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A dazzling portrayal of humanity and the natural world that perfectly balances violence and humour. Everywhere, the birds, but above them all and louder, the magpies. We are here and this is our tree, and we’re staying, and you need to leave and nowTama is just a helpless chick when he is rescued by Marnie, and this is where his story might have ended.

‘If it keeps me awake,’ says Marnie’s husband Rob, a farmer, ‘I’ll have to wring its neck.’ But with Tama come new possibilities for the couple’s future. Tama can speak, and his fame is growing. Outside, in the pines, his father warns him of the wickedness wrought by humans.

Indoors, Marnie confides in him about her violent marriage. The more Tama sees, the more the animal and the human worlds – and all the precarity, darkness and hope within them – bleed into one another. Like a stock truck filled with live cargo, the story moves inexorably towards its dramatic conclusion: the annual Axeman’s Carnival.

Part trickster, part surrogate child, part witness, Tama the magpie is the star of this story. Though what he says aloud to humans is often nonsensical (and hilarious), the tale he tells us weaves a disturbingly human sense. The Axeman’s Carnival is Catherine Chidgey at her finest – comic, profound, poetic and true.

Format: Paperback
Publication Date: 4 April 2024
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781787704619 Category: Tag:

The Axeman’s Carnival

18.50

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