May Book of the Month: An English Guide to Birdwatching by Nicholas Royle


A lovely review of An English Guide to Birdwatching



May’s book of the month is a story of literary theft, adultery and ambition; a unique take on the state of the nation novel. An English Guide to Birdwatching combines a vivid and often hilarious send-up of the intelligentsia with strong political, ecological and moral conscience.

Published by Myriad, An English Guide to Birdwatching is at turns a metafictional romp and a deeply touching evocation of the problems facing the modern world. The central characters – recently retired funeral directors Silas and Ethel Woodlock; young man of letters Stephen Osmer and his beautiful and brilliant girlfriend Lily Lynch – between them provide ample opportunity to dissect various facets of contemporary British society. The novel weaves together seemingly incongruent strands of plot into a surprising climax that is as madcap as it is shocking.

Whilst Ethel and Silas relocate from London to the (supposedly) more peaceful coast, encountering amidst the mundanity…

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