|Rating: 5/5 stars|
I’ve been following Benzene and Charlie’s story on Instagram from nearly the beginning, so of course I lost my ENTIRE shit when I found out he’s publishing a book.
Eyebrows are often raised amongst the cynical and the merely pragmatic whenever someone with famous connections – in this case the son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour – lands a book deal, but in this case within the first few pages it becomes clear that Gilmour is a superb writer, and that this book was published on its own merit rather than because of friends in high places. It is ostensibly a memoir about the bond between Gilmour and the magpie he rescued from near-death as a fledgling, but also dives deep into the very heart of Gilmour’s past, his relationships, and ultimately his soul.
As a celebration of the magpie, it is a must read for those indifferent to magpies or those who hate them – because it will certainly change your mind. It is impossible to read this book and not come out as a magpie-lover, as Gilmour extols the virtues, vices and sheer sparkling intelligence of these wonderful birds. By turns humorous and heartfelt, tragic and triumphant, if you are looking for a book that will bring a new, multi-faceted perspective to your life, Featherhood is it. It is a reminder in these troubled times that there is always room for tenderness and kindness, both to our human and our animal neighbours.
NB: If you’re wondering why this review is more flouncy than my usual fare and why I used proper orthography for once, it’s because most of it was cannibalised from a cover letter I wrote to Penguin Random House (I did not get the job.)