot into something rich and engaging.

I do feel that some of the 'reflective' internal monologues got a little repetitive, but I'm not going to mark her down for this. One, it certainly captured the character's inability to get out of his rut, and two, it's still a stellar read.
Jun 04, 2009 Tanja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Usually I know since the beginning if I like or dislike the plot in a particular book. In this case, it was different. Very slow beginning, which even made me think to stop reading, but then I came to the page 100 and the plot turned to be amazing. Very well written story in which the concept of guilt not only makes you think, but also puts you into the position what would you do if...
Jun 01, 2008 C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is the second book I've read from this author and I really enjoyed it. This was the story of a man, haunted by an accident he was involved in 24 years earlier that he's not convinced is an accident. It's also the story of a woman whose husband disappeared shortly after they were married and the scars that have not healed.
A good book with a good story and very involving.
Nov 12, 2011 Amina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Sometimes something bad happens in our life and we almost stop living. That is what happened to Straker. And then a chance meeting changes everything. Doody also has a past and is filled with mistrust and hate. Sometimes we enter people's lives for a reason and change them forever.

This book was a pleasure to read. No loose ends and a happy ending.
Jun 04, 2011 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing character study of two deeply flawed and prickly people who are lucky enough to find someone equally extreme, but in a complementary way. Also a thoughtful meditation on the many reactions to tragedy, and the limits of "blame" in the face of great loss.

I picked this up blind from the library, based on the back cover blurb, and was delighted.
Nice book, really well-written and the characters' development was good, even though it was a little bit predictable. It took me almost two months to read, which means it didn't keep my attention. Anyway, it was worth it. :)
Terry Mark
Aug 19, 2013 Terry Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful book and the first of Clare Morrall's I have read but I will be reading the rest of her books now because if her other books are half as good as this one they will be worth it.
Sep 02, 2013 Windy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this quirky story of two "misfits" who form an unlikely friendship. Straker is very much the hero of the story and you want good things to happen for him.
A compelling read.
Jul 27, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, favorites
i really liked this book... about an eccentric man who was involved in a train crash that killed 78 people. he meets a woman named imogen, and they help each other get over their pasts.
Bonnie Mueller
It was interesting to read of a protagonist who is rather unlikable. I was surprised to feel attachment to both Imogen Doody and Straker by the mid-point of the novel.
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Clare Morrall (born 1952) is an English novelist. Born in Exeter, she has lived mainly in Birmingham, where she worked for many years as a music teacher.
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“Right now, at this moment in time, life was just right. He'd discovered this before. If you don't look forward and you don't look back, you can fix yourself in now and enjoy it.” 1 likes
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