wabijsabi, January 9, 2010 (view all comments by wabijsabi)
The memoir of a brilliant, reclusive man (with a magnificent belly dancing, computer programming girlfriend) who found his voice (for too brief a time) through the inspiration of a sparrow.
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freddy jane, March 23, 2008 (view all comments by freddy jane)
I have given away three copies of this book. To me, Chris Chester's memoir sings of all that is special about Portland, Oregon. His kindness to a small bird resulted in a work of great beauty.
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by Los Angeles Times,
"A wonderfully literate, oddball meditation on life and the power of rich friendships with small birds."
by The Sunday Oregonian,
"A story charmingly told, sprinkled with scientific information on birds, philosophical meanderings, the friendship that forms between human and avian...as mesmerizing as a bunch of feathers and dark eyes alighting in your hand."
by Missoula Independent,
"Highly astute and humorous....Filled with literary, historical, and scientific allusions, each so well-placed and -timed that one wonders at the author's encyclopedic mind."
by Library Journal,
"Heartfelt, warm, and entertaining....Highly literate and filled with personal ruminations, avian research, and literary allusions, Chester's writing style sets this book apart from other animal memoirs."
In the years since Chris Chester and his wife Rebecca rescued "B," a featherless baby bird — a creature with all the initial appeal of "a testicle with a beak" — they've had plenty of time to consider and reconsider their eccentric lifestyle. The upstairs floor of their home in Portland has become an indoor aviary. There is B's room, which he shares with a varying number of finches; the canary room; and the room housing the three subsequent foundling sparrows they've adopted: Baby, Pee Wee, and Seven. There are screen doors mounted in the doorways, congruent with "the Appalachian-themed decor." They've learned sparrow games like "War Bird," "Love Bird," and "Hit the Cap." The birds' bedtime rituals alone take an hour or more each night and cleaning the house for company means, essentially, cleaning room-sized cages. Not surprisingly the couple's social life has suffered a decline.
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