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3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Running two steps ahead of the bailiff, alternately praised and reviled, John James Audubon set himself the audacious task of drawing, from nature, every bird in North America. The result was his masterpiece, "The Birds of America." In June 1833, partway through his mission, he enlisted his son, Captain Bayfield of the Royal Navy, and a party of young gentlemen to set sail...more
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published June 9th 2003 by Overlook Hardcover (first published 2002)
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It took me a full 2 weeks to read this book. I could only get through it in small amounts at a time, partially because the detail was so overwhelming, and partly because the action moved so slowly. But. Even though Mr. J.J. Audubon was not a perfect man, or perhaps even a good man, he also was a man to be both respected and, for his dedication to his work, admired. I did like this book. It made me appreciate Audubon's dedication to his work, and also understand just how daunting his task really...more
I started this, put it down for some reason and am now reading it from the begginning again.

There were parts of this book that I enjoyed.....but however fictionalized this portion of Audubon's life is, or however brilliant he may have been artistically....I think there is probably enough of his true personality here to let me know I wouldn't have thought much of him in terms of being a man you can depend on. I found much of the book upsetting in terms of carnage. It was nicely written, and inter...more
John James Audubon and Captain Bayfield of the Royal Navy, artists and explorers, sail up the labrador coast charting wildlife and geography. The dialogue is stylised and impressionistic, but this works in a book that is essentially about art and creativity. I adored this book.
I never understood why this beautiful book did not get more attention when it appeared in 2002. It's a version of Audubon's story—extraordinarily well written and memorable.
Steven Buechler
A must read. The story of the two men - John Audubon and Captain Henry Wolsey Bayfield - as they explore the region between Newfoundland and Labrador is a mindful.

-page 266-267

"North is the negative of south. North is the nesting ground, the first feathers; south is full plumage. Labrador is black and white while Charleston is colour. Here, down north, the white rims along the shore are crushed shells; sea urchins dissolve underfoot. There is the occaisional gleam of sun, and a white wooden cros...more
I kept my copy of Audubon's book handy so I could reference the birds and the drawings mentioned in this book. It's sad that some species were already extinct, and others that he painted are now extinct.
This book is another example of historical fiction done well. I didn't know anything about John Audubon prior to reading this and it's really piqued my interest. Apparently he kept extensive diaries but there was considerable excising by a descendant. This book covers one of the periods where there's a gap in the record.
It is and interesting novel but it took me many months to read it. I had to put it down and come back to it. It had much to ponder on the various levels of humanity and how we impact our world.
Such a wonderful book. It was a hard read, but the way she wrote the story made it seem like i was right there, I couldn't put it down :D
I’m not quite sure what to say about Creation - a fictional telling of a period in the life of bird artist/discoverer JJ Audubon. The writing was lyrical - beautiful to read, even when it wasn’t saying much of anything. And I could’ve lived with that if it had eventually gotten someplace, but it simply didn’t live up to its promise.

The cover reads: "In a life so well-documented, these next few months form a rare gap. It is as if the dark cloud and fog Audubon sails into transcends mere weather,...more
I read a biography of Audubon not long ago, so thought this story would fit right in. Which it did, but it got to be tiresome after a while, and I finally gave up. It's about a trip that Audubon and his son took to Labrador to find birds that he might not have yet seen. The author assumes the reader has not read much about Audubon's life, so constantly brings in snippets here and there to fill it in. That's not so bad, except that the story suffers because of it and never really goes anywhere. I...more
Flora Meilan
Fabuloso!!! Could not stop reading. Author is so talented to convey meaning in every sentence. Yes, it was hard to read the parts that are so true about man's destruction of nature. Audubon in 1833 foresaw the murderous exinction of species. I recommend another terrific book very similar. Two men: Charles Darwin and the Beagles' captain Robert Fitzroy, "To the Edge of the World", by Harry Thompson. Unfortunately, Thompson died after writing this book and we can have nothing more from him. I'm mo...more
Honest I'm sure that this is a wonderful book, but I just couldn't get into it. I tried for about two weeks to get past chapter 1 with no success. Just wasn't my style.
A heartbreaking, beautifully written book. Govier has gone into Audubon's mind and revealed the many contradictions lurking there.
The writing was a little slow, but the subject matter, plot, & premise were all fantastic.
Wonderful writing. About Audubon.
Oct 10, 2007 Pam marked it as to-read
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Katherine Govier is the author of nine novels, three short story collections, and most recently, a collection of nursery rhymes. Her novel, The Ghost Brush (published in the US as The Printmaker's Daughter), is about the daughter of the famous Japanese printmaker, Hokusai, creator of The Great Wave. Her novel Creation, about John James Audubon in Labrador, was a New York Times Notable Book of the...more
More about Katherine Govier...
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“What if . . . you come to the wild and discover that it is not wild at all? What if half the world is here before you?” 1 likes
“It is a simple thing, a name. We are given one, we grow in to it, we bear it. Simple for the rest of creation.” 1 likes
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