2017 Thumbnail Review #11 Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

If, like me, you believe that Ted Hughes’ Crow is the greatest post-war book of poetry in English, then you’ll want to read this. Short and highly original, it recounts the reactions of a widowed father who is visited by Crow to help him with his grieving. Each section is narrated by one of the characters – the father, the twin sons, Crow. Read it. Then re-read it.

(If you don’t know Ted Hughes’ Crow, get that first!!)


‘Dad has gone. Crow is in the bathroom, where he often is because he likes the acoustics. We are crouched by the closed door listening. He sounds very old-fashioned, like Dad’s vinyl recording of Dylan Thomas.’