I wasn’t expecting to like this book. I picked it up in part because Mollie, my writing tutor, suggested reading out of our comfort zone. The blurb on the back definitely suggested that it wasn’t my typical reading material.
It’s the story of Basil Peyton Crumbe, a man who enjoys all the traditional English country hobbies, but most especially shooting. He has killed 41000 birds by the time we meet him. Unfortunately for Basil, when he dies, he is somehow reincarnated as a pheasant.
The situations that he finds himself in thereafter are written with great humour, and there were several parts when I embarrassed myself a little, laughing loudly when on a train. It was a crowded carriage, and more than one person was startled into looking my way.
It is a well written novel, particularly the way that Kennaway is able to create something of a realism when he describes what the animals who live on Basil’s land think of him, and his fellow humans. They aren’t very appreciative of the humans’ physical appearance, but there is a underlying affection coming from the animals, well not really towards Basil, throughout the book.
Kennaway handles the dual transformation that Basil undergoes, with a deft hand, and I would be most interested to see if he manages to achieve a similar thing in his other books.
I'm a thirty something woman who lives in the north of England. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, creating stories both written and verbal since childhood. While studying at Edge Hill College, I got several poems published by a small publisher in the USA, and in Europe. I have been part of several writing groups, and done quite a few courses in a attempt to hone my writing skills further. I love reading different genres of fiction, knowing that the best way to develop my own writing, and my vocabulary is by exposing myself to the different ways that other people choose to describe things.
The most recent writing course that I've been part of, run by a published author, included a exercise in which we were challenged to read things that we would never usually even look at.
It inspired me to take up a challenge. Namely to attempt to read at least one book by every author which is stocked in my local library. I soon realised that I was being far too ambitious, especially given the fact that every library rotates their stock too often for me to keep track.
I've decided to instead attempt to read a book every day, starting with a author whose surname begins with A, and ending with a author whose surname begins with Z. It doesn't matter what the topic of the book is, or if it's fiction or non fiction, everything is useful for me at the minute.
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