Though not generally perceived as graceful, crows are remarkably so—a single curve undulates from the tip of the bird’s beak to the end of its tail. They take flight almost without effort, flapping their wings easily and ascending into the air like spirits. Crow by Boria Sax is a celebration of the crow and its relatives in myth, literature, and life.
Sax takes readers into the history of crows, detailing how in a range of cultures, from the Chinese to the Hopi Indians, crows are bearers of prophecy. For example, thanks in part to the birds’ courtship rituals, Greeks invoked crows as symbols of conjugal love. From the raven sent out by Noah to the corvid deities of the Eskimo, from Taoist legends to Victorian novels and contemporary films, Sax’s book ranges across history and culture and will interest anyone who has ever been intrigued, puzzled, annoyed, or charmed by these wonderfully intelligent birds.
80 b&w and 20 colour illustrations
80 b&w and 20 colour illustrations
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In CROW, Boria Sax compiles a veritable treasure-trove of material about crows and other close relatives such as ravens, jackdaws, and other corvids. Sax organizes the information into mostly chronological chapters, beginning with "Mesopotamia," which deals with corvids in Biblical and ancient lore, and eventually progressing to chapters about American Indian traditions and eventually Romantic and modern treatments of the birds. Although Sax's writing style is ordered and logical, it sometimes flows a little unevenly - but I think this is largely because there is no easy way to segue between some of the anecdotes and historical accounts in CROW. Overall, however, these small quibbles don't detract from the larger picture that Sax paints of these mysterious, mischievous, and sometimes misunderstood birds. There's a good proportion of folklore, legend, and fact in CROW, and it's presented alongside appealing images of paintings and other historical works of art.
For anyone that has had a prior incident with the crow, raven, or magpie, I suggest this read for a very good wrap up and conclusion of your encounter with these birds. The author is well knowledgeable and has added great pictures and paintings which are awe inspiring. The book captures the essence of these wonderful and canny birds.
I picked up this book in a Half Moon Bay bookstore hoping to expand my collection of symbology and history books. The author presents her subject well and it does give a decent overview on how the crow has been represented in history. The problem lay with the 'facts' the author used to link many of the myths or point out uses of the crow in ancient stories/artwork. From the areas that she talked about and I was familiar with, the author routinely exaggerated and/or relied on suppositions. I read the book all the way through, but I didn't feel like I could trust any of the information in the book.
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