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Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham

It was a pity he couldn't do an O level in beetle smell. Or rat identification, or birdsong.

‐ Chris Packham, Fingers in the Sparkle Jar

Review 1

Not sure about this book. I don’t know if it is because I’m not a massive fan of Chris Packham but I didn’t find very engaging. It is written with a slightly arrogant tone that put me off. The story itself is not bad and as memoirs go it’s an interesting take on Chris due to the unique way his mind works and how he explained how he saw the world around him. Unfortunately this isn’t enough to give it a better star rating. 2/5

Review 2

I was so pleased when Pete passed on the news that we’d collectively given up on this! After struggling through only the first 100 or so pages, I was beginning to think “Cloud atlas” was riveting by comparison!!

Review 3

I really struggled to read this book. The sentences were too long and way too detailed. I was unable to form an image from the words. And I think this was the first time it hurt my head to read. The only way I could describe it.. It was like trying to read a book with a really bad hangover.

Review 4

A truly awful book. In all honesty I cannot remember reading such a book before. There was hardly any storyline, just a collection of autistic descriptions of everything the author (I refuse to call him a storyteller!) came across. How I managed to read through to page 242, is in my view worthy of a mention in dispatches. 0/5 (that’s being generous!)

Review 5

Awful book. Incomprehensible story, badly edited. I struggled up to page 175. I was really put off by how little the narrative hung together. Chris Packham has some form of Asperger’s Syndrome I think. Better editorial guidance would have helped possibly. I really did not get this at all. I do not like it when I cannot finish a book, but I just could not carry on.

Review 6

This book is at times deeply sad and highly uplifting and very exposing. Packham has been exceptionally honest in his recollections and the story he weaves cannot help but cause the reader to empathise. It tells of a bygone era with a mix of loving warm nostalgia and saved memory which is what I imagine all childhood to be like. His writing let me gain an inkling of how Asperger’s can affect someone positively and negatively. I enjoyed the book and will no doubt re-read it at some point in the future.

Review 7

I found this book very conflicting. On one level it was beautiful and full of detail, but on another the detail was too graphic and intense. I felt sympathy for him having to adjust in situations which he couldn’t understand or control and having to deal with his condition. The love and care he gave to his kestrel was the only good relationship he could create and school friends seemed to not like him. All of his efforts around nature have made him the person he is today – a successful nature presenter on the TV. I finished the book but it is definitely not on the top of my list of best books 1/5

Thank you to everyone who read this book and returned a book review. As you can see from the reviews a mixture of feelings towards the memoir, however I will say it probably won’t be put forward for the Booker Prize.