Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn

Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn

Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn

Publisher: Black Rose Writing (May 11, 2017)
Category: Literary Fiction, Humor, Family
Tour dates: Aug-Oct, 2017 ISBN: 978-1612968551
Available in Print & ebook, 193 pages
Parrot Talk

At the age of 14 and 11, brothers, Lucas and Grinder’s mother has left them and their alcoholic father. They never hear from her again. Out of the blue a friend of their mother, Janice, contacts Lucas with the news that their mother has died. She asks them to come to Pittsburgh to take care of her effects, chief among them being Paul. Reluctantly, Lucas and Grinder head for Pittsburgh where they meet Janice and learn that Paul is their mother’s African grey parrot. Turns out that Paul has things to say that turn the brothers’ worlds upside down, especially regarding their mother. This is a humorous look at matters of consequence---abandonment, alcoholism, grief and loss of a mother, living without clear answers, the relationship between brothers, separation and reconciliation and hope. It is also about a father who carries a piece of Jesus with him in a Ziploc baggie, a parrot who likes to get stoned, and a brother who cleans dead animals off the streets for a living.

Praise for Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn

“As with David Seaburn's other novels, Parrot Talk is ultimately about reconciliation and redemption among anguished family members. But this book uses the device of a seemingly wise and prescient parrot to great comic effect. I found myself literally laughing out loud at several points. The parrot steals the show but there are several clearly drawn and compelling human characters as well. This is Seaburn's most successful novel and, overall, a moving hoot.”- Barry Jacobs, Amazon Reviewer 

“I picked up this title based on its classification as humor and satire (two of my favorite words), and had absolutely no preconceptions about what I might find. I was delighted all the way through to find characters who were human, yet comical. Animals who were comical, and somewhat human. And a family with a genuine hurt that wasn't easy to heal. Seaburn placed average people in average cities, and gave them relatively average lives. With nothing more than a parrot as a catalyst, three men are able to face ghosts of their pasts, and attempt to right some wrongs that give them all hope for a better future. Seaburn's writing is light without being shallow, and he brings levity to a situation that's taboo for many...the notion of a mother who is not present to watch her children grow up. Some authors might be tempted to vilify her, but Seaburn allowed Grinder and Lucas to grapple with real emotions and come to resolution. Seaburn also allowed the reader to love Millie, no matter what her past, and even gave us the chance to reconcile with Pop's misdeeds. This book is a lovely tale of family, peppered with laughable antics, squirrel-sweeping, and parrots smoking pot. It's a great opportunity to relax the mind and feel good about life for awhile.” Amazon Reviewer 

“Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn is a hurricane in terms of language, dialogues, and situations. There is pretty admirable frenetic life and time for all the protagonists, not a second of break during the reading! Forget a great description of characters in the common sense of the word, because you see what it's like to live the experience of a roundabout with this book. Enjoy this group of great chatters and these funny situations!” - Buckwriter, Amazon Reviewer

Introduction: Grinder and Lucas, who recently learned that the mother who left them thirty-five years ago has died, have gone to Pittsburgh to settle her affairs. They are surprised to learn that her companion of over twenty years, Paul, is a parrot, who is in the throes of grief over Millie’s death. They are urged to take him to the vet, Dr. Vettman.

Dr. Vettman leaned forward again, his face near the cage. “His skin is bare in places. The tips of his wings are a bit of a shambles. His legs look like toothpicks. Poor guy.” Dr. Vettman tried to reach for Paul again, but Paul lunged at his hand. “When did all this start?”
            “When our mother died.”
            “Oh, I’m very sorry.”
            “It’s okay. We hardly knew her,” said Lucas. He folded his handkerchief and shoved it back in his pocket.
            “Millie!” Paul flared his wings and cawed.
            “What’s he saying,” asked Dr. Vettman.
            “Nothing. He’s just pretending to say stuff.” Lucas hit the cage with his hand.
            “Pretending to say stuff?” Grinder sighed and shook his head. He shifted in his chair so his back was turned to his brother as he spoke to the vet. “He’s saying Millie.”
            “Millie,” said Vettman.
            “That was our mother’s name.”
            “Millie need a joint! Millie need a joint!” Paul squawked loudly and banged the side of the cage.
            “What’s was that?”
            “Who knows?”
            “Sounds like, ‘Millie needs a joint’ to me.”
            “Yes, yes,” bawled Paul.
            “No, no, I think he’s saying, ‘Millie, what’s the point?’”
            “Ah. What’s the point, indeed.” Dr. Vettman put his face against the side of the cage, as if examining a bug under a microscope. “A little existential jokester, huh?” He suddenly leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest. “Doesn’t surprise me one bit. You know, these African greys are smart cookies. They can develop quite a vocabulary. And they know how to use words properly.” He chuckled at this, the creases around his eyes forming double parentheses. Paul hit the side of the cage again. Dr. Vettman didn’t seem to notice.
            “Too smart if you ask me,” said Lucas. “Look, Doc, could he be, like, faking that he’s sick?”
Grinder turned in his chair, stretched his legs out, crossed them at the ankles and listened to his brother’s new theory.
            “Faking?” Dr. Vettman placed one hand on his chin, scratching his cheek with his index finger. “Hmm.”
            “I mean, I’ve seen him go to his food and take some in his mouth. But when he sees me at the door, he spits it out again and starts messing with his feathers.”
            “You’ve given this a lot of thought,” said Grinder.
            Lucas glowered at his brother. “Shut up.”
            Vettman was staring at the ceiling now, deep in thought. “And why would Paul do that?”
            “I think he’s trying to piss us off.”
            Grinder snorted.
            “You think your mother’s parrot is trying to piss you off by not eating and by plucking out his feathers,” said Dr. Vettman. “And he wants to piss you off, because?”
            “How am I supposed to know? That’s your job. You said they’re smart, right?”
            “Yeah, they’re smart. But not sinister.”
            “I don’t know. I’m telling you he looks at us strange.”
Grinder laid a hand on his brother’s shoulder. “Are you okay?” Lucas shrugged his hand away.
            “Look, Doc, I don’t think my brother—”
            “Look at him. Right now he looks just fine, doesn’t he?” said Lucas.
            Both men looked at Paul, who stared at them, dead eyed.
            “Yeah.” Dr. Vettman rolled up the sleeves of his lab coat.
            “If you weren’t here, though, he would be, I don’t know, kind of squinting at us, at me, actually.”
            “Lucas?” Grinder tapped his brother on the shoulder.
            “Squinting? Not blinking?” Dr. Vettman glanced sideways at Paul again. Paul whistled, his eyes big as saucers.
            “Yeah, squinting.”
            “And you think his squinting means what?”
            “I think it means he hates our guts.”
            “Lucas, people usually gotta know us more than two days before they start hating us. I’m sure it’s the same with birds,” said Grinder.

About David B. Seaburn

Parrot Talk by David B. Seaburn

David B. Seaburn has been a Presbyterian pastor of a small country church, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at a leading university medical center, a pioneer in the field of Medical Family Therapy, and a prolific author. Since 2005, Seaburn has published six novels. His newest, ‘Parrot Talk’, was released in May 2017 by Black Rose Writing. He also writes a blog for Psychology Today magazine, “Going Out Not Knowing.” Seaburn was a Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards in fiction for his novel, ‘Charlie No Face’ (2011). He is currently an instructor at Writers and Books in Rochester NY. Seaburn is married with two married daughters and two wonderful granddaughters. A third grandchild is on the way.

Website: www.davidbseaburn.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.seaburn Twitter: twitter.com/dseaburn

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  1. Thanks, Lynelle, for posting this about nmy latest novel, Parrot Talk. It was great fun tow write.
    Dave Seaburn

  2. Great pleasure David, wish you all the best with the book.

  3. Thanks for taking part in the tour!