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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Peregrine
"The Peregrine" is the most incredible thing I've read in a long time, maybe ever. Both for the writing, and for the experiences that the writing coveys. It begins with two brief chapters, the first about watching, and the second about the form and habits of Peregrine Falcons. These are followed by Baker's diary entries as he follows a pair over the countryside near...
Published on February 12, 2010 by Indanthrone Blue

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars review by ramzi shalabi
the most boring book ever written. im sorry. its just so boring oh my god. i read this because it was enthusiastically recommended by werner herzog. sorry werner its too boring for me
Published 2 months ago by Ramzi Shalabi


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Peregrine, February 12, 2010
This review is from: The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
"The Peregrine" is the most incredible thing I've read in a long time, maybe ever. Both for the writing, and for the experiences that the writing coveys. It begins with two brief chapters, the first about watching, and the second about the form and habits of Peregrine Falcons. These are followed by Baker's diary entries as he follows a pair over the countryside near his home in Essex, England during a winter in the 1960's.

He observed them very closely, with enormous patience and effort. He wanted to join with them, to become one if he could, as though one of Ovid's metamorphoses could be brought about by sheer willpower. He got at least halfway there. This is not a normal book. It is a voice from another world.

A more or less random sample:

"He climbed vertically upward, like a salmon leaping in the great waves of air that broke against the cliff of South Wood. He dived to the trough of a wave, then rose steeply within it, flinging himself high in the air, on stretched wings exultant. At five hundred feet he hung still, tail closed, wings curving far back with their tips almost touching the tip of his tail. He was stooping horizontally forward at the speed of the oncoming wind. He rocked and swayed and shuddered, close-hauled in a roaring sea of air, his furled wings whipping and plying like wet canvas. Suddenly he plunged to the north, curved over to the vertical stoop, flourished his wings high, shrank small and fell.

He fell so fast, he fired so furiously from the sky to the dark wood below that his black shape dimmed to grey air, hidden in a shining cloud of speed. He drew the sky about him as he fell. It was final. It was death. There was nothing more. There could be nothing more. Dusk came early. Through the almost dark, the fearful pigeons flew quietly down to roost above the feathered bloodstain in the woodland ride."
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...red in tooth and claw, February 19, 2007
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This review is from: The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
This is nature, hard core. The line between Baker and his prey disappears during the year he spends with these birds. Magnificent, heart-stopping, sense-exploding writing. I read it slowly because it made me more observant of everything I miss when I rush. Makes you a better creature on the earth for reading it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and dramatic, April 6, 2010
This review is from: The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
Although bird-watching seems at first sight a boring pursuit, the author's narrative of his tracking of peregrines over one winter is riveting. One finds oneself getting sucked into his obsession. He does not pull any punches when describing the brutality of a predatory lifestyle, but he does so so empathetically that one finds oneself increasingly seeing things from the birds' point of view. This leads to a strange but compelling mixture of the brutal and the romantic. His descriptions of the Essex countryside are also beautifully worded. Like with the birds, he describes the countryside in a style that is straightforward, i.e. not flowery, yet full of drily apt metaphors that convey the understated beauty of the countryside.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OK, so it was a bad idea for a 5-year old, but....., March 2, 2014
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One of my granddaughters developed an extraordinary fascination for peregrine falcons. To accommodate, I bought a variety of peregrine-themed items (plush toy, video, maps...) and among them, this book. Every thing was delivered promptly....this book from England; but when I arrived and asked after the collection of items sent, I was met with stern criticism about the book. I had read a bit on line, and had expected the opposite. I sat down with the book and was immediately enchanted. Choosing another entry point at random, I again found myself engaged and wondrous. A third roll of the dice produced the same result. I sat my granddaughter down and began to read and to explain why what I read/heard was so marvelous. She cocked her head, spun on her heel, and was gone. "Can we play monster?" echoed from the next room.
I'm counting the days until she's six. None of you should wait, unless you're five.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the Peregrine, August 12, 2012
By 
Andrew Koslow (SAINT MICHAELS, MD, US) - See all my reviews
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"The Peregrine" is a beautifully written book that deifies the Peregrine Falcon as the strongest, fastest and most deadly bird of prey that flies. To say that JA Baker is obsessed with the Peregrine falcon would be like saying Tiger Woods is a pretty good golfer. Baker's beautiful prose reflects a lifetime obsession with the dives, stoops and habits of the world's fastest flier, a bird that was almost extirpated by the use of DDT. This is a must read for any nature lover.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars review by ramzi shalabi, April 13, 2014
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This review is from: The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
the most boring book ever written. im sorry. its just so boring oh my god. i read this because it was enthusiastically recommended by werner herzog. sorry werner its too boring for me
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The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics)
The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics) by J. A. Baker (Paperback - December 31, 2004)
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