Bird Lessons

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
32 Pages
Reviewed on 05/29/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Noah Letner is the author of Bird Lessons, the first volume in the upcoming Bird Lessons Trilogy. He has four other published works.
One year he fell in love and bonded with the birds. Thus, Bird Lessons was born. Being a metaphysician and writer, he was compelled to bring these lessons to the public. His genre would be classified as literary fiction -- metaphysical, mystical and visionary.
Noah listens to 80's music (it was fun), and to Bob Marley, and dances to Leon Bridges. If he hears Al Green hand him a glass of wine, please.
His favorite writers include: Henry David Thoreau, Jean Giono, Ray Bradbury and Jack London.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Bird Lessons is an inspirational short story written by Noah Letner. The narrator was teetering on the edge of madness due to sleep deprivation. A mockingbird had come to serenade him three weeks prior, and the nightly torment continued unabated. Endlessly, the bird would cycle its patched-together medley of songs taken from the four corners of the world, and all he could do was lie there and wait until the mockingbird had finished. But then, as the day began to dawn, the redbird would take his place and ensure that the yawning human drowsily peering out at him was ready to begin his day. His work had suffered mightily as a result of the avian intervention that had been ongoing for so long. Oddly, too, he seemed to realize that he had more or less been asleep for most of his life. Somehow, all his dreams and aspirations had been set aside in favor of a dull and monotonous sleepwalker's existence. He began to listen to what the mockingbird had to say, realizing with a start that he could actually understand what the garrulous bird was saying. The redbird also had some wisdom for him, as well as the birds at the park he began to haunt during his waking hours. Change was afoot.

Noah Letner's inspirational short story, Bird Lessons, will garner nods of recognition from the many who have suffered the attention of the courting mockingbird. As I read, my mind instantly began recreating the intricate patterns of the mockingbird that would appear outside my window each spring. I'm also a birder and delighted in the narrator's recognition of the new and splendid world he had overlooked for most of his life. Letner's story is a marvelous parable that might just change lives if those who read it are capable of the courage such transitions require. This lyrical and engaging story had me considering minute alterations in my own lifestyle, and that's a good thing indeed. Bird Lessons is thought-provoking and a welcome respite from the torpor and somnolence that afflicts most modern lives. It's highly recommended.

Jane Finch

Bird Lessons by Noah Letner is a short story that bridges reality and takes a trip into the world of the mockingbird and other birds. It purports to be the journal of the author as he has surreal experiences and is able to interpret bird song and further be able to converse with birds. The mockingbird was sent on a mission to help the author who was trapped in a world of black and white – a boring and tedious job, an untidy home, colourless clothes, and a defeated spirit. The ceaseless taunting of the mockingbird results in endless sleepless nights and the resultant effects on daily life – inadequacy at work and home and in personal life. As his ability to converse with the birds develops, the author begins to look upon his life in a new and exciting way.

The transition of the author’s world is cleverly woven into the interaction between the author and the birds. He learns valuable life lessons, examining what is important, what is boring, what is unacceptable, and discovering his innermost desires. The author, Noah Letner, has used this story to cleverly encourage the reader to self examine the aspects of life that make one happy, and those that do not. It provides the confidence to make changes and adjustments to life and to not be afraid to listen to your heart instead of your head. The reference to ‘Uncle’ gives the impression of a greater being – perhaps God – being in control and sending ‘friends’ – in this case the mockingbird – to help achieve one’s individual potential and aspirations. Unusual, well written, and inspiring.

Charity Tober

Bird Lessons by Noah Letner is a short story big on introspective life lessons. The story follows a man who, at the beginning of the book, is very annoyed at birds; they sing excessively outside his bedroom window and, in his opinion, are just noisy and pointless creatures. He's been sleep deprived by the birds' songs for three weeks now and sees no end in sight. He contemplates resorting to violence to get rid of the birds, when suddenly the impossible happens. He starts to hear the birds' voices in his head and can't decide if this is really happening or maybe he's just gone crazy from lack of sleep. The birds take the man on a journey of important life lessons and make him question what he has done with his life so far.

I thought Bird Lessons was an easy and introspective read. There were a few quotes from the birds that really stood out to me, including, "Thus, you live without zest and joy. I may be very small compared to you, but I live a much larger life,” and “My time is faster and shorter than yours. I utilize every second to the fullest, and not in the best way possible, but in the best impossible way."

The birds show the man that they are not pointless, they actually have a fuller and more joyful life than he has had. Letner does a nice job throughout the story in showing that we should be more like the birds and we should try to find joy in every moment. Life is not as bitter and bad as we might think. There is happiness in each and every day; we just need to look for it. I would recommend Bird Lessons by Noah Letner to anyone looking for a little motivation and inspiration in life.