Friday, 14 July 2017

Review 'H is for Hawk' by Helen Macdonald

H is for HawkH is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

This was a prize winning non-fiction or perhaps faction work. The writing was literary, elegant and a little self indulgent at times. The author is training a hawk, a goshawk, trying to recover from the shock of her father's sudden death, and trying to sort out her life.

The method of telling her story is to look at T H White's life and his book, The Goshawk and talk, discuss and compare her training of her goshawk with his. I found this annoying at times. It seemed that Helen Macdonald had to trash White and his work in order to justify hers. And I did find the hand wringing and wailing about her depression and agony of grief rather self indulgent. A little less of it and perhaps this (and maybe other readers) would have felt more sympathy.

Oh it's a fine piece of writing and worthy of the Samuel Johnson prize but I think even Johnson might have barked 'Enough self analysis and agonising.' at times!

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