March 04 , 2011

The Birds


"The most original piece of imaginative fiction since Wells wrote The War of the Worlds." - Birmingham Mail

"Against the novels written for wholesale consumption, the fantasies of Frank Baker are an unfailing delight." - New York Times

"The story . . . is ingenious, and succeeds in creating a sinister atmosphere." Time and Tide 

Those who are old enough to remember still speak of the days "before the birds came." For the birds did come, descending on London by the thousands or even millions, inexplicably and seemingly out of nowhere. At first, the birds did little but congregate and watch, and Londoners found them amusing, if perhaps a bit odd. But then they began to show their sinister side: attacking, maiming, and even killing in incidents of tremendous brutality and violence. Were they a force of nature, or a supernatural manifestation? No one knew. The only thing that was clear was that the birds' aim was the destruction of mankind, and no one had any idea how to stop them. . . . 

The Birds (1936) went largely unnoticed when originally published, but after the release of Alfred Hitchcock's popular film in 1963, Frank Baker (1908-1983) threatened to sue, believing the film had borrowed from his book. The Birds was last reprinted in 1964, in a "revised" edition that in fact failed to incorporate hundreds of additions, deletions, and corrections Baker had made. This new edition is based on the author's personal copy of the revised text, making this definitive edition available for the first time. Also included is a new introduction by Hitchcock scholar Ken Mogg.

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