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A Horse of Air

2.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  12 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
This is the strange and compelling story of Harry Craddock - millionaire, ornithologist, idealist and buffoon - written mostly by himself in a mental hospital after a wild expedition to Central Australia in search of the rare night parrot.
Paperback, 221 pages
Published May 5th 1986 by Penguin (first published 1970)
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Lisa
As soon as I started reading this, I thought of Robert Edeson’s The Weaver Fish, which I recently read and reviewed. A Horse of Air has a similar cheeky narrative style: the author jocularly undercuts his own narrative so that the reader doesn’t know what to believe. It’s very entertaining.

Dal Stivens (1911-1997) seems to have begun his writing career in journalism, writing articles and short stories for a variety of journals and moving on to complete five novels, short story collections, a chil
...more
Steve Bidwell-Brown
Apr 16, 2016 Steve Bidwell-Brown rated it it was amazing
I'm amazed this novel has received so many low ratings. The playful narrative style reminded me of Nabokov; the book's premise - that of chasing a night parrot through the Australian desert with a team of amateur naturalists - provoked me to think of the night parrot as the White Whale of Australian literature. The book is full of interesting animal insights - the idea that a parrot learns to imitate human speech because it is sex-starved is even Vonnegut-level in its empathy towards other creat ...more
M. Sarki
Dec 08, 2013 M. Sarki rated it did not like it
What started out as a very promising discovery turned to boring drivel. I see now why the book is out of print. I abandoned the book at page 124. I just have too many "good" books to read than to waste my time with this. Sorry.
Marcia Di iulio
Jan 10, 2015 Marcia Di iulio rated it liked it
A clever piece of work. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Descriptions of birdlife, nature and landscape in outback Australia very detailed.
Tristan
Nov 01, 2013 Tristan rated it really liked it
Didn't want this to end.
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"Dal Stivens was born Dallas George Stivens in Blayney, New South Wales in 1911. He worked in a variety of jobs including jounalist, bank clerk, public servant and court reporter. He served in the Army Education Service during the period 1943-44, then the Department of Information from 1944-49, and then press official at Australia House, London during 1949-50. After this stint in London he resigne ...more
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