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One of the most exciting debut novels for years – and a book that does for birdwatching what Trainspotting did for smack addiction… ‘I heard somebody say once: you don’t think about your troubles near water. Me, I can’t feel low around birds. it wipes your mind clean just watching them.’ Birders are addicts. Rarely-seen birds are the best drug they know. Whether they’re cleaning toilets, sitting in a caff, doodling or dancing, when the pager bleeps with news that up on Stornoway or out on the Kent salt-flats or on a Scilly rock there’s a supertick sighting, Bish, Stevie Red Bus and the gang pile into their car and belt up the motorway just for the pure thrill, the shared exaltation of seeing that rare bird in all its feathered reality. It’s some way to live a life, at least. Half the time it matters so much you’ll kill to protect it and half the time you wonder why you bother carrying on at all. And somewhere in between you might just find something that looks like mating for life: find it, lose it, then find it all over again. Pelican Blood is a rare sighting itself: an irreverent, funny, moving novel that soars and swoops as gracefully as the birds it so adores.

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