Download The Goshawk Audiobook

The Goshawk Audiobook, by T. H. White Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: T. H. White Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2015 ISBN: 9781504641036
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The predecessor to Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk, T. H. White’s nature-writing classic, The Goshawk, asks the age-old question: What is it that binds human beings to other animals? White, author of The Once and Future King and Mistress Masham’s Repose, was a young writer who found himself rifling through old handbooks of falconry. A particular sentence—“the bird reverted to a feral state”—seized his imagination, and, White later wrote, “A longing came to my mind that I should be able to do this myself. The word ‘feral’ has a kind of magical potency which allied itself to two other words, ‘ferocious’ and ‘free.’” Immediately White wrote to Germany to acquire a young goshawk. Gos, as White named the bird, was ferocious and Gos was free, and White had no idea how to break him in beyond the ancient (and, as it happened, long superseded) practice of depriving him of sleep, which meant that he, White, also went without rest. Slowly man and bird entered a state of delirium and intoxication, of attraction and repulsion that looks very much like love.

White kept a daybook describing his volatile relationship with Gos—at once a tale of obsession, a comedy of errors, and a hymn to the hawk. It was this that became The Goshawk, one of modern literature’s most memorable and surprising encounters with the wilderness—as it exists both within us and without.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The book chronicles the ambivalent relationship between White, author of The Once and Future King, and the hawk he trained. Their battle of wills ‘gives the book its peculiar charm.’”

    New York Times

  • “[A] wonderful, classic account of training a bird of prey.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “This is a nature classic, conceived against the background of the Second World War…A warm and instructive story.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “The arduous experience of training a falcon to accept a person as a perch forms the character both of the bird and its keeper. The experience has been vividly described by T. H. White in The Goshawk.

    Guardian (London)

  • “It is comic; it is tragic; it is as primal and original as a great wind…it must be ranked as a masterpiece.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “A classic.”

    Buffalo News (New York)

  • “British narrator Simon Vance is the perfect voice for this very British book…Vance’s performance is appropriately donnish, literate, and articulate. He conveys his appreciation for White’s marvelous language with perfect pacing and unflagging attention.”

    AudioFile

  • “This is…the best book on falconry, its feel, its emotions, and its flavor, ever written.”

    Stephen J. Bodio, renowned author and naturalist

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About the Author

T. H. White (1906–1964) is the author of the classic Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King, among other works. He was born in Mumbai, India, to English parents and educated at Queen’s College, Cambridge. His writings have had a strong influence on both J. K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and narrator. He has earned more than fifty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration thirteen times. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. He is also an actor who has appeared on both stage and television.