When the author's father Richard was 11 years old, he spotted a Brown Thrasher, and his fascination with birds began. Now a "Big Lister", Richard is one of only 10 or so people to have recorded more than 7,000 species in his notebook. This is the remarkable chronicle of his travels across the globe in pursuit of his fixation. It is also a thoughtful examination of the natural world and a touching father/son story.
To See Every Bird gets to the very core of a pastime that is a hobby for millions, and nothing less than an obsession for some.
©2005 Dan Koeppel; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
This is a fascinating biography of Richard Koeppel, written by his son. Brilliantly read by John McDonough (who, far from being ancient, would have been about 51 at the time of recording...a few years older than the author, but sons come in all ages Caroline ;-)).
A story of the frustrations and contradictory influences shaping an unorthodox life, It is also a vivid insight into the relationship between a son and a father. With Richard struggling to be comfortable with his own place in the World, it was not easy for the young Dan to be close to his father.
For me as a (much less committed) birder the meat of the story lies in the birding aspect of the story of 's life story. As such I can identify directly with Richard's frustrations and recognise his remarkable achievement.
The story would still be a great read whatever Richard's obsession had been. Even if birds and birding leave you totally cold it's worth thinking about.
I've listened to this many times, and find more in it every time I hear it.
A warm, moving and well observed story.
Interesting memoir but a totally disconcerting narration. The author is writing about his relationship with his elderly father, but it sounds like it's being read by the author's father since the narrator is Brimleyish. This got incredibly annoying over the course of the book. Still worth getting if you're interested in big listers. Ironically, he has a part about the folly of people who claimed they saw the ivory-billed woodpecker in the 90s-- written before the ibw was rediscovered.
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