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H Is for Hawk

De : Helen Macdonald
Lu par : Helen Macdonald
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    Description

    When Helen MacDonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer captivated by hawks since childhood, she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators: the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral anger mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T. H. White's chronicle The Goshawk to begin her journey into Mabel's world. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of MacDonald's humanity.

    By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement, a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, and the story of an eccentric falconer and legendary writer. Weaving together obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history, H Is for Hawk is a distinctive, surprising blend of nature writing and memoir from a very gifted writer.

    ©2014 Helen Macdonald (P)2014 Isis Publishing, Ltd. UK

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de H Is for Hawk

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    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Sara
    • 09/04/2015

    Mabel The Hawk--The Fire That Burned The Hurts Away

    First let me start by saying that I was wary of buying the audio version of the book when I found out that the author was the narrator. This often goes terribly wrong. I was really looking forward to this book and didn't want it ruined by a narration problem. I need not have worried, MacDonald's narration was absolute perfection. The timing, the tone and her ability to capture the emotion and the energy of the story were all spot on. I loved listening to MacDonald tell her own story.

    The writing was beautiful, tragic, poetic, insightful and difficult listening in parts. At first I hated the look back at TH White's life and experience training his own hawk. Then, gradually because of MacDonald's deft storytelling ability I felt sympathy for White and his misery. What's more, having recently finished reading the bio of Alan Turing and I was fascinated by the similarities in White's and Turing's childhoods and experiences in school.

    This book offers a window into MacDonald's experience of complicated grief. It shows us how being in and a part of nature and wildness helped her find her way through. I found myself completely engaged and totally wrapped up in the history, detail and experience of falconry. However, be aware that this is a story about hawks--fierce predators and involves a fair amount of discussion of hunting, blood, and prey. All that said, it is a beauty of a book that allowed a glimpse at life through someone else's eyes. I loved it.

    140 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
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    • Carole T.
    • 04/05/2015

    Beautiful; Fascinating; Disturbing

    This is a book like none I have experienced. The writing is nearly sublime, and Helen Mcdonald narrates as only a person deeply involved in the story can.

    I rated it 5 stars across the board because, like other reviewers, I was astounded at the language and range of this book. It deals with grief and recovery and loneliness and attachment. And it informs about her experiences with hawks as well as the somewhat parallel story of the author T. H. White and his efforts in dealing with life and a goshawk.

    To me, this was also a deeply disturbing work of art. There can be no doubt about the love - and the respect - that Mcdonald has for her bird Mabel. Yet (and, for me, this was the elephant constantly in the room) she has had this bird trapped and dominated and trained to her will. Never in the book is this need to control a wild and free thing really discussed. Mcdonald refers to her hatred of killing and the reservations she must overcome about her role in this. She mentions that looking at pictures of birds is not sufficient for her - seeing them in life stimulates and satisfies something in her. So, why not bird watching? Or migration studies?

    Hunting with birds of prey has, of course, a long and romantic history. The process of capturing, training, and working these birds undoubtedly requires skill and courage. And her book is very effective at showing the healing power this process had for her. It's a personal and revealing book, yet I could and cannot for the life of me get inside of the mind of a person who can most appreciate a living and wild thing by dominating it. In some ways, I left this book feeling close to Helen Mcdonald; in that one startling way, I never could be.

    It's part of the fascination of this extraordinary listen.

    65 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      2 out of 5 stars
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    • J. Kahn
    • 13/03/2015

    Avoid if you care about animal suffering

    Any additional comments?

    I don't know why I bought this book. I should have known it was about the taming (torture) of a wild creature,a goshawk which she purchases in order to sate her curiosity about the sport of falconry. I couldn't finish it, and I suspect the author had to struggle wither own conscience, which reveals itself in small ways as she describes her young hawk's fear and suffering. She compares herself with a British author T H White, who bonded with a goshawk in order to control his own tendencies toward sadism and other psychological issues. For all her empathy with White, she fails to see how much she resembles him.


    25 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Elizabeth E. Johnson
    • 07/09/2015

    Enter the world of falconry

    My love of birds was taken to new heights by Helen Macdonald. She introduced me to a whole new world as she described in magnificent, emotionally charged detail, what it is like to train these amazing creatures. And yet, in the end I found the human was the one who learned the true life lessons from the art of falconry, and this left me yearning to learn more!

    24 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • kindle
    • 28/08/2015

    So Far Beyond my Expectations

    I had read the reviews but they did not prepare me for this book being so sublime.. Helen Macdonald is a wonderful writer and narrator. A beautiful experience to listen to this book.

    24 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Gabriela
    • 31/07/2015

    Splendid mix of genres

    What an eye opening book to your own thoughts on growing up, loss and grief. But don't get stuck on these words. Reading about the above themes can be difficult but the author integrated research on a naturalist who shared a passion of hers - falconry. I've had to stop reading to google and learn more about this fascinating hobby but also about the bird itself and its strengths and weakness (in a dummy-proof way). With her experience of raising Mabel she looks into herself to help her out of her mourning. This book is poetic both in writing about this animal and in writing about her experience with her father's passing. It was a true joy to read.

    23 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Carol Parker
    • 26/04/2015

    Perhaps the best book I've ever listened to

    Would you consider the audio edition of H Is for Hawk to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print edition. However, I think the author's performance of her work is truly wonderful.

    What does Helen Macdonald bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her feeling in the narration is beyond compare.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, this is the first book I have ever listened to that I could hardly stop listening to.

    Any additional comments?

    The best listen ever.

    21 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Dorothy S. Case
    • 25/08/2015

    Beautifully read by Helen herself

    I have a much greater knowledge of this "sport" and see through the book there are deeper meanings to it. However the exquisite reading was the reason I kept listening. I wonder if I would have even finished one chapter if it were in paper. This book moved me greatly-. Grieving for her father and her quest to understand White, as well as herself. Marvelous.

    20 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Daniela
    • 12/04/2015

    H for Heartful, Harrowing, Hopeful

    This is an outstanding memoir and very well read too (I wasn't very confident about this, because the reader is the author herself, but well! Helen, you got it right!).
    Grief and falconery, literature and biography.....
    Deeply original. A gem.

    18 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Scott
    • 20/03/2015

    Genre defying

    What did you love best about H Is for Hawk?

    What to make of this book? Guide to taming your hawk? Check? Mournful eulogy to a dead father? Check. Biography of T.H. White? Check. In whatever genre you may wish to pigeonhole H is for Hawk, I found this audiobook enthralling and this has mostly to do with MacDonald’s brave “bare your soul” honesty as well as her adept, fictionesque turn of phrasing. Grieving the sudden and unexpected death of her father, MacDonald retreats into two worlds: the solitary taming of a young goshawk she names Mabel and the life of tortured author (and one time goshawk trainer) T.H. White, with whom MacDonald obviously senses a kinship on several levels. Through both, MacDonald loses and then reclaims herself from the grief for her father. This is a moving, elegiac memoir that connects the listener intimately with MacDonald, her father, White, and Mabel (whose personality is slowly and fascinatingly revealed). For those without much knowledge of falconry there are lots of interesting historical, cultural and taming tidbits that left me wanting more. The parts about White I found less compelling but certainly understood MacDonald’s fascination with him. This book had me at every page and I honestly didn’t know where it would end up. The only criticism I had was the narration, by the author herself, which I found a bit leaden. Nevertheless, I will look forward eagerly to her next book

    16 personnes ont trouvé cela utile