Cover image for The London pigeon wars
The London pigeon wars
Neate, Patrick.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.

Physical Description:
323 pages ; 24 cm
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"Patrick Neate tells the tale of seven urban thirtysomethings who, ten years after graduating from college, find themselves everywhere they hadn't planned to be. There are Tariq and Emma, Tom and Karen, Kwesi, Freya, and Ami, whose careers, relationships, and health have all run amok. Then Murray, their old college friend, returns to their midst. He's different. He's not worrying over bills or trying to make strides up corporate ladders; he's simply having fun. And he has curious proposition for them." "The timing for their scheme couldn't be better, for it is set in motion while all of London has its attention fixed on a very troubling state of affairs. The city's pigeons are at war, though they're not sure what they're fighting about - it could be anything from religion to politics. Or maybe it's the "unilluminable nik" called Murray."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The return of an old friend turns life upside down for a group of thirtysomethings in this quirky novel set in contemporary London. Murray is a disarmingly charming con artist forever elbowing his way into other people's business. His reappearance after a decade reminds his fellow urbanites--including a fringe poet, a haughty haberdasher, and a financially strapped entrepreneur--just how hopelessly bland their daily lives have become. In the past, Murray has orchestrated relatively innocuous schemes: peddling laxatives to drug-seeking university students and selling worthless antiques for outrageous sums. But his latest plan, for which he single-mindedly enlists his friends, is both serious and deadly. Hovering over Murray et al. is the city's pigeon population, divided into two camps who battle beak to beak to retain their respective turfs. The birds' skirmishes paralyze the city, as citizens become consumed with the chaos in the sky. Author of the Whitbread Award-winning Twelve Bar Blues (2002) , Neate casts his satirical eye on a bleak urban landscape where the search for identity haunts both the earthbound and the winged. --Allison Block Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Through this tale about twirtysomething hipsters (they're between the ages of 27 and 34), Neate (Twelve Bar Blues) offers a bird's-eye commentary on a strange interlude called the London pigeon wars. The main story concerns a group of friends who met at university and coalesced around the fun-loving Murray, who has no surname, is of indeterminate ethnicity, and eats nothing but chicken. When Murray reappears after an unexplained ten-year absence, good things begin to happen: conversations turn sharper and funnier, unhappy couples work out their differences, and failing businesses become successful. Unfortunately while "Murray-fun" was once made up of confidence games and semilegal pranks, Murray now escalates the danger, attempting to goad his friends into armed robbery. Meanwhile, the warring pigeons create chaos in the streets of London and wryly observe the mystery of Murray and the other "peepniks" below. Neate's playful, poetic language, dazzling dialog, and offbeat plot should appeal to other twirtysomethings and anyone who admires hip Brit lit.-Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.