Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir
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Chris decides that animals are easier to trust than people. He makes a nocturnal escape through his bedroom window, finds treasure up a tree and falls in love. The author is not only an author, naturalist and nature photographer, but also a television presenter. Narrating his own book was thus a given. He is a talented speaker and nobody but him could possibly have read the lines with such perfection. He is best known for the children's nature series The Real Wild Show ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rea...) of the late 80s and has presented the BBC nature series Springwatch ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springw...) from 2009. I recommend listening to the audiobook rather than reading the paper book. You get an added dimension. You hear through his intonations what the author saw through his eyes and felt in his heart. This is a great book for both children and adults. Unlike any memoir I've read; written as if it were at the same time a novel and a journal, it clearly was a deep source of catharsis. A profoundly exposing and emotional journey into Chris's childhood, detailing his obsession with wildlife and the growing distance he felt to other people, but concentrating on one summer that he shared with a beautiful Kestrel, a summer that would have a deep impact on his life. It is telling of his character that this book is so meticulously and beautifully honed, the language carefully considered and precisely arranged, as though it were a rare eggshell cosseted in cotton wool in a display cabinet.
Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham - Mark Avery Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham - Mark Avery
A fascinating insight into living within society whilst coping with a problem that causes a feeling of alienation, alongside a wonderful description of a childhood absorbed in the study of wildlife. A fascinating insight into living within society whilst coping with a problem that causes a feeling of alienation, alongside a wonderful description of a childhood absorbed in the study of wildlife. By running, by never stopping, by constantly trying to make it better, do it better. By never giving up, by always believing that I can, I must, I will.’ Unusual, honest memoir about a boy obsessed with the natural world. I can appreciate his interest in the natural world as I too had a (somewhat smaller) collection of skulls, birds eggs and the like in my bedroom and saved my money for binoculars for bird watching, but not to the extent of his obsessions.Excellent and descriptive book..shoild be on school syllabus both for descriptive lanhuahe and for compelling and interesting content.. Chris' descriptions of his childhood and growing up, with unrecognised , at that time, Asperger's syndrome, and the way he has coped with it all, is a compelling read. Excellent and descriptive book..shoild be on school syllabus both for descriptive lanhuahe and for compelling and interesting content.. Chris' descriptions of his childhood and growing up, with unrecognised , at that time, Asperger's syndrome, and the way he has coped with it all, is a compelling read. In terms of style the language reminds me of Robert MacFarlane and the author does admit that MacFarlane was given a draft of it and provided support. Behind the Binoculars: interviews with acclaimed birdwatchers by Mark Avery and Keith Betton is published by Pelagic – here’s a review.
Fingers in the Sparkle Jar | BTO - British Trust for Ornithology Fingers in the Sparkle Jar | BTO - British Trust for Ornithology
Who edited this book? Do they speak English and read other books? It's a stupid and facetious question, clearly nobody edited this book, it's a rank and steamy mess of adjectives and adverbs with no substance. Well, that's not true, there's some small substance there in the story of how the author (I think it was the author, I'm not certain) stole a baby kestrel from its nest and took it home to keep. That wasn't really the substance I was looking for though, on the face of it that's pretty horrific and the airy fairy waffle surrounding it doesn't exactly put it in any kind of context to alleviate the sense of a dirty sort of PETA-baiting larceny.On the whole an interesting read. Chris describes his life growing up in the sixties and seventies. The descriptions and language are kept true to those times, nostalgic for me and a bit ugly too. The book veers away from the style of the traditional celebrity autobiography by telling the story from a number of perspectives. Sometimes the story is told in the straightforward, first-person style that would be expected. At other times, we see the boy through the eyes of others: a neighbour, a teacher, a farmer, or a pet shop owner. Thus we begin to build a picture of the personality of the boy and how he is viewed by those around him. Interestingly, some chapters revisit the same events through different perspectives; we see it through the eyes of an outsider and then get Chris' version of events. His writing is poetic, lyrical and beautiful, even when writing about commonplace events such as an encounter with the local ice-cream man. The biggest surprise was the honesty with which a champion of nature preservation admits to collecting rare birds eggs, snaring foxes, and taking a young falcon from the nest as a pet. There are also harrowing accounts of the bullying Chris suffered at school - without understanding the reason. At one point he asks his therapist, 'How could anyone be happy as a child?' These italicised passages reveal the troubled, even suicidal legacy of a childhood living with undiagnosed illness.