Carmen's Reviews > The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession

The Big Year by Mark Obmascik
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's review
Nov 24, 2011

it was ok

Fortunately a quick read because the world of obsessives freaks me out more than it entertains. The three main "contestants" of the Big Year seemed not to savor their travels or even their rare finds, always questing for a higher number rather than a great adventure.

I was also not super keen on the writing style either - I have read books about things I didn't appreciate but still appreciated the storytelling. I wasn't there with this one, there were a lot of bad sets ups (no one on earth could do this thing, but character A did it), weird descriptions (the bird was "as tall as a coke can but without the fizz") and moments when something was meant to be humorous but fell flat.

I also wanted to understand more about the birds but few of the animals were really fleshed out, most remained straightforward field guide descriptions or worse, just names. The author spent more effort describing phlegm ("coughing up oysters", uggggghhh) and seasickness than the objects of the hunt.

Finally, the "winner" is sort of a douchebag, so there's no real fun in that...
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