A young family inherits a cottage in the mountains of Wales under the bizarre condition that they must care for a pet sea-bird, a cormorant that leads the family into a shattering nightmare
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A history teacher moves, with his wife and baby son, into a newly-inherited cottage in northern, seaside Wales. The terms of the inheritance dictate that he must care for his dead uncle's cormorant. It's just a bird, but in the eyes of this man and his family, the cormorant looms as a relentless, malign presence -- "as ugly and poisonous as a vampire bat" -- and seems to draw the small boy under its spell. A tightly written, erotically charged drama about people who do not know themselves and cannot come to terms with the natural world and its inescapable strangeness.From Publishers Weekly:
Uncle Ian's strange bequest comes as a "thunderbolt of good fortune" to a young family when he leaves his nephew a rundown cottage not far from the coast in North Wales. But there is a condition: Uncle Ian's pet cormorant must be cared for. Though Ian's nephew (through whose eyes we observe this sinister tale) and his wife Anne settle in happily to their new life, they are soon disconcerted by the arrival of the bird, "as ugly and poisonous as a vampire bat." Anne shudders at its "demonic arrogance," but their 11-month-old son, Harry, is unpleasantly attracted to the bird, whom they name Archie. As a feeling of impending disaster gradually permeates the narrative, Archie's relentless presence causes a rift between the couple, who must cope with its viciousness and malevolence. The nephew finally decides to do away with Archie, but the cormorant proves to be his nemesis instead. This artful first novel, reminiscent of the tales of Poe, won Britain's Somerset Maugham Award. Gregory uses a low-key style and subtle lyricism to build an atmosphere of nightmarish horror in a tale that could become a classic.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110312017537