Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness [5/10]

Bird Therapy” springs from a three-year blog by Norfolk birder Joe Harkness, and it reads exactly like a sequence of impassioned posts. Harkness’s life was probably saved by birding, as this wonderful hobby lifted him out of depression, and, as an avid (if far more amateurish than the author) birder myself, I found many of the intricate spotting and viewing tales to be wonderful. Having said that, it is tough to imbue regular posts with any form of dramatic narrative arc and the overall effect was beguiling but not compelling. If you’re into birds, or would like to be, “Bird Therapy” is a stylishly written advertisement for the avocation, but as either a memoir or mental illness touchstone, it fails to scale the heights.

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