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The London Pigeon Wars
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The London Pigeon Wars

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  204 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
There are Tariq and Emma, Tom and Karen, Kwesi, Freya, and Ami--city-dwelling thirty-somethingers whose youthful hopes and dreams have dissolved into failing careers, failing relationships, and failing health. And yet their dissatisfaction has scarcely occurred to them until the mythic Murray returns with his Murray fun and irritating ease with life. His reappearance makes ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 9th 2004 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 2003)
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Nov 03, 2010 rated it liked it
I really got the feel of being in London.
Sandra Grauschopf
When I was thinking about what I wanted to say about The London Pigeon Wars, the first thing that came to mind was, "The writing was witty, but..." Then it occurred to me that that reaction is exactly what's wrong with this book.

The writing seems sharp, but the plot and the characterization fall flat. I don't have a reason to care about any of the characters. A quote on the back of the book promises, "a real gut-punching shock that sends to reader back to the beginning to reappraise everything t
Jun 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
this was an interesting read. about some thirty somethings in london. the odd part is that there is a parallel story going on about pigeons at war. pigeon slang is pretty interesting.
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The human characters and their backgrounds, relationships, interactions etc., was interesting and at time made for some funny moments. The pigeon consciousness on the other hand - although it helped fill in a few holes and whatnot - was mostly distracting. For an animal that described itself as bird-brained, it spoke (thought) with an eloquence not unlike the characters in A Clockwork Orange or 'V' from V for Vendetta, but that only served to slow the pace of the book somewhat as I tried to deci ...more
Jan 13, 2009 marked it as released-or-to-release-without-read
"Master storyteller and Whitbread Novel Award-wimmer Patrick Neate has written a funny, provocative and daring tale of London high and low life set among the capital's twirtysomethings. Featuring performance poetry; murder; Trafalgar Square's only fried-chicken induced battle; hat selling; bank robbery for the middle classes; love (and other social ailments); as well as pigeons - lots of crazed, angry thinking pigeons - The London Pigeon Wars is both a comic fable for our times and an exciting b ...more
Oct 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very unusual. And crap! it is completely untranslatable - by me anyway.
Also, what is frustrating is that no one here wrote anything about it, but I need to talk about this book! I need to share, discuss, debate, ask questions... Where's the author?

Actually, stumbled upon (read "actively looked up"...) a review on Amazon, and the guy hit it on the nail: the "deus ex machina" feeling is a little frustrating, and Murray could/should have done with a little (read "a lot") more explaining.

Still. A v
Colin Mclennan
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Such low attention spans for some of those that tried to read this book! I really enjoyed it and the pidgin speak Is nothing to those of us that read train spotting twenty years ago. My twin fascination with Murray and with the surreal pigeon element kept me going to the end. I DID find myself flicking back to chapters gone by to see how it all fitted in and I am still thinking about it the day after. It's not perfect but it's surely entertaining and different from your run of the mill by number ...more
Tom D'Roza
I started out really enjoying the chapters written from the pigeon's perspective. The author makes clever use of "pigeon English" to highlight the pigeon's view of the world. By the end though I found those chapters hard work and a distraction from the main story line. Still, a fairly entertaining read, although I found the ending confusing - I suspect there was some deeper meaning that was lost on me.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the parts from the pigeon's perspective, not enough books give pigeons the chance to give their point of view. The human stories and relationships were great too and this book would've got 4/5 except the ending revelation wanted me to stretch my suspended disbelief just a tiny bit too much. I'd already accepted talking pigeons book! -.-
Jennifer Barber
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having started this book three times and failing to get past the first chapter (pidgin isn't the easiest to get your head round) I finally stuck with it 4th time round and wish I'd done it sooner! Love the characters (both human and pigeon) and the mystery of exactly who - or what - Murray is still has me wondering!
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
It all started out so promising. Pigeons with thoughts and their own language (a bit like Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange - "viddying" etc) but oh boy, it became unsustainable. The pigeon-speak became entirely incomprehensible and the long and winding plot never really got going. I was unable to finish it.
Maja Dezulovic
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book ended up in my hands by accident. I picked it up at a flat my aunt was renting; it had been left behind my a previous tenant.
I enjoyed the book. The author's voice is fresh and easy to read. I'll probably dive into more of his work. I loved the protagonists' story against the backdrop of the pigeon wars - it's almost like a modern version of Hitchcock's The Birds.
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
London's pigeons go to war while beneath a group of thirty-somethings feel lost and decide to rob a bank.

The chapters written in the voice of the pigeons - their strange new pigeon language - are delightful. The terribly charismatic Murray - the pied piper of the humans - should be annoying but isn't. It's all very strange and darkly enjoyable.
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
this book is so weird. the structure, the characters, the tone, the voices of alternate universe pigeons - i could only skim those parts because the pigeon language was so grating. It took me a while to get through but at the end of the day I kind of liked it? Eh.
Dec 11, 2007 rated it liked it
Pigeons that talk! Yes! If only they were the entire story.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this and I really didn't know what to expect from it, an original perspective!
Asha Stark
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Not a writing style I could take to, unfortunately. Very novel premise though.
Dec 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
when i finished this book i missed it so much i turned back to the first page and read it over again. but maybe that's just cuz i'm compulsive sometimes. but it was a great read.
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary, london
Very disappointing. Such a great idea - I would love to read about the lives of our great London pigeons but it fell down on plot, pace and even comprehensiveness.
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
I adored this. OK, I didn't always get the pigeon parts, the weird bird patois, but I stuck with it and I can't immediately recall any other literary ending that has affected me so deeply.
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Big Chill meets Animal Farm in an intriguing book which ultimately fails to move you - Twelve Bar Blues is a much better bet
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David Ross
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