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Equinox: Life, Love, and Birds of Prey Paperback – October 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
A great read!
I unfortunately found the overall concept of a man in midlife attempting to convince the reader that he is on a quest for some sort of middle age epiphany a bit trying. His relationship with his wife - an anesthesiologist who spends the majority of her time in a sleep deprived state, taking hospital call, and generally supporting his rather indulgent and self-centered lifestyle- frustrated me and was distracting from an otherwise interesting story about the training of a gifted young peregrine falcon.
I give much credit to Mr. O'Brien for being a man in touch with nature and clearly environmentally sensitive and conservation oriented. But, as my wife said after finishing the book, he comes across as something of a jerk in his personal life. Given that Mr. O'Brien's skills in describing the beauty of the land he lives on and the animals he has the great privilege of interacting with are most enviable, it's a shame that this aspect diminishes an otherwise excellent story.
I'm so glad I did.
I'm interested in falconry and hope to pursue that interest as soon as I have the time and financial resources to devote to it. It is a rich, noble sport, although one all too often glamorized and sensationalized by the media. In Equinox, Dan O'Brien takes falconry and firmly anchors it in the "real." It's a challenging pursuit that necessitates being taken seriously.
Alternating between heartbreaking and breathtaking, O'Brien tells readers of a pivotal time in his midlife where he takes an autumn to fly falcons and shake out his priorities. Weaving in hunger-pang-inducing tales of delicious food with quiet moments of sleeping under a star-filled sky, O'Brien tells us about Harley, a skilled and temperamental female peregrine falcon that impresses and entrances O'Brien almost like a lover...only with feathers and razor-sharp talons.
The masterpiece in this book comes from the magic found in everyday life. Faithful dogs. The steady respect and love of a spouse, even across hundreds of painful miles. The companionship of a good friend and the wisdom of telling it straight. Loss, and how it teaches us even as it's breaking our hearts.
Equinox is about more than falconry. As O'Brien has titled it, it is about life and love, as well as birds of prey. It's an inherently gentle story that will resonate deeply for many readers.
In O'Brien's clear pungent voice are echoes of Peter Matthiessen and, fainter, Walt Whitman. Under his starry South Dakota sky, we feel our connection with everything natural and free. This is a love song to the earth, and a paean to how slowly our attachments grow and how fragile they can be.
O'Brien takes us into the world of falconry. We see falcons stoop (dive) for their prey at incredible speeds. We feel what it is like to be a falcon, as well as a grouse or a duck seeking escape. He also takes us into the truth of his own life, as he faces midlife and the very human sense of challenges not yet met.
This book's smells, sights, and adventures are thrilling. I love and treasure them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We were recently at the falconry at Ashford Castle in Ireland. Our excellent falconer guide mentioned this book as the definitive read about this type of wonderful bird. Read morePublished on June 23, 2012 by Pamela Nichols
I finished this book last night. I was really wrapped up in it and loved the writing until I reached his little condemnation of the NRA and its "semi-auto-toting cretins" or... Read morePublished on October 8, 2009 by AfghanDan
I've never hunted before - game or fowl. I grew up in the city, and have never held a shotgun in my 40 years. Read morePublished on April 15, 2007 by Len
I just finished reading the book in two settings, spending most of a Sunday afternoon and Monday evening enjoying this excellent novel. Read morePublished on April 19, 2004 by Bryce Mumford
I liked this book. At times, there may have been too much emphasis on the dogs, or too much on just falcons (red-tailed hawk coverage would have been great, but the author caters... Read morePublished on January 27, 2003 by Randy Given