Axeman's Carnival, The

Chidgey, Catherine

  2 Reviews

The rescue of a fledgling magpie comes just at the right time for Marnie, a perfect distraction from the struggles she and her husband Rob face on their Otago sheep farm. Tama is not just any magpie; his remarkable mimicry sets him apart and on to an inevitable path to social media fame, guided by Marnie's nurturing and tempered by Rob's resentment.

Engaging, wholly original and with its unique perspective of human behaviour, this is a gripping domestic drama with dark undertones, that cleverly merges animal and human worlds. [Larger font]

Comments from BDS Reviewers

"I loved this book - so original and well-written."

"The initial realisation that this was a novel related by a magpie nearly put me off, but the writing was so instantly engaging, I continued - and I am so pleased I did!"

"The story is fast-paced and very gripping."

"Easy to read and while it is a dark story, the use of Tama's narrative is very amusing."

"A wonderfully well-paced novel, accelerating to its dramatic crescendo."

"The story is very clear and moves along very quickly."

"Well-crafted and clever. It definitely has a NZ flavour."

"Fascinating information about magpies - and also axeman competitions."

"It is far 'bigger' than a story about a magpie - it's almost like a Greek tragedy."



Most members thought this an excellent book. They spoke of the quality and cadence of the language and the interest generated by having the story told from a non-human viewpoint. The magpie narrator spans two worlds and thus provides a revealing perspective on each. All agreed that the author's research was comprehensive and gave immediacy, reality and groundedness to her exploration of the book's themes - including domestic violence, male obsession ( with chopping in this case) as an evasion of unpleasant realities and the impact of the superficially connected world of the internet...
CHCH 537
We all found it compelling, easy to read, a great treatment of serious themes - we were very invested in the characters especially Tama.