Review: Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter.

grief is the thing with feathers“Moving on, as a concept, is for stupid people, because any sensible person knows grief is a long-term project. I refuse to rush. The pain that is thrust upon us let no man slow or speed or fix.” – Max Porter.

Since I finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower I have taken to reading short stories. This is both easing me out of the giant book slump I have been in and it is a good way to finish books when I’ve been struggling to find time to pick up anything. Not only this, but I feel it’s broadening my reading tastes because today’s book review is on a book that I wouldn’t have picked up if I hadn’t been specifically searching for short stories.

After the death of a woman, her two sons and husband are left grieving. During times of need they are visited by a crow who takes over as the family’s carer by looking after the kids and even the husband, or rather, widow. The Crow has been drawn to this family and he won’t leave until he is no longer needed.

This short story really surprised me. I’m not entirely sure why I bought it, it just sounded rather intriguing, but I wasn’t sure I would like it anyway. It turned out that I quite enjoyed this book. At the start it is a format you kind of have to get used to because reading from the Crow’s perspective is rather… peculiar. The language just sounds so strange and disjointed, but it works because this character isn’t human, so naturally, he doesn’t think like we do.

The writing throughout this book is part of what made it really enjoyable. Firstly, there is the aforementioned Crow’s perspective, but we also read from the viewpoint of the children and their father. Each part sounds different and accurately represents these specific characters and how they are feeling; I feel that Porter has really managed to capture emotion well, especially in the father’s passages.

Another thing that surprised me about this book is the poetry aspect. I really wasn’t expecting any kind of poetry, and honestly, it’s really not a huge interest of mine. I can appreciate it to an extent, but I don’t have a huge grasp on it. And this isn’t where the surprise ends either, because I really enjoyed the poems. It made sense with all the writing and the tone of the book and I felt it aided the story because it would make you read certain parts in a particular way in order to create a certain effect.

Overall, I really liked this book. It was somewhat strange, but I feel that it was really well written and I loved the pacing and format and the structure of the story. I rate this 4/5.

Have you read this short story? What did you make of it?


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5 thoughts on “Review: Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter.

  1. lowkeydarling says:

    Great review – I’ve never been really into short stories besides a book of short stories by Stephen King that had ‘The Body’ which is the story of Stand by Me and the story for Shawshank Redemption. This one sounds interesting though!

    Liked by 1 person

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