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Song of the Crow: A Novelby Layne Maheu
Synopses & Reviews
From the moment that he looks down on the ancient gray head of Noah, who is swinging his stone axe, the narrating crow in this unique and remarkable epic knows that these creators called Man are trouble. He senses, too, that the natural order of things is about to change.
At a time when so many of us are searching for meaning, Layne Maheu's debut novel lingers in a masterfully rendered ancient world just long enough to ponder our fears of disaster and to watch as humanity struggles to survive, to understand, and finally to prevail.
Recalling both the magical imagination of Richard Adams's Watership Down and the spiritual richness of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, Song of the Crow is a soaring debut.
"In a surprising take on the tale of Noah's ark and the flood, Maheu's beguiling debut unfolds from the perspective of a crow. The crow-narrator (named 'I Am') first spies Noah (the beastman) from his nest in a tree (the Giant) that Noah is trying to chop down. From the start, I Am does not trust or understand the Man who lives in the 'underworld.' As I Am grows up, orphaned by his parents, his survival is a daily challenge: he flies to elude predators and rummage for food, often with another bird called Plum Black, sometimes consulting with elder Old Bone. I Am soon discovers that he can recognize the words of the God Crow, who speaks to Noah with zeal and commands him to continue building the ark. Suddenly, I Am realizes that he can also understand human speech, and eventually, just before the floods, he sneaks onto Noah's ark. The names sometimes confuse, but Maheu's fable works beautifully, probing the relationship between creatures of the heavens and those of the underworld. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[E]nchanting....[An] engrossing story....After reading this remarkable book, you will marvel at every crow you see along the side of the road and maybe even begin to listen to their songs. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"It's the author's own words that prove Song of the Crow's greatest strength, making readers appreciate a truly alien point of view..." Seattle Times
"Maheu's canny and skillful marshaling of folklore, scripture, myth and literary reference provides scaffolding for events before, during, and after The Flood as experienced by a creature who, frequently airborne, enjoys excellent points of vantage." The Bloomsbury Review
"[A] gentle, powerful debut....Like a fable written by a poet, the story is a simple one, yet its profundity adds layers of complexity that shift, bringing in religion, nature, and morality...the author builds a tale both majestic and humble..." ForeWord Magazine
"[A] knockout debut....Maheu has crafted a remarkable retelling of the Noah saga....This is far more than a lit gimmick; this richly imagined novel delivers an important parable for today from a startlingly fresh perspective." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"It is a testament to Maheu's gift and his ability to fully inhabit his narrator that the reader identifies more with...the crow than Noah the human. Song of the Crow is an enthralling tale that ignites the imagination and reminds us that even the most familiar story has two sides." BookPage
"Song of the Crow is worth a good, long look." The San Diego Union-Tribune
"[F]ascinating....Maheu saves Noah from a needlepoint-and-animal-cracker fate and forces us to see what is probably the world's most catastrophic event with a new understanding and appreciation." January Magazine
A wing and a prayer and a promise when the waters recede.
About the Author
Layne Maheu lives with his son in Seattle, where he works as a carpenter. His short stories have appeared in Other Voices, Northwest Review, Ascent, and elsewhere. Song of the Crow is his first novel.
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