Summary

Every minute was magical, every single thing it did was fascinating and everything it didn't do was equally wondrous, and to be sat there with a kestrel, a real live kestrel, my own real live kestrel on my wrist! I felt like I'd climbed through a hole in heaven's fence.
An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham was only at home in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love - and that would change him forever.
In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposing memoir, Chris brings to life his childhood in the '70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds' eggs and sweaty jam jars to his feral adventures. But pervading his story is the search for freedom, meaning and acceptance in a world that didn't understand him. Beautifully wrought, this coming-of-age memoir will be unlike any you've ever heard.
©2016 Chris Packham (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lisa Morin on 08-05-16

Riveting tale of love and loss.

Loved it. The highs and lows of Chris Packham's animal - entwined adventures throughout his youth is a compelling read.
Read beautifully by the author.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Meriel on 13-05-16

Sparkles with pain & beauty

Brutally & beautifully honest. An ultimately uplifting story of isolation, love & loss across the human & non-human spheres. Chris reveals a complex passion for the natural world - there's nothing simple or reductive here. Connectivity, autism, anxiety, grief & redemption - all thread through the journey. A tricksy mind is opened for us - like the specimen drawers finally explored by Chris' sister. We share its immense capacity for love & struggle for balance & survival.

Written with the eye of both an artist & a scientist, we learn about the human & the natural world & their complex interactions. He brings the 1970s to life with a few careful brushstrokes. But this is far more than a celebrity bio - rather, it uses that celebrity status to give an outsider hope - to promise that it is possible to transcend being different. Chris writes with humility & dignity &, in the language of the story, sparkle. A book to change lives.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By James on 17-06-17

Honest and poignant and fascinating memoir

What did you love best about Fingers in the Sparkle Jar?

How the writer communicated his wonderful love for animals and the natural world, as well as how this intense love effected him so profoundly. I loved the title Fingers in the Sparkle Jar and really enjoyed how it was written. I was aware Chris Packham was a television wildlife presenter but knew nothing else about him, this book has inspired me to rekindle a proper love of nature in my own life. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and personal tale.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The biographer

What about Chris Packham’s performance did you like?

His honesty and courage to do so.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Brought tears to my eyes several times

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