I’m not sure how it started, but somehow I’ve bought another sheep-themed book. I’ve yet to read either of these, but here are some reviews from supposedly knowledgeable people. I look forward to cuddling up with these books on a cold winter’s night.
Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann (novel)
“A completely original, sparklingly inventive, cleverly written story, first published in Germany, about a flock of Irish sheep who vow to solve the murder of their shepherd, George. George has always treated the flock like humans, reading to them, feeding them the best fodder, protecting them from the local butcher, acknowledging their individual personalities, and even promising to take them to Europe. Imagine the flock’s shock when George is found dead in their meadow with a spade stuck in his chest! Led by Miss Maple, the smartest of them all, the sheep decide they must find out who killed George (depriving them of the best–and only–shepherd they’ve ever had). How they finally achieve this ambitious goal makes for a quirky, humorous, lively, weird, surprisingly dark yet joyous tale that shows how a disparate set of sheepy personalities can work together for the greater good. Although the plot meanders a bit, readers willing to accept the premise will find themselves engaged–rooting for the sheep, marveling at the ingenuity of the author, or simply enjoying the madcap story. Good fun and a fine first novel from a promising new writer.” – Emily Melton, Booklist, U.S.
The Hierarchy of Sheep by John Kinsella (poetry)
“John Kinsella delights in disturbance. He writes a brilliant new Australian pastoral of superphosphates, firebreaks, emu hunts, wheat weighing, rearing tractors and paddy melons. His poems grab the traditions of the pastoral with both hands and twist them to fit a landscape where a dog is ripped open by a cornered roo, a lorry jack-knifes with its load of sheep and wells ‘go salt’…Kinsella writes like an Australian storm at full blow.” – Helen Dunmore, Observer, UK