A Supremely Bad Idea: Three Mad Birders and Their Quest to See It All (Hardcover)
It was an epiphany: The moment two friends showed Luke Dempsey a small bird flitting around the bushes of his country garden, he fell madly in love. But did he really want to be a birder? Didn't that mean he'd be forced to eat granola? And wear a man-pouch? Before he knew it, though, he was lost to birding mania. Early mornings in Central Park gave way to weekend mornings wandering around Pennsylvania, which morphed into weeklong trips to Texas, Arizona, Michigan, Florida anywhere the birds were.
"A Supremely Bad Idea" is one man's account of an epic journey around America, all in search of the rarest and most beautiful birds the country has to offer. But the birds are only part of it. There are also his crazy companions, Don and Donna Graffiti, who obsess over Dempsey's culinary limitations and watch in horror as an innocent comment in a store in Arizona almost turns into an international incident; as a trip through wild Florida turns into a series of (sometimes poetic) fisticuffs; and as he teeters at the summit of the Rocky Mountains, a displaced Brit falling in love all over again, this time with his adopted country.
Both a paean to avian beauty and a memoir of the back roads of America, "A Supremely Bad Idea" is a supremely fun comic romp: an environmentally sound "This Is" "Spinal Tap" with binoculars.
About the Author
Luke Dempsey is the editor in chief of Hudson Street Press, a division of Penguin USA. He lives in New York City. This is his first book.
“A gentle, contemplative memoir punctuated by frequent bursts of hilarity and weirdness. At some points, the book reads like a cross between Bill Bryson and Dave Barry (or perhaps Patrick McManus), and that’s a very good thing, indeed.” —Booklist
“Luke Dempsey’s narrative, as witty and intelligent as vintage Bill Bryson, moves along at a brisk and sometimes breathless pace. His enthusiastic appreciation of the beauty of the moment makes for compelling reading.” —Natural History
“Riotously funny, utterly enthralling.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Dempsey succeeds where few authors do. He masterfully shows how a few chance encounters can transform a seemingly normal guy (or gal) into someone obsessed with birds. Dempsey chronicles a series of adventures and misadventures that perhaps better capture what birding means in 2008 than any other book. His success might stem from his ability to seamlessly intertwine history and social book.” —WildBird magazine
"Luke Dempsey... has written an engaging story about his introduction to this “quietly heroic” society... his enthusiasm for his new friends and new life are winning." —New York Times