Falcon fever: a falconer in the twenty-first century.

Falcon fever: a falconer in the twenty-first century. Tim Gallagher.

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Octavo, dustwrapper,

WAS $40. What is so compelling about falconry? Tim Gallagher mines his lifelong obsession with Falcons for an answer in this engaging volume interweaving memoir, history, and travelogue. An entire subculture of the sport exists outside the mainstream of American society, consisting of obsessed individuals who still use the ancient training techniques and language of falconry. Gallagher finds that his personal story connects on many levels with that of Frederick II, the thirteenth-century Holy Roman Emperor, legendary falconer, and notorious freethinker who brought the full wrath of the medieval Church down upon his dynasty. While following in Frederick's footsteps through southern Italy, Gallagher ponders his own history as well. What salve to his spirit did falconry provide when it ignited his passion at age twelve? Beset by a turbulent childhood dominated by a brutal and violent father, Gallagher turned to this sport for emotional release. He offers us a unique glimpse into contemporary falconry, and the result is a surprisingly frank and revealing personal story.

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