A brilliant and moving coming-of-age story in the tradition of Wonder by R. J. Palacio and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon - this debut novel is written with tremendous humor and charm.
This is Alex's story. But he doesn't know exactly what it's about yet, so you probably shouldn't either.
Instead, here are some things that it's sort of about (but not really):
It's sort of (but not really) about brain surgery.
It's sort of (but not really) about a hamster named Jaws 2 (after the original Jaws (who died), not the movie Jaws 2).
It's sort of (but actually quite a lot) about Alex's parents.
It's sort of (but not really) about feeling ostrichized (which is a better word for excluded (because ostriches can't fly so they often feel left out)).
It's sort of (but not really (but actually, the more you think about it, kind of a lot)) about empathy (which is like sympathy only better), and also love and trust and fate and time and quantum mechanics and friendship and exams and growing up.
And it's also sort of about courage. Because sometimes it actually takes quite a lot of it to bury your head in the sand.
I didn't always want to know. Matt Greene is a smart writer, and Alex is drawn with deft, clever strokes, but I didn't always care to follow their meandering thoughts. They weren't always all that interesting.
Then again Alex has these seizures and he has just had brain surgery for goodness sake. So maybe his mind can't help but wander. And that is extremely interesting to me – the way the structure of the story parallels the protagonist's personality. Ultimately it sustained me as I watched Alex try to both move through typical pre-adolescent experiences and solve the mystery of his parents' – and hamster's – odd new behavior. (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).
Looming over this novel is Mark Haddon's tale of an autistic boy, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. This work is its miniature
Maria Semple, New York Times bestselling author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Irresistible! Ostrich is loaded with wit, charm, and wisdom. Alex is one of the sweetest and most inspiring narrators I’ve ever encountered. I dare you not to laugh, cry, and fall utterly in love.
Carol Rifka Brunt, author of Tell the Wolves I’m Home
One of the bravest novels I’ve read in a very long time. Matt Greene lets the reader become detective, and clue by clue we uncover not only the truth of Alex’s world, but the deepest truths of what it means to love and lose.
Matt Haig, author of The Humans Ostrich has given me the most enjoyable reading experience I’ve had all year and has one of the funniest and most engaging young narrators I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Matt Greene is seriously funny and in Ostrich proves comedy can be the finest of arts.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Lori Ostrich by Matt Greene I was happy to be given the opportunity to read Ostrich as I’d heard comparison of it to two of my favorites, Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It did not disappoint me. I thought this was a great read, particularly... Read More
In Matt Greene's Ostrich, protagonist Alex Graham is obsessed with mnemonic devices. How did mnemonics get their start?
Simonides of Ceos was a Greek poet in the sixth century B.C. As the story goes, he was asked to recite an ode at a nobleman's banquet. Simonides began his speech, as was customary, by thanking the gods – in this case Pollux and Castor, twins who were later transformed into the constellation Gemini. But the nobleman did not appreciate sharing the limelight with the gods. Simonides would get half of his fee, the nobleman said, and if he wanted the rest he could ask the gods themselves to pay him. Shortly afterwards, Simonides was called out of the room. Two men were supposedly at the door to see him. He went to the door but no one was there. While he was away, the banquet room collapsed, killing everyone. So perhaps Simonides had indeed been paid by the gods? That was the end of the story – or not. The bodies of the dead people were so mangled they were unrecognizable. Simonides, however, was able to call on his visual memory to...
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...