A beguiling story that does for Kenya and its birds what Alexander McCall Smith's Ladies' Detective Agency series does for Botswana
Nicholas Drayson's latest book, A Guide to the Birds of
is a rather unlikely novel. First, by its title, the initial
impression is that it's a birding guide, not a work of fiction. The characters
in it are almost all over the age of 60, not a popular choice in today's
youth-centered culture. Its protagonist, Mr. Malik, is "a brown man, sixty-one
years old, short, round and balding" with a bad comb-over, again, not your
typical romantic hero. And yet, all these literary quirks combine to form a
completely delightful novel.
Although the book's plot takes place in the present, it reads very much like a
British period piece. The reader is reminded of Victorian-era works like Around the World in Eighty Days
. The attitudes
expressed by the main characters may strike readers as somewhat
old-fashioned; Mr. Malik, in particular, has a highly ...
About the Author
Nicholas Drayson has written extensively about wildlife and
natural history. He is also the author of Confessing a Murder, which
was hailed by Booklist for its "view of Darwin never before seen." An
Englishman by birth, Drayson lived in Nairobi for two years. He now lives in
Australia, where he received a Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales.
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