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Bird Brain

De
304 pages


Poacher turned gamekeeper may be one of the oldest plots in fiction, but in Guy Kennaway's achingly funny new novel it is given a sharp and playful new twist.



Life was always difficult for Banger Peyton-Crumbe, an antiquated, misanthropic blood-sport obsessive, but it gets considerably worse when he is killed in a shooting incident and returns to earth as a pheasant. And a pro-shooting pheasant at that. Banger's long-suffering family think his death was an accident, but his gun dogs, who witnessed their master's demise, know it to be murder.



He quickly adapts to life as one of thousands of birds reared for local shoots, and is able to put his experience to good use, advising his new friends on the best way to avoid an early death. It's not all bad - there's food, a warm bed and hens aplenty.



But avoiding the guns turn out to be the least of Banger's worries, when he discovers in a scrap of newspaper the terrible truth of his accident. Navigating a range of obstacles, from foxes to well-meaning children to blundering animal-rights activists, he embarks on an epic journey back to his ancestral seat and his beloved dogs in an attempt to rectify the many mistakes of his life, and confront his murderer.



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