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The Peregrine (New York Review Books Classics) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

J.A. Baker , Robert Macfarlane
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31. Dezember 2004 New York Review Books Classics
From fall to spring, J.A. Baker set out to track the daily comings and goings of a pair of peregrine falcons across the flat fen lands of eastern England. He followed the birds obsessively, observing them in the air and on the ground, in pursuit of their prey, making a kill, eating, and at rest, activities he describes with an extraordinary fusion of precision and poetry. And as he continued his mysterious private quest, his sense of human self slowly dissolved, to be replaced with the alien and implacable consciousness of a hawk.

It is this extraordinary metamorphosis, magical and terrifying, that these beautifully written pages record.

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  • Taschenbuch: 208 Seiten
  • Verlag: NYRB Classics (31. Dezember 2004)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 9781590171332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590171332
  • ASIN: 1590171330
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,4 x 13,2 x 1,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 7.877 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"...the book is a work of tireless outward observation, with an astonishingly inventive and precise prose style....Baker’s feet may be on the ground, but his gaze is skyward, toward the birds he envies." Lisa Darms, Bookforum

"Remarkable...the lyrical prose hammers home the attraction of pitting predator against quarry." — Daily Telegraph (London)

"A powerful evocation of East Anglia’s winter landscape, and an unforgettable portrait of a man’s passionate engagement with the natural world."
London Review of Books

"The Peregrine should be known as one of the finest works on nature ever written…His words—precise, lyrical and intensely felt—seem to have been selected as if their author were under huge pressure, both from the depth of his feelings for the bird and the weight of experience he wished to impart…The only sadness about The Peregrine is that its author is no longer with us to be honoured afresh for his achievement."
BBC Wildlife Magazine

"A nature study such as Mr. Baker has presented—not by any means restricted to the peregrine falcon—deserves warm praise for the remarkable perseverance and patience which has gone into its making, and when the observer is a gifted writer, as in the present instance, the result is even more gratifying."
— Daniel A. Bannerman, The New York Review of Books

"The Peregrine is one of the most beautifully written, carefully observed and evocative wildlife accounts I have ever read. Mr. Baker’s patience, his discriminating and unsentimental eye, and his passionate deliberations are utterly captivating."
— Barry Lopez

"This book goes altogether outside the bird book into something less naïve, into literature, into a kind of universal rapport…"
— Geoffrey Grigson, Sunday Times (London)

"…one need not know a hawk from a handsaw to take pleasure and profit from the book. It is an account by a curious, complicated man of a curious, complicated phenomenon, that will involve, instruct and excite a reader who can never hope and may never want to share the writer’s experience."
— Bil Gilbert, Washington Post Book World

"Mr. Baker is primarily a descriptive writer, and a good one, but his obsession has given him a kind of crazy empathy that lifts his book above mere observation."
The New Yorker


With no prior knowledge of birds, Baker is seized with an unexplained longing to track the peregrine falcons that hunt in the river valley behind his home each winter. Though his subjects are far more elusive than the pigeons and gulls on which they prey, on rare occasions he sees a peregrine roosting or bathing, or spots a fresh kill in the grass. He outlines their strict hunting ethos and as the winter approaches, he resolves to shun the world of men in fierce pursuit of the falcon's inner life. As the landscape thaws, Baker shares the hawk's absolute terror in the face of the stumbling, erratic human beings encroaching on its territory. Veering swiftly from the mundane to the miraculous, Baker's self-effacing diary of a long winter in the wild is a triumph of pure and immediate description.

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schnelle Bearbeitung, alles wie beschrieben, gerne wieder kaufe ich ein Buch oder was anderes, super, bin begeistert und zufrieden, sehr schoen!!!!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Peregrine 13. Februar 2010
Von Indanthrone Blue - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
"The Peregrine" is the most incredible thing I've read in a long time, maybe ever. Both for the writing, and for the experiences that the writing coveys. It begins with two brief chapters, the first about watching, and the second about the form and habits of Peregrine Falcons. These are followed by Baker's diary entries as he follows a pair over the countryside near his home in Essex, England during a winter in the 1960's.

He observed them very closely, with enormous patience and effort. He wanted to join with them, to become one if he could, as though one of Ovid's metamorphoses could be brought about by sheer willpower. He got at least halfway there. This is not a normal book. It is a voice from another world.

A more or less random sample:

"He climbed vertically upward, like a salmon leaping in the great waves of air that broke against the cliff of South Wood. He dived to the trough of a wave, then rose steeply within it, flinging himself high in the air, on stretched wings exultant. At five hundred feet he hung still, tail closed, wings curving far back with their tips almost touching the tip of his tail. He was stooping horizontally forward at the speed of the oncoming wind. He rocked and swayed and shuddered, close-hauled in a roaring sea of air, his furled wings whipping and plying like wet canvas. Suddenly he plunged to the north, curved over to the vertical stoop, flourished his wings high, shrank small and fell.

He fell so fast, he fired so furiously from the sky to the dark wood below that his black shape dimmed to grey air, hidden in a shining cloud of speed. He drew the sky about him as he fell. It was final. It was death. There was nothing more. There could be nothing more. Dusk came early. Through the almost dark, the fearful pigeons flew quietly down to roost above the feathered bloodstain in the woodland ride."
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5.0 von 5 Sternen ...red in tooth and claw 19. Februar 2007
Von LaRougerie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This is nature, hard core. The line between Baker and his prey disappears during the year he spends with these birds. Magnificent, heart-stopping, sense-exploding writing. I read it slowly because it made me more observant of everything I miss when I rush. Makes you a better creature on the earth for reading it.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful and dramatic 6. April 2010
Von Wowbagger - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Although bird-watching seems at first sight a boring pursuit, the author's narrative of his tracking of peregrines over one winter is riveting. One finds oneself getting sucked into his obsession. He does not pull any punches when describing the brutality of a predatory lifestyle, but he does so so empathetically that one finds oneself increasingly seeing things from the birds' point of view. This leads to a strange but compelling mixture of the brutal and the romantic. His descriptions of the Essex countryside are also beautifully worded. Like with the birds, he describes the countryside in a style that is straightforward, i.e. not flowery, yet full of drily apt metaphors that convey the understated beauty of the countryside.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen OK, so it was a bad idea for a 5-year old, but..... 2. März 2014
Von doctom - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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One of my granddaughters developed an extraordinary fascination for peregrine falcons. To accommodate, I bought a variety of peregrine-themed items (plush toy, video, maps...) and among them, this book. Every thing was delivered promptly....this book from England; but when I arrived and asked after the collection of items sent, I was met with stern criticism about the book. I had read a bit on line, and had expected the opposite. I sat down with the book and was immediately enchanted. Choosing another entry point at random, I again found myself engaged and wondrous. A third roll of the dice produced the same result. I sat my granddaughter down and began to read and to explain why what I read/heard was so marvelous. She cocked her head, spun on her heel, and was gone. "Can we play monster?" echoed from the next room.
I'm counting the days until she's six. None of you should wait, unless you're five.
5.0 von 5 Sternen the Peregrine 13. August 2012
Von Andrew Koslow - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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"The Peregrine" is a beautifully written book that deifies the Peregrine Falcon as the strongest, fastest and most deadly bird of prey that flies. To say that JA Baker is obsessed with the Peregrine falcon would be like saying Tiger Woods is a pretty good golfer. Baker's beautiful prose reflects a lifetime obsession with the dives, stoops and habits of the world's fastest flier, a bird that was almost extirpated by the use of DDT. This is a must read for any nature lover.
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