An Eccentric Genius – Jim Emerton
An Eccentric Genius – My Extraordinary Life is a memoir from author Jim Emerton, icon of pigeon racing and an intellectual giant, whose skills, talents and opinionated views have created fame for him far beyond the pigeon racing circuit. Breeding and racing birds for four decades, this telling and open memoir charts his spectacular success and retrospectively, now in retirement, his wisdom amalgamated throughout his life, in person and in his copious writings, with all his friends, acquaintances, fans and disciples along the way.
Even a natural introvert, even sometimes considered a recluse, even a natural loner can see the wild side of eccentric days and dark nights, exultation and depression, glory and ignominious defeats, life.
Jim takes us back through a full life, tributes and stories along the way that coat his story in a relatable and lived-in charm.
Maybe it’s time to stop thinking about the pigeons on a London street path and see them in a new light. There’s more to them than you might imagine.
“Great read, a small insight into a very well lived life.” – 5*
“A great read on my holidays – really enjoyed it. Will be looking for others from the author, who shares many of his memories and experiences.”
“Excellent book.” – 5*
“Another fantastic new book from Mr Emerton, drawing on his life experiences, philosophy and wisdom. I read it quite quickly within a few days which I think reflects the fact that I found it interesting and entertaining. Jim is very intelligent, an eccentric genius no less, and in his writing, I pick up little gems and nuggets, insights into the world at large. “…we can go through life accepting what we can see, or we can go further and investigate what else is out there”. I found a lot in common with his world view, he has a very strong grasp of human nature, psychology and philosophy. This book is the product of a very sharp and enquiring mind. I have read nearly all the other books written by the author and would recommend them all.”
About the Author
Jim Emerton is a lifelong lover and advocate of the countryside, and the wild creatures whose life has revolved around racing pigeons since he was introduced to them by his father at the age of three.
He lived an idyllic childhood spent mainly in the Lincolnshire Wolds where he first began racing; his mother Dorothy and later his partner Jean worked alongside him in the lofts. The peak of Jim’s career came in 1995 when his bird Barcelona Dream set a new British International Championship Club distance record in the renowned Barcelona International race with a record flight home of 879 miles, leaving his mark in the realm of marathon racing in Europe.
When Jim retired from racing in 2006, he contributed to the sport by donating his 140 birds to the National Flying Club. Since then he has continued to be a huge supporter, though not actively, but has become internationally known as a writer and commentator on the sport, writing a series of books on various aspects of pigeons, the countryside and the wild outdoors.
It is an undying love that, who knows, may once again open the door to a future participation.
Excerpt from An Eccentric Man – Chapter 8 – Union Man
Under the influences of the local council, I became aware of the obvious hierarchy, the power struggle and the systematic bullying which lay at the core of the institution. Wearing the red shirt of the left-winger I operated in a climate of hostility, aware of the need to protect my own integrity. The irony was that my job was on the lower rungs of management, yet l negotiated and made my presence felt in all the corridors of power. We had some notable victories. Feeling the cumulative effects of the stress of these years, I took early retirement from the rat race cauldron, having seen the ugly face of humanity in a hierarchical institution. In the end, after many years of repeated toil, I surrendered to stress and the personnel section, in its compassion and wisdom, allowed me to retire, so
I was able to say goodbye to committees and politics. Committees are the natural habitat of people with social ambition, and I avoid membership of them all, preferring the lone wolf approach to self-assertion.
Jim Prothero told me not to let the morons grind me down, and I took this to heart. Since then I have been labelled in print as an eccentric, an icon, a genius, a lunatic, a manic depressive, a schizophrenic, psychotic, hypomanic, paranoid and many more of the contemporary labels favoured by society. As I introspect, I am just an original, whole being, a man who walks alone in life. It is true that there have been broken relationships and burn out with drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll, but in the final analysis my books tell a true story.
Since then I have avoided politics at all costs. I have no time for the dishonesty of politicians, who I see as no more than con men. I never vote. I see democracy as an idealised, formalised and abstract phenomenon. My experience in leadership and the knowledge it brought me of the psychology of power in various institutions gave me an insight into how it works. Under the cloak and veneer of democracy, the elected leader often has an ego-led, careerist objective. Through subtle processes of persuasion and manipulation, many will rise in their positions until they act more like dictators.