Bird's Nest Hardcover – June 1, 1954
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- Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Young; 1st edition (June 1, 1954)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 276 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0317277278
- ISBN-13 : 978-0317277272
- Item Weight : 1.01 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.75 x 0.75 x 8.75 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#4,324,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #31,370 in Psychological Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The Bird’s Nest is a remarkable book, challenging and revelatory. Unlike other books featuring MPD, it has a very well-crafted plot that swiftly sweeps the reader along, just like white-water rafting. I can’t recommend this highly enough. If you are interested in the mystery of the self, then this book is for you.
There are loose threads to the narrative. It is hinted at that Elizabeth's mother may have been neglectful. What was the relationship to Robin and the unspecified trauma? What was the nature of Elizabeth's mother's death.
Dr Wright did not seem very realistic but that seems to be Shirley Jackson's wry way of dealing with authority figures in her works. His notes were more personal reactions to the various personalities rather than objective observations of a clinician regarding a case.
Still, it was a good read and the suspense of wanting to see what happens next propels the reader onward. It is also a pioneering effort to a still misunderstood and over-diagnosed (in recent years) psychological disorder.
A must for any hardcore Shirley Jackson fan.
Top reviews from other countries
The book is told from varying perspectives and one of these is the doctor treating Elizabeth. I enjoyed reading it from the doctor's perspective; Shirley captures his professional voice exquisitely, which makes the novel very Victorian-esque in its diction. Its interesting to see the character development through multiple lenses (even if you have an idea of what's going to happen). There is definitely a slower build with this book than I noticed with "We Have Always Lived in the Castle," which makes reading some sections a bit tedious (the doctor's accounts of interviewing and hypnotising Elizabeth repeatedly gets somewhat dull after a few pages). We should note, however, that this novel in the *middle* of her bibliography, so in my opinion, it forecasts the great heights of her later works (The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle) even if it is not her strongest novel.
Reviewed in Mexico on September 18, 2018