Lisa Vegan's Reviews > A Guide to the Birds of East Africa

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson
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Dec 30, 11

bookshelves: fiction, novel, bookclub, reviewed, aaalt
Recommended to Lisa by: Lee
Read from December 20 to 30, 2011

I love the little pen & ink drawings of birds, with their names shown, that are at the start of every chapter. The chapters are extremely short, and this should have been an incredibly quick read, but for some reason it took me some time to slog through, even though I enjoyed it, and as the story went on, it grew on me more and more, though I wasn’t perturbed when I had to put it down.

It’s a gentle and slow little story, and I could have done without the fact that the ball in question is at the hunt club; it starts off quiet and simple and innocent but quietly yet surely gets slightly more complicated, though it never loses its gentleness. There definitely ended up being some layers, some darkness in what seemed to be at first a simple lighthearted story, but overall it remained sweet.

I’m not sure about this narrator. Those who have read the book: Who is the narrator? Whoever narrates the book, the voice is personable and easy to read.

I loved the locales and got a kick out of where and why and how some of the birds were found. I really enjoyed how the storyline and characters evolved.

I reveled in the wickedly funny little asides, and the witticisms are not at all limited to observations about birds and birdwatchers, not at all! I wanted to add some quotes but there are just too many and I couldn’t decide which ones to include.

Great ending!

In a way, I could rate this 5 stars or 3, so I’ll settle for 4, 4 ½ actually.
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Reading Progress

12/20/2011 page 1
0.0% "I'll start this next. I'm reading it for my real world book club's January discussion."
12/20/2011 page 11
5.0% "I love the little pen & ink drawings of birds with their names printed that are at the front of every chapter."
12/21/2011 page 31
15.0% "Really short chapters which is good for me right now. After just reading Wesley the Owl, even this really fast read seems a tad slow."
12/25/2011 page 58
28.0% "Charming. But so far I'm not quite as wild about this as I'd expected to be. I'll see. I do like it." 2 comments
12/27/2011 page 80
38.0% "Very short chapters and reading very few at a time. I'm enjoying it but I'm not perturbed when I have to put it down."
12/28/2011 page 94
45.0% "Enjoying but what should be an incredibly fast read isn't."
12/29/2011 page 120
58.0% "some interesting layers are being added"
12/30/2011 page 142
68.0% "I'm enjoying how everything is evolving. I'd like to finish this book today or tomorrow at the latest."
12/30/2011 page 162
78.0% "Wickedly funny at times." 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn I've been really curious about this one. I checked it out from the library awhile back and then... don't remember if I just wasn't in the mood for it or had to return it before I got into it, but I still have it on my TO READ list ;-)


Lisa Vegan My branch library indicates there's a copy on the shelf. I'm going to check today.


Meaghan This looks really sweet. I think I'll choose this one.


Lisa Vegan Meaghan wrote: "This looks really sweet. I think I'll choose this one."

It does look well worth reading, yes! I hope you enjoy it, Meaghan. I'll be on the lookout for your review; I'm sure you'll get to it before I do.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

"Gentle" is a good word for it.


Lisa Vegan Sho wrote: ""Gentle" is a good word for it."

Yes. I ended up really liking it. It's smart and charming too.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm glad you enjoyed it.


Lisa Vegan Sho wrote: "I'm glad you enjoyed it."

Thanks. I'm glad too. It took me a bit of time to fully warm up to it.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm really happy you enjoyed this, Lisa. It was a quiet story, that slowly unfolded into something more.

I am guessing that the narrator is the author, telling the tale the way a storyteller would. He/she doesn't seem to be anyone in the story, but does know a lot about Kenya. Some of the little side adventures were very funny.


message 10: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Jeannette, That makes sense about the narrator and I think that might be a possibility but I'm just not certain. Thanks. Yes, lots of humor.


Meaghan There is one part where the author directly addresses the reader, saying something like "And if you want to know why they called him Jack in boarding school, I am never going to tell you."


message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Meaghan wrote: "There is one part where the author directly addresses the reader, saying something like "And if you want to know why they called him Jack in boarding school, I am never going to tell you.""

I know. So, is the author the narrator??? Perhaps that's all it is???


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