Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

A Novel
Narrated by: Jot Davies
Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Here he is, husband and father, scruffy romantic, a shambolic scholar - a man adrift in the wake of his wife's sudden, accidental death. And there are his two sons who like him struggle in their London apartment to face the unbearable sadness that has engulfed them. The father imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness, while the boys wander, savage and unsupervised.

In this moment of violent despair they are visited by Crow - antagonist, trickster, goad, protector, therapist, and babysitter. This self-described "sentimental bird", at once wild and tender, who "finds humans dull except in grief", threatens to stay with the wounded family until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and the pain of loss lessens with the balm of memories, Crow's efforts are rewarded and the little unit of three begins to recover: Dad resumes his book about the poet Ted Hughes; the boys get on with it, grow up.

Part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief, Max Porter's extraordinary debut combines compassion and bravura style to dazzling effect. Full of angular wit and profound truths, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers is a startlingly original and haunting debut by a significant new talent.

©2015 Max Porter (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[A] remarkable debut…. Like a prose poem in its splendid language but with its own swift flow, this is highly recommended for ambitious readers." ( Library Journal Starred Review)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Remarkable use of language

This might be the best listening experience I have had on Audible. It’s difficult to describe what this work is. Technically, it’s a novel. But it’s also a poem, and ode, an elegy, a love note. I wept at the end. Just marvelous.

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Awesome !

This piece is too warm for me to describe. I've listened to it twice now, and look forward to reading/listening to it again in future days. The narration by Jot Davies makes Max Porter's writing come alive and gives this brilliant work all that it deserves. I didn't know about this novel until I looked into reading Lanny, and a reviewer suggested that if I hadn't read Grief is the Thing with Feathers that I read it now. I'm so grateful to that reviewer !!!

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brilliant

Compelling! This was a wonderfully written story, I couldn't put it down. love love love.

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perfect!

well written well-performed you will enjoy this realizing grief without feeling grief I loved it