From the Publisher
“A gentle, contemplative memoir punctuated by frequent bursts of hilarity and weirdness. At some points, the book reads like a cross between Bill Bryson and Dave Barry (or perhaps Patrick McManus), and that's a very good thing, indeed.” Booklist
“Luke Dempsey's narrative, as witty and intelligent as vintage Bill Bryson, moves along at a brisk and sometimes breathless pace. His enthusiastic appreciation of the beauty of the moment makes for compelling reading.” Natural History
“Riotously funny, utterly enthralling.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Dempsey succeeds where few authors do. He masterfully shows how a few chance encounters can transform a seemingly normal guy (or gal) into someone obsessed with birds. Dempsey chronicles a series of adventures and misadventures that perhaps better capture what birding means in 2008 than any other book. His success might stem from his ability to seamlessly intertwine history and social book.” WildBird magazine
“Luke Dempsey... has written an engaging story about his introduction to this "quietly heroic" society... his enthusiasm for his new friends and new life are winning.” New York Times
Dempsey, a transplanted Brit and editor in chief of Hudson Street Press, entertainingly recounts his passion for bird watching as he meanders with two birder friends to birding hot spots in Florida, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Washington State, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York's Central Park, enjoying misadventures and good times along the way. Dempsey is not averse to using occasional obscenities as well as beautifully turned phrases by way of contrast. His picaresque account features several quirky recurring leitmotifs: peculiar signage encountered in his travels, the author's like or dislike of tomatoes and their end products, his divorce and two daughters, and his confrontations with rude people. To one very overweight, obnoxious family he quips as a parting shot, "Have you considered salads?" Dempsey can also be informative and engagingly partisan, as when he describes complex ecological problems such as those found in the Everglades. Throughout, the book is imbued with his appreciation of the wonders, beauty, and fragility of the natural world. A bit lightweight for hard-core birders, this should appeal to general readers interested in nature. Recommended for larger public libraries.
Henry T. Armistead