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Song of the Crow
by Layne Maheu

Overview - From the moment he first looks down upon the ancient gray head of Noah, who
is swinging his stone ax and speaking to the heavens, the narrating crow in this
unique and remarkable epic knows that these creatures called Man are trouble.
He senses, too, that the natural order of things is about to change.
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More About Song of the Crow by Layne Maheu
 
 
 
Overview
From the moment he first looks down upon the ancient gray head of Noah, who
is swinging his stone ax and speaking to the heavens, the narrating crow in this
unique and remarkable epic knows that these creatures called Man are trouble.
He senses, too, that the natural order of things is about to change. There is too
much death and too much magic in the Songscape for the world to remain as it is
for much longer. The people who come to plead with Noah are all angry or frightened.
And why would this lanky old man-beast build this oddly shaped homethis
arkso far from the waters if something earth-changing were not coming?
At a time when many of us are searching for meaning, Layne Maheus extraordinary
debut novel asks us to linger in a masterfully rendered ancient world just long
enough to ponder the unsettled state of things. Through a truly poetic sense of language,
he has created a lyrical meditation on the relationship between humanity
and the heavens.
Song of the Crow is a provocative portrait of the reasons for human fear and of
the role that free will always plays when we struggle, not just to make sense of
things, but to endure. Recalling both the magical imagination of Richard Adamss
Watership Down and the spiritual richness of Anita Diamants The Red Tent,
Layne Maheus Song of the Crow is a soaring debut.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781932961188
  • ISBN-10: 1932961186
  • Publisher: Unbridled Books
  • Publish Date: June 2006
  • Page Count: 244


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Visionary & Metaphysical

 
BookPage Reviews

Song of the Crow

In retellings of the story of Noah and his ark, a familiar refrain is the mocking Noah received from his fellow men when, in the midst of cloudless blue skies and sunshine, he set about building an enormous boat. What is often overlooked, however, is that the reaction of man was only half of the story. In Layne Maheu's debut novel Song of the Crow, the story of Noah is told from the perspective of an unexpected observer: a young crow named I Am. Through his eyes, the story of the flood is re-imagined from a hundred feet in the air.

From their lofty perches, the crows carefully observe but never fully understand the actions of the man below them. To the crows, Noah represents a roving ax intent on chopping down forests and destroying the trees they call home. His motivations seem especially indecipherable to I Am, whose first introduction to "the beastman" comes through the tremors that the tree-felling produces in his nest. For I Am, however, Noah evolves from an impending threat to a symbol of the misfortune he has been taught is his destiny and, as such, an opportunity for the crow to change the course of his fate.

Maheu ushers us into the crows' world, revealing their secrets and language so that we, too, see the story of the flood from the vantage point of the open sky. Through the author's extensive research and examples of crow lore, I Am steals the show from Noah. When I Am cries for food in his mother's nest, we feel the urgency; when he describes his flights through the air, we are beside him. It is a testament to Maheu's gift and his ability to fully inhabit his narrator that the reader identifies more with I Am the crow than Noah the human. Song of the Crow is an enthralling tale that ignites the imagination and reminds us that even the most familiar story has two sides.

Meredith McGuire writes from San Francisco.

 
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