Travels with My Chicken: A Man and His Companion Take to the Road

Overview

When Martin Gurdon's previous book, Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance, was published, he and his chicken, Tikka, decided to embark on a one-man, one-bird, whistle-stop tour from the southeast of England to Edinburgh, Scotland, via a children's daycare, a home for old soldiers, and numerous points in between. This trip was the inspiration behind Travels with My Chicken, a delightful story about just how far some authors will go to get their books noticed, and the highs and ...

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Overview

When Martin Gurdon's previous book, Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance, was published, he and his chicken, Tikka, decided to embark on a one-man, one-bird, whistle-stop tour from the southeast of England to Edinburgh, Scotland, via a children's daycare, a home for old soldiers, and numerous points in between. This trip was the inspiration behind Travels with My Chicken, a delightful story about just how far some authors will go to get their books noticed, and the highs and lows of being out on the road with only a chicken for company.
Gurdon travels from Tunbridge Wells, England, to Aberystwyth, Wales, promoting his first book by any means possible, going so far as to attach a huge wooden cartoon chicken to the roof of his car. The weeks he spends zinging from one part of the country to another with a chicken in an old cat-carrying case soon make him realize that he has another book in the making. Wasn't it interesting, he noticed, that all his interviewers asked him virtually the same questions: Would he eat his traveling companion, or any other member of his flock? (No.) Did he eat his chickens after they were dead? (Heck no.) Not only does having a chicken on hand land Gurdon into the world of morning television and radio, but it also introduces him to people with whom he wouldn't ordinarily associate, such as a gaggle of bored teenagers in a bookstore, or prison inmates in a writing workshop. The end result is a hilarious and heartwarming book about people and places as much as it is about chickens.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
There's something wonderfully British about Gurdon's wry little memoir about traveling around the United Kingdom with his chicken, promoting a book he'd just written called Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance-which is a good thing, as this book doesn't exactly have much on its mind. A freelance writer who cheerfully admits, "basically, I'll write about anything," Gurdon stretches out his small store of anecdotes to book length, but at least he doesn't overstay his welcome. There's plenty of humor in his accounts of appearing on morning TV shows, chicken in tow, and visiting various tiny bookstores where he and the chicken (named Tikka, naturally) are accosted by eager chicken farmers and bored teenagers. On more than one occasion, Gurdon veers off track, neglecting his chicken-discussion duties for thoughts on various characters he meets on this journey, as well as for some self-deprecating ruminations on his career as a "serial opportunist." And any book that ends with the tale of how the author ended up driving to the Edinburgh Fringe Fest with an angry-looking tattooed wooden chicken affixed to the car is worth at least a passing glance by most appreciators of the mildly offbeat. Illus. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Traveling and promoting a book with only a chicken for company can be a lonely business. Gurdon squeezed this book out of his experiences roaming around Britain attending book signings, readings, and interviews, as he publicized his 2004 title Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance: Reflections on Raising Chickens. Gurdon and one of his chickens stay in a variety of (mostly wretched) bed-and-breakfasts and face the same questions over and over from those who turn out to see him and his chicken: do you eat your chickens when they die (no) and do chickens have their own personalities (apparently). Gurdon brings his chicken to a prison, a day care center, a home for old soldiers, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe arts festival, where he meets with indifference or those who know more about chickens than he does. Not an essential purchase; buy where Gurdon's first title is popular.-Melissa Stearns, Franklin Pierce Coll. Lib., Rindge, NH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592287789
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Gurdon has been making his living as a journalist for years, with a particular interest in classic cars. His humorous stories as a chicken keeper have incited much attention from BBC television and radio programs. Originally from London, he now lives in Kent, England.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Light and Shade
1 On the Box, In the Box 3
2 Three Funerals and a Chicken 17
3 A Chapter About Chickens 45
On the Road
4 Good Afternoon, Tunbridge Wells 61
5 Gone West (and East) 77
6 Redemption 89
Further Travels
7 Child's Play 101
8 Ford Popular? 111
9 Hen on the Hill 129
10 Birdbrains 139
11 Beyond the Fringe 149
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