The Birdwatcher - William McInnes

The Birdwatcher

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A novel about love and twitchers, and about learning to trust

There is magic in the sky. Birds flying and floating above and around us, often unnoticed. Sometimes, when you least expect it, their magic will touch you.

This is a story about a bloke who's losing his hearing; a bird that can't fly but likes being read to; and a teenage daughter who doesn't know who to be angry at.

It's about a woman living with the echo of illness finding out how much fun it can be to trust someone; a man called Murph who has a secret; and Perry Como.

It's part love story, part Hot Diggity moments of discovery, whether they happen in a rainforest of while sitting on a verandah, or in somebody's heart.

It's about cold outdoor showers and people not quite being complete. But, most of all, it's about giving yourself the gift to be still while you wait for the lights to change or the rain to stop, so you have time to think.

For all of us, there are memories and secrets that can change our lives. If we let them.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

William McInnes has made a career of playing pretty uptight, taciturn types after hitting our screens as a romantic lead in Seachange. But we know he can be very funny and very laid back in his observations of Aussie backyard life and its rituals.

Now he transfers his sharp but affectionate eye to this debut novel. It has his trademark laconic larrikin tone and a meandering, slow pace that takes its unhurried rhythm from the careful patience of birdwatchers (of which he is one). This gentle story underlines the way human and bird behaviour share certain characteristics from ruffled feathers to mating rituals.

About the Author

William McInnes is one of Australia's most popular writers, delighting readers with his memoirs A Man's Got To Have A Hobby And That'd Be Right, his novels Cricket Kings And The Laughing Clowns, and his insight into Australian life since the 1940s, written with Essential Media and Entertainment, The Making Of Modern Australia. In 2011, with his wife Sarah Watt he co-wrote Worse Things Happen At Sea, which was named the best non-fiction title in the ABIA and the Indie Awards in 2012.

An award-winning actor, William has won two Logies and an AFI Award for Best Actor for his role in the film Unfinished Sky. He received critical and public acclaim for his leading role in the film Look Both Ways, written and directed by Sarah Watt, and starred in the ABC television series, 'The Time of Our Lives'. William grew up in Queensland and now lives in Melbourne with his two children.

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