Why Peacocks?: Book summary and reviews of Why Peacocks? by Sean Flynn

Why Peacocks?

An Unlikely Search for Meaning in the World's Most Magnificent Bird

by Sean Flynn

Why Peacocks? by Sean Flynn X
Why Peacocks? by Sean Flynn
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  May 2021
    272 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

An acclaimed journalist seeks to understand the mysterious allure of peacocks—and in the process discovers unexpected and valuable life lessons.

When Sean Flynn's neighbor in North Carolina texted "Any chance you guys want a peacock? No kidding!" he stared bewilderedly at his phone. He had never considered whether he wanted a peacock. But as an award-winning magazine writer, this kind of mystery intrigued him. So he, his wife, and their two young sons became the owners of not one but three charming yet fickle birds: Carl, Ethel, and Mr. Pickle.

In Why Peacocks?, Flynn chronicles his hilarious and heartwarming first year as a peacock owner, from struggling to build a pen to assisting the local bird doctor in surgery to triumphantly watching a peahen lay her first egg. He also examines the history of peacocks, from their appearance in the Garden of Eden to their befuddling Charles Darwin to their bewitching the likes of Flannery O'Connor and Martha Stewart. And fueled by a reporter's curiosity, he travels across the globe to learn more about the birds firsthand, with stops including a Scottish castle where peacocks have resided for centuries, a southern California community tormented by a serial killer of peacocks, and a Kansas City airport hotel hosting an annual gathering of true peafowl aficionados.

At turns comically absurd and deeply poignant, Why Peacocks? blends lively, insightful memoir and illuminating science journalism to answer the title's question. More than that, it offers surprising lessons about love, grief, fatherhood, and family.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"[W]ry and moving...Flynn brings the birds to life as characters...and a conversation he has with his son about animal death is especially touching. Fans of Lauren Scheuer's Once Upon a Flock should give this a look." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"As readers follow Flynn's journey, his clever insights and pleasing prose style will leave them alternating between moments of shock and bursts of laughter. In the last few chapters, however, the tone shifts into a more somber mode...Though not the most profound meditation, the book makes for pleasant reading, especially for bird lovers. A unique journey punctuated with insight, humor, and lessons learned." - Kirkus Reviews

"Sean Flynn's writing has an easy, genuine flow, like a friend telling a story over dinner, and in this charming book his story is about peacocks. He is entirely successful in answering the question in the title, but saying this is a book about peacocks seems inadequate. It ends up being about so much more." - David Sibley, author of the New York Times bestsellers What It's Like to Be a Bird and The Sibley Guide to Birds

"Why Peacocks? is a wonderful book. At times moving and at times hilarious, always well written, it's a story about family life and love, pets and peacocks, that evolves into an investigation of one of evolution's biggest mysteries: Why does beauty exist?" - Patrik Svensson, author of the international bestseller The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World

"A truly wise and tender sparkler of a book. Weaving memoir, history, reportage, and mythology, Sean Flynn tells not just a quirky story about iridescent birds but a more profound one about family and parenthood, the innocence of childhood and our own mortality. I read it in one gulp, moved and humored and carried away by Flynn's heart and artistry as a master storyteller." - Michael Paterniti, author of the New York Times bestseller The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese

This information about Why Peacocks? shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Sean Flynn

Sean Flynn is a National Magazine Award–winning journalist and author who's reported from six continents during the past thirty years. A long-time correspondent for GQ, his work has been widely anthologized and translated into nearly a dozen languages. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two boys.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more biography/memoir...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Code Breaker
    The Code Breaker
    by Walter Isaacson
    What makes humans human? It's a mystery that has inspired philosophers and driven scientific ...
  • Book Jacket: Genesis
    Genesis
    by Guido Tonelli
    Popular science books represent an important niche in non-fiction. They build a bridge between ...
  • Book Jacket: Buses Are a Comin'
    Buses Are a Comin'
    by Charles Person, Richard Rooker
    Charles Person was just 18 years old in 1961 when he became the youngest of the first wave of '...
  • Book Jacket: Firekeeper's Daughter
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Angeline Boulley's young adult novel Firekeeper's Daughter follows 18-year-old Daunis — ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Girl in His Shadow
by Audrey Blake
The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Theater for Dreamers
    by Polly Samson

    A spellbinding tour-de-force about the beauty between naïveté and cruelty, artist and muse.

  • Book Jacket

    Crossing the River
    by Carol Smith

    A powerful exploration of grief that combines memoir, reportage, and lessons in how to heal.

Who Said...

A book is one of the most patient of all man's inventions.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S I T closet

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.