Thursday, 24 September 2009

Last Birds by Andrew Thelander published today

Feathers fly when a penniless wildlife artist accidentally traps the world’s last living Paradise Parrot in the ramshackle ghost town he shares with his enigmatic pet wallaby and a mysterious Indian barrister.

It seems everyone has a claim on the soon-famous bird, and the reclusive and unworldly young painter finds himself up against government bureaucrats, animal protection officials, police, the courts, the gutter press, and an eccentric multi-millionaire birdwatcher with madcap plans of his own.

Nothing else for it but to take flight into the great Australian bush where the artist, his brilliant and beautiful, newly discovered zoologist sister, a pompous university professor and an obsessed taxidermist lose their inhibitions, their clothes – and in some cases their minds – living with, and learning to think as, wild kangaroos.

In his and her own way, every key character in Andrew Thelander’s hilarious, sometimes touching, often profoundly wise, tale is a Last Bird … an utterly unique, wildly exotic example of an endangered species.

Last Birds is a rollicking good read, full of unexpected twists, that leaves the reader pondering the role of individuals, science and the law in determining how we can best live and interact with nature.
Liz Hall-Downs.

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