Review – John Preston, The Daily Mail

“Kes … is regularly hailed as a classic of British cinema. But the story behind it turns out to be almost as good as the film itself … If the book is, in part, an account of [Barry and Richard’s] relationship, at its heart is another, rather more touching bond – the one Richard enjoyed with his kestrels. He has certainly taken his time writing it, but this is a poignant, vividly recollected account of an angry, agonised and apparently earth-bound boy learning, in one sense at least, how to soar”

John Preston, The Daily Mail

Review – Mary Whipple, Seeing The World Through Books

“Rarely, if ever, have I had such a feeling of intimacy with an author as he tells me about his life and draws me in completely. Ultimately the author, having entertained and captivated the reader throughout the book, moves on to the conclusion, leaving in his wake readers who have lived his life with him and found their own lives enlarged by the contact.”

Mary Whipple, Seeing The World Through Books


Review – Conor Mark Jameson

“A real pleasure. It’s so many things, hugely readable, polished, refreshingly candid, moving, insightful and inspiring. The man – and the bird – at the heart of Kes, encapsulating perfectly how we can draw inspiration from wild nature.”

Conor Mark Jameson, Author of Looking For The Goshawk


Review – Stephen Bodio

“Richard Hines’ childhood experiences training a kestrel for falconry in the bleak environment of working–class postwar England gave birth to three works: his brother Barry’s novel A Kestrel for Knave, the award winning film “Kes”, and this memoir, No Way But Gentlenesse. At the risk of offending fans of the other two good works, this is the best of the three, with subtle and moving insights into both falconry and the cruelties of an inflexible class system. It is a small masterpiece.”

Stephen Bodio, Author of A Rage For Falcon


Review – British Birds

“No Way But Gentlenesse pulls no punches on the issues of class and entitlement – or lack of – that also made Kes so groundbreaking… As [Hines] describes so evocatively in the book, he too was earmarked in early life and by an inflexible education system to a lesser lot in life… Falconer or just plain old bird enthusiast, if you can love something that isn’t giving very much love in return, perhaps that is the greatest love… And if you can set a bird free, as Richard did for the Kestrels immortalised on film, well, even better. Letting go might even be the greatest gentlenesse”

British Birds

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