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Grief is the Thing with Feathers
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2017 TOB -The Books > Grief is the Thing with Feathers

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Melanie Greene (dakimel) | 236 comments The crow-language was fun & effective - his acquiring smoother English, the word choices Porter threw in his beak.

This book gut-punched me in good ways. It kept me at a bit of a distance, but that distance served to just give me space to inhabit the world, somehow. I wasn't expecting that.


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1631 comments I feel the same! The language was spot on for me and the characterizations of Crow with the grieving survivors felt so very BOY to me, in a marvelous way. The experience was so very visceral and destructive and real and sad and beautiful and hopeful.


Alison Hardtmann (ridgewaygirl) | 444 comments This is my favorite book so far. Just so beautifully done. I'm really curious to see how it does.


Susanw | 21 comments I'm the lone dissenter here. While I totally could appreciate the talent and the writing involved, I found myself skimming entire sections. I shouldn't need to skim a 100 page book. I must say I am surprise by the undying love for this book, is it just that different that people felt blown away?

I have to wonder if it was a place/time thing for me, as I read this during the 24in48 readathon, at like 8:00am Sunday morning. I might have need a more plot heavy book at that time.

I also seem to always pick the wrong books from the long list, this time I read the 'other' experimental free prose book, Pond, which I enjoyed much better than this one. So that comparison was also going through my mind reading this one.


Deborah (brandiec) | 113 comments Susanw wrote: "I'm the lone dissenter here."

Not quite, Susanw; I'm not a fan of this one, either.


Heather (hlynhart) | 299 comments Susanw wrote: "I'm the lone dissenter here. While I totally could appreciate the talent and the writing involved, I found myself skimming entire sections. I shouldn't need to skim a 100 page book. I must say I am..."

Count me in the "underwhelmed" camp too. I thought it was boring.


Bryn (Plus Others) (brynplusplus) | 94 comments I did not mind this one -- I had no urge to stop reading it -- but it didn't really work for me. I think having recently read H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald, I expected something a lot more raw and wild. It occured to me reading it that part of it was that it felt more like a child's view even in the parts that are about adult loss, and reading more about Porter suggested that might have been the case.


Ruthiella | 331 comments Maybe this is because I know very little about poetry, but I thought this read more like a prose poem than a "novel".

I expected to hate this because I generally dislike what other readers sometimes describe as "beautiful writing". I often find heavy metaphor to be very off putting as a reader. I thought this was OK - easy to read, even if parts were a bit incomprehensible to me. But I will not run out to read any follow up by the author, in particular if he continues to write prose poetry.


Kristel (kristelh) | 27 comments This book was very creative work of fiction compared to nonfiction H is for Hawk and A Year of Magical Thinking. I really enjoyed writing my review for this one which usually means to me it was a very good book even if it wasn't the most readable read.


AmberBug com* | 444 comments Is it just me or is the format reminiscent of Dept. of Speculation?


Ruthiella | 331 comments AmberBug wrote: "Is it just me or is the format reminiscent of Dept. of Speculation?"

It's not just you AmberBug. I thought of that book too, it has that same sort of fragmented style.


Dianah (fig2) | 255 comments Ruthiella wrote: "AmberBug wrote: "Is it just me or is the format reminiscent of Dept. of Speculation?"

It's not just you AmberBug. I thought of that book too, it has that same sort of fragmented st..."


I agree. Those tiny vingettes, all piled on top of each other, seems to create something that is bigger than the sum of its parts.


message 14: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy (asawatzky) | 1631 comments Oh oh! Now I must dust off my copy of Dept of Speculation! (I've delayed due to all the mixed reviews)


Alison Hardtmann (ridgewaygirl) | 444 comments Amy wrote: "Oh oh! Now I must dust off my copy of Dept of Speculation! (I've delayed due to all the mixed reviews)"

I thought it was brilliant. For what that's worth. But it isn't a tidy, linear plot with a lot of clear dialog. If you liked Grief, you'll won't have a problem with Speculation's format.


Jessica (thebluestocking) (jessicaesq) | 3 comments This one had moments of genius for me, but ultimately left me cold. I will take away a couple of the quotes and let the rest drift away.


BooksBeyondMeasure | 7 comments I enjoyed reading it, but there are so many other books I loved more this year! I appreciate the writing, but didn't see it as amazing like many of you did.


message 18: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Taone (dustyfloors) | 6 comments I loved this book and while I still have a huge chunk to go (14) I think this will be a top contender for me!

Also, I agree with all of the Dept. of Speculation comparisons. The format of it felt so familiar to me when I was reading and I couldn't put my finger on it. Once someone mentioned it I knew immediately that was the book I was thinking of.


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 19, 2017 06:41PM) (new)

This one is right in the middle of the pack for me. I'm not usually a fan of experimental fiction, so this book is not my cuppa. Had it been longer, I probably would have bailed after the first few pages. Knowing that it would be over in about 100 pages, I didn't get too annoyed with the disjointed prose and nonsense words. It seems possible that crows think and talk like that, and the metaphor of crow as grief works well. The first section is weird, but okay, the second section is pretty good, and the last section wowed me with it's emotional punch. I don't see this book advancing over Moonglow in the opening round, and I won't be looking for Porter's next book, but I'm glad I read this one.


Gayla Bassham (sophronisba) | 156 comments I read this yesterday and I thought it was dull, and oddly repetitive given that it's only a little over 100 pages. I really preferred Dept. of Speculation.


Daniel Sevitt | 80 comments Brief is the Thing with Feathers.

I thought this was a heartbreaking grief memoir. I seem to be drawn to them in the couple of years since my father died. I find them, they find me, who knows? They are hard things to read critically because they are so personal, but the best of them tend towards universality. This was one of the best.


message 22: by Drew (new) - rated it 5 stars

Drew (drewlynn) | 416 comments I was able to find time to read this in one sitting which I think contributed to my enjoyment of it. That and my fascination with crows. It was a good description of living with grief although not enough to make me go look up the Ted Hughes poem.


Mainon (bravenewbooks) | 91 comments Amy wrote: "Oh oh! Now I must dust off my copy of Dept of Speculation! (I've delayed due to all the mixed reviews)"

Amy, Dept of Speculation was one of my very favorite books that year! Based on some of our other conversations about books, I suspect we have somewhat similar taste, so I am very hopeful that you will like it.

I also loved parts of Grief, though it's not my usual fare.


Melanie Greene (dakimel) | 236 comments Drew wrote: "I was able to find time to read this in one sitting which I think contributed to my enjoyment of it. That and my fascination with crows. It was a good description of living with grief although not ..."

The book didn't send me looking, but your comment did.
I read the first one, and it was grim, and then I decided not to read any others. But here they are for those interested: http://www.shigeku.org/xlib/lingshida...


Katie | 127 comments This was one I just couldn't avoid internalizing. As a mom with sons the sadness just felt so real. I'm not blown away exactly but the crow aspect was a twist. 100 pages read in an evening can leave no real memory, but this one left an ache in me. I had it on my radar and never got to it and I am glad I did.


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