Russell Hill has published poetry, essays, short stories and novels. His novel, Robbie's Wife (Hardcase Crime), was a finalist for the 2008 Edgar Allan Poe prize from the Mystery Writers of America. The recipient of a Fulbright Award, he spent a year in England as an English teacher. and taught high school students for more than 50 years. An avid fly fisherman, he has written for outdoor magazines, and is the author of The Search for Sheepheaven Trout, a book about a two-year quest for a nearly extinct trout. Other novels include The Edge of the Earth and Lucy Boomer (Ballantine Books). Married, with three children, he has lived most of his life in California.
The Lord God Birdby Russell Hill
The Lord God Bird is a startling novella filled with dark images of America in the South in 1949. Jake Hamrick, a 19-year-old who has been obsessed since childhood with the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, a bird that is on the verge of extinction, leaves Illinois for Louisiana to find the creature,in this cinematic novella of obsession, passion, violence, love and loss
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The Lord God Bird is a startling novella filled with dark images of America in the South in 1949. Jake Hamrick, a 19-year-old who has been obsessed since childhood with the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, a bird that is on the verge of extinction, leaves Illinois for Louisiana to find the creature,in this cinematic novella of obsession, passion, violence, love and loss that you won't forget.
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- Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press
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- 134 KB
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The Lord God Bird is a startling narrative that takes the reader into the Deep South in 1949 in search of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. The protagonist, a nineteen year old, and his girlfriend become enmeshed in a noir mystery that is entangled with racism, violence and passion. Hill writes a lyrical prose that is a combination of Faulkner mixed with Cormac McCarthy. If you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it down. A great read for a cool day in autumn, curled up on the sofa. Highly recommend this lovely novel!
Pleasure Boat Studio, a literary press, is publishing THE LORD GOD BIRD under its Caravel Mystery imprint, but this evocatively told story is a suspense, not a mystery. The reader is never in doubt as to what happened and whodunit, but the pages flip with increasing speed as the story moves from Jake Hamrick's growing boyhood passion for birds to an irreversible moment of instinctive, violent reaction. Hill's prose is clean and sparse, yet rich in vivid, intimate detail. As a study in show-don't-tell, it excels. Hill's trust in the reader is richly rewarding. His triggers do their magic, drawing curiosity, anticipation, dread, shock, and fear. But his language is, in turn, equally poetic, so while the story is suspenseful it is also beautifully haunting. Set mostly in Louisiana in 1949, the standard elements of prejudice and poverty are essential to the plot but not the theme. This book could have been set any place where the value of life is judged and rated, deemed worthy or worthless. Yet the choice of this particular setting alters the story. Because most of us bring to our reading preconceived notions of the South in this time period, it's impossible not to anticipate what might be coming. Some of my worst fears did not, thankfully, materialize, but they added to my reading experience nonetheless. All of this built-in, reader-contributed back story allowed Hill to focus on Jake and his birdlike girlfriend Robin as they pursue the elusive Ivory-billed Woodpecker, building to the moment when a single reaction changes their lives forever. That theme of irrevocable change is powerful. The repercussions keep the reader flipping the pages and on the edge. When I reached the final pages of the penultimate chapter of THE LORD GOD BIRD, I sat for a very long time, savoring the pensive mood Hill's poetic narrative evoked. The mystery in this book lies not in plot, but in craft. Deceptively easy-to-read, Hill's writing delivers far more than what's on the page.