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Bird Brain Hardcover – October 1, 2011
"Whatever one makes of the mixture, this is a bloody brilliant book" -- Andrew Barrow Spectator "A hysterical nail-biting finale keeps us gripped right to the conclusion, where, as in all good whodunits, the wrongdoers get their just desserts. A wonderful, rollicking comedy with a heart." Good Book Guide
About the Author
Guy Kennaway's books include One People, a novel, and Sunbathing Naked, a memoir. He lives in Somerset.
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An assortment of dogs discuss the event between them. One of Kennaway's innumerable inventions is that all animals, of whatever species, can understand what humans are saying and can talk to each other, but of course not to humans. The humans think that gun-dogs enjoy their work, but the dogs regard themselves as slaves. They are much more interested in what to them are delicious but to humans unsavoury smells (and their conversation about these is suitably disgusting and not for readers with fastidious sensibilities). Their sense of smell enables them to identify the Villain who was responsible for the exploding gun (and villainous he is in other ways, too - it makes for a fine elaborate sub-plot), but of course they cannot communicate this to the humans. But Kennaway has endowed them with ingenuity which in the end sees that justice is done.
Meanwhile Banger has been reincarnated, his human mentality unchanged, as a chick just about to emerge from a pheasant egg at a game farm. His reincarnated self can now communicate with animals, but not with the humans: when he tries the latter, his patrician accent comes out as a feeble cheep. He spells out "I am human" in bird-droppings on the floor of the shed - but the workmen are Polish, and sweep the message away. It will be a long time before he will get another chance ...
Kennaway is full of such brilliant inventions. There is, for example, the pheasant who has perched outside a school room and has become so intoxicated by learning about the Romantic poets ("sewers" in Banger's estimation) that, to Banger's disgust, it begins to quote Keats.
Banger will witness a shoot as a pheasant, but he does it with the same thrill as if he were one of the Guns rather than a target. And he has many, many cliff-edge adventures, in the course of which his mentality softens somewhat. And the end is suitably "Roald Dahlesque".