Jim's Reviews > Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird

Pigeons by Andrew D. Blechman
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's review
Nov 03, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended to Jim by: Fate
Recommended for: The smartest of my friends.
Read in December, 2008

The last few days of oh-ate was an excellent time to finish books...about pigeons. I picked this one up again after I'd started it a couple of months ago. I finished in a flash. I can see a future in which I am covered in pigeon poop and the love of the birds I will raise. Every chapter in this story could be a book on it's own. I found it that interesting. It talks about eating pigeons, raising and racing them and killing them many different ways. You'll read about famous fanciers, the Queen of England and our friend, Mike Tyson, the boxer. There's history and speculation of the future of domestic pigeons. I really have to see if Blechman has written any other books. It just zipped along. I don't know if I believed it all, but I liked it.

Here's what I wrote after I read the first half:

So, I gleaned an uncorrected proof copy of this treasure from my junkyard. Free. Nada. Low hanging fruit that was actually fruitful.

The book had been bouncing around my hovel for about a year before I stuffed it in my briefcase on my way to New York City to meet a girl from Europe. I plowed through about half of 'Pigeons' on the flight there, appreciating the irony of reading about the greatest iconic city animal of them all while going to visit the greatest iconic city of them all.

Have I ever told you that story: Once there was a beautiful raven haired woman that I considered marrying, whose very tenderest part of her heart was reserved for animals. One of her dreams was for us to have a dovecote to house some doves (which are actually pigeons, you'll find if you read the book). Every morning she planned to go down to the dovecote and pick up each of her cooing babies in turn and hold them gently to her cheek, lips pursed. They would calm each other down, she humming and the bird trilling and cooing.

Just the image of it calms me still.

I raised pigeons as a boy out in the hinterland of Hartline and have mostly been a friend of them ever since. From what I've read of this book so far, I'm recommending it.

I couldn't get the London girl to follow me home, but I made sure 'Pigeons' made it back. I'll finish it soon and start building the dovecote...for myself.

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