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No Way But Gentlenesse: A Memoir of How Kes, My Kestrel, Changed My Life
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No Way But Gentlenesse: A Memoir of How Kes, My Kestrel, Changed My Life

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  12 reviews
There is no way but gentlenesse to redeeme a Hawke.
--Edmund Bert, 1619

Born and raised in the South Yorkshire mining village of Hoyland Common, Richard Hines remembers sliding down heaps of coal dust, hearing whispers of "accidents" in the pit, listening for the siren at the end of mine shifts, and praying for his father's safe return. At age eleven, Richard's
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 24th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Richard Hines is a Yorkshire man through and through. Raised in, Hoyland Common, mining was the chosen career of his father and grandfather and many of the men in the village. He remember sliding down heaps of waste, hearing of accidents in the pit; knowing that his father would open the door the same time after a shift; there was that dread in the stomach that came when he was late. Sitting the eleven plus exam, it was hoped that he would pass and follow his brother Barry to grammar school. He ...more
Mark Avery
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
You may remember the film Kes (director, Ken Loach) if you are a certain age, and you may well have had to study the book A Kestrel for a Knave at school if you are of another certainly younger age. In either case you will associate the name Barry Hines with that story of a boy who trained a Kestrel but that boy was actually Richard, Barry’s younger brother. This is his tale told in his own words.

I’m really not that interested in tales of people training birds of prey – I’m a bit int
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A poignant, heartfelt and bittersweet memoir of a South Yorkshire lad from a mining community, branded a failure at an early age by a two-tiered education system, but whose love for, and self-taught knowledge of, caring for and flying hawks became the inspiration for his elder brother Barry's classic novel 'A Kestrel for a Knave' (which I loved) and led to his important role as the trainer of the hawks used in the resultant iconic Ken Loach film 'Kes'. With the confidence he gleaned from his wor ...more
Mick Meyers
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
this book was more than a instruction manual for training kestrels,Richards book also covers the filming of is his earlier life that resonates more with me,the fact that we are a similar age group thrown onto a scrap heap by the education system because we failed our eleven plus.termed by so called career teachers as factory fodder and to be pigeonholed for the rest of our lives.richard managed albeit the long way round to eke out a life for himself and successfully moved up through the e ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not as falconry based as I was expecting, but incredibly interesting. His insight into social class and his personal family and town's history are fascinating, as well as the revelation that falconry was always for the noble and that people in his (or my) social status would not have been welcome. I had never thought of that in such a personal way before.
Worth a read whether you're a falconer or not
Helen Norwood
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book and did find the insights into the author's love of kestrels and his childhood interesting. However, there were times I found the detail almost too much and the style rambled a bit so that I had to resist the urge to skim over parts. All in all however I would recommend this book and if you've read 'A Kestrel for a Knave' by Barry Hines then this is a great companion to that
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the book from which the movie "Kes" was made. In this case, both the book and the movie are excellent! The author's older brother wrote the book, "A Falcon for a Knave," which was also a good book! This tells the story of the author, with few vocational prospects in a coal-miming town in England. He adopted a kestrel (or two) and raised them. This led him to literacy, and a professional job!
Jack Rich
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. Funny, sad and heartfelt.
This book feels like an essential companion to Richard Hines' brother Barry's novel A Kestrel for a Knave and Ken Loach's film Kes. It's a lot more than 'the real story behind Kes' although it is certainly that, nor is a book solely about falconry. It's a lot about the twists and turns of one individual's life...

Richard did not follow his brother Barry to Grammar School, a circumstance which has marked him for life, and many of his experiences at Secondary Modern found their way into
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This memoir felt so peaceful in many ways...I feel as though I would like to sit with this man and his wife and have some tea. He seems a humble yet wise person. His words at the end so heartening.
My own experiences...have convinced me that all of us have something of worth;a hidden potential a talent or aptitude, which, if, through our home circumstances, our education, or by chance we are fortunate enough to unearth it, this talent can inspire us to do things in life we might have though
Sheila Pritchard
Jun 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I did enjoy it but it was a bit rambling. In my view it didn't really show how a kestrel taught him gentleness.
Gail Kennon
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it
very unadorned prose. a moving story but with too much repetition of facts about his life.
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