Flying Crows: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$5.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book is in very clean condition. Dust cover is missing. Corner of pages have slight curl to them. Book has a slight crease to it. Never read copy. Book is in very clean condition. Only normal shelf wear is shown on cover. Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping 24/7 Customer Service + package tracking. Satisfaction Guaranteed !
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Flying Crows: A Novel Hardcover – May 11, 2004


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$0.71 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (May 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400061970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400061976
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,634,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A Kansas City police detective tries to untangle the curious pasts of two asylum patients in this touching novel about lost souls, loneliness and life's small triumphs. Lt. Randy Benton, assigned to make the final sweep of the city's long-shuttered Union Station before restoration work begins, finds an aging hermit, alive and well in a concealed room that used to be a restaurant pantry in the old railroad terminal. The hermit, Birdie Carlucci, says he's been living at the station since 1933. A railroad buff himself, Benton is stirred by Birdie's tale of "a great life" at the station as well as intrigued by the old man's account of escaping more than 60 years ago from a nearby insane asylum with a friend, Josh. Benton, working in his spare time, begins piecing together the story of the two men, a search that takes him deep into the golden age of rail travel as well as the unnerving history of the treatment of the mentally ill in the early years of the century. Both Josh and Birdie, it turns out, witnessed awful tragedies as young boys, traumas so disturbing that they wound up in the asylum, where they were routinely hit with baseball bats and threatened with electric shock therapy as well as lobotomy. Their stay served as the basis for a bond that gave each a reason to liveâ€"and escape. Shifting narrators as well as settings between 1933 and 1997, Lehrer's 14th novel is an expertly researched, warmly told tale, rich in suspense and drama. The PBS newscaster (No Certain Rest) has crafted a highly personal story, quiet in tone and scope, yet booming in emotional intensity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Although he is still best known as a newsman (he anchors The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer), the author has steadily established a solid reputation as a novelist. This, his fourteenth novel, begins in 1997, in Kansas City's Union Station. A police officer finds an elderly man who claims to have escaped from a lunatic asylum more than 60 years ago. He also claims to have been living in the station ever since. Who is this man who calls himself Birdie Carlucci, and what brought him to the Somerset asylum all those decades ago? And who is Josh, the older inmate he became friends with and who helped him escape in 1933? What madness lay within Josh, who claimed to have witnessed a Civil War massacre? Lehrer, whose novels usually balance plot and character in equal proportions, this time has crafted a story that is almost entirely character driven. Birdie; Josh; Randy, the police officer; Dr. Mitchell, the physician who saves Josh's life and then, years later, helps him to escape--each member of the cast becomes a fascinating object of study. While some readers (those who impatiently wait for the story to get moving) might get restless, the rest will plunge deeply into the novel, soaking up its rich characters and mysterious, dark undertones. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'd never read any of Jim Lehrer's fourteen novels until this one and then only because my wife told me she thought I'd enjoy it. As a retired Kansas City psychiatrist, I was indeed fascinated by both the focus on Kansas City scenes and on the kind of treatment received by mental patients back in the 1920s and 1930s. But more than that I was caught up in the story of four men separated by generations, a 'lunatic' who murdered his family in 1905, a boy who witnessed Kansas City's 1933 Union Station massacre, a young doctor working in a 'lunatic asylum,' and a current-day Kansas City police officer. The story moves seamlessly back and forth between these periods in a way that is not only not confusing but is downright illuminating, managing to tell how the lives of these four men intersected. I admire the way Lehrer drops in historical detail in subtle ways so that we form in our minds a picture of the times. And I particularly liked the way he limned the humanity of all four main characters so that we not only find them interesting, we grow to care about them.

I would recommend this book to anyone, not just to those who are interested in midwestern history and the history of one of the most newsworthy events of the 1930s.

Scott Morrison
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rick Mitchell VINE VOICE on April 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
At the beginning, this book read as if it would be an expose on lunatic asylums in the first half of this century. After a start that was a bit slow, it turned out to be a warm mystery that was all about friendship.

In 1997, the Union Train Station in Kansas City is about to be demolished. When the police sweep the building to clear it, a man named Birdie is found. Birdie has lived in the station for 63 years. He was a former inmate of Somerset Asylum who escaped in 1933 and "moved in" to the Station. During his short tenure at the asylum, he is befriended by Josh who helped him escape. The book then flashes between 1933 (occasionally before as well for background) and 1997 to get the story. The policeman who found Birdie is intrigued and does some follow-up sleuthing.

About half-way through Mr. Lehrer's work, the reader is convinced that he has figured out a rather simplistic plot. That is not the case at all. There are some clever twists and turns that include the bloody massacre at the station in 1933 (that was part of Hoover's and the FBI's push to notoriety).

The plot line is very good. Although this really could not be classified as a mystery, there is some sleuthing and unexpected plot twists.

Primarily this is a book on friendship and loyalty placed in interesting settings and told through interesting characters.

I have enjoyed a few of Mr. Lehrer's books (Black Widow and Special Prisoner) and thought others not very good (No Certain Rest). This is by far his best. A warm book. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jijnasu Forever VINE VOICE on October 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In a well-told narrative, that goes back and forth two main protagonists in two different time periods, Lehrer examines complex ities and simplicties associated with life. The characters are earthy, realistic and distinctive. The book has its share of warmth, an element of pain, revolt and nostalgia. However, the premise, some elements of the plot, and the narrative technique of juxtaposing two different time periods has a strong resemblance to a Katzenbach novel (A madmans tale). Regardless, the plot's underpinngs lie in historical facts, which are well-researched. Lehrer manages to portray the grim incidents with a respectful sense of awe. A wonderful page-turner, not an entirely unique narrative technique or premise, but you will not be able to resist reading the novel in one sitting.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BPL reader on June 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I found the book difficult to put down. It was a great read, with interesting characters, descriptions that pulled you into the story and a fascinating premise. I found myself disappointed at the end when all my questions were not answered but life is like that.
I am looking forward to reading other Lehrer books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Theresa J. Keeling on February 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I normally don't read fiction, but a friend talked me into getting and reading this book. It moved extremely fast and because there was a little history with the story, I loved every minute of it. I have now passed it along to another 7 people and have 4 more waiting to read it. Everyone that has read the book all say, what a great move it would make. History, sex, murder and more, the perfect movie script.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Priscilla Grover on November 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
One of the most amazing books ever - yet so simple and undemanding. I found it hard to make myself stop reading, but I didn't really appreciate it til the very last line. I closed the book and simply sat saying "Wow," - not because of any stunning revelation - just a powerful story, simply told. A masterpiece.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?