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Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
Book review: A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In 
28th-Jun-2012 04:16 pm
Hammertavatar
Another short-but-sweet Magnus Mills fable, A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In would, in a real-world sense, be a satire about government, inefficiency, and cultural imperialism threatening a country's traditional and somewhat quirky way of life. But coming from the brain of a bus driver with a surreal sense of the pettiness of everyday life and work, it becomes a story about the Empire of Greater Fallowfields, which has an illustrious history but a rather vague present; a missing Emperor and a cabinet with nothing else do but amateur dramatics; an imperial composer (the narrator) who's never played a note in his life; and an astronomer royal who can't get the telescope to work until someone has the idea of putting a coin in the slot. Even by Mills' standards, the ending's abrupt, although it feels less so on reflection. Funny, odd and a bit sad, my favourite line has to be about how it's traditional for every Emperor to spend his youth at foreign universities to learn all the wisdom of the East, so he can then reject it when he comes back to rule.
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