Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Kevin Powers is a thirty-something, first-book’ author that explains what it is like to be a soldier in combat. Powers recreates war experience in Iraq and shows how combat affects a soldier’s life. “The Yellow Birds”’title comes from a boot-camp’ marching song but is about more than a walking cadence mnemonic; i.e. yellow symbolizes cowardice—its symptoms of fear, self-loathing, and death. Powers’ book-title presages yellowness in his story of war.
“The Yellow Birds” tells the story of how combat affects soldiers; i.e. it explains how heroes can become villains, how cowards can become heroes, and how every soldier is scarred by the experience of battle. War is a mess of contradictions that confuse the mind, torture the truth, and leave soldiers, parents, children, and friends alone, often broken-spirited, and sometimes broken-hearted.
As Bertrand Russell said, “War does not determine who is right—only who is left.”
nothing. this book recycles elements from the movie Platoon, and other war stories.
The recycled war cliches. The tough gritty sergeant. The naive private. The sharply dressed general who only visits the front lines for a pep talk. Mostly, this book is just another sob story about how bad war is, and loss of innocence and all that nonsense. First of all, Iraq wasnt that bad compared to other wars. Second, believe it or not, getting shot at is fun. Killing people who tried to kill you is fun. The rush and brotherhood with your friends is something that lasts a lifetime. I'm an Afghanistan veteran (2 combat deployments with the Marines) and I can tell you for sure that no one was whining like Powers' characters, before, during, or after deployment. We weren't gung ho either, but this book just propagates the notion that war is this terrible ordeal in which everyone comes out psychologically damaged. Definetely NOT recomended
Forensic Psychologist in Northern California
I never listen to books twice
The narrator, he was honest and deep thinking.
The scene in the German bar.
Again, the narrator.
Reads like poetry without the self-indulgence. One of the most evocative books I've ever read.
The reader was clear and into the story.
The emotion of living the story.
This is a great listen for those who feel that the Iraq / Afghanistan wars should continue and what a lost cause this era and wars have been. I am an 81 year listener and find the story very emotional and real.
The book's prose is lyrical, and the book depicts the alienating and isolating experiences of war in a way that is convincing (to me). The authorial voice is a powerful one.
The inevitably brutal ending is awful and and convincing and yet, from a purely plot mechanics point of view, I was left wondering what just happened.
The narrator is excellent. More from him, please.
I found the author's multiplicity and overuse of adverbs and adjectives draining and felt like his editor has stretched a good short story or novella into a "book". I also don't agree with the high ratings if this book is compared to some of the true classics of both fiction and non-fiction in this genre. (War by Sebastian Junger, Blackhawk Down, Matterhorn, The Things They Carried, Unbroken, The Thin Red Line, Das Boot)
This is an meaningful story that is sad and needed. However enjoyable which is more often than not, I find there are times where the flourish of verbiage is tiresome. Could be an unrestrained first novel sort of thing or weak editing.
General layout of surrounding, difficult to get a good mental discription of surroundings raison de terre: (reason for being there).
The attitude of the state of the author's motivations was overlooked. What was the objective?
The continutity of events: realtive to the rational outlook of the author. The discriotion of the flora and fauna.
The foundation or objective was not stated clearly described. A
Title: What was objective this small group of military persons? Title: The Objective of the mission?
This was a reasonably good description of the main theme of warfare but not the longterm reason or objective of the military objective. Was the objective successful?
This books deserves to rank among the top modern war novels, but listeners looking for a war adventure or listeners looking for a triumph of spirit will be disappointed. But this well narrated book drills down to capture the alienation of thoughtful soldiers and veterans. I was emotionally and intellectually transported back to my Vietnam days. The plot is in fact a modest mystery that unfolds ingeniously as the narration moves back and forth between the war and the narrator's return to the states. Descriptions are often poetic, dialogue simple and raw. Holter Graham does a great job for me of capturing the young voices (they were all young) of the troops in Afghanistan and the accents of the narrators and his ill fated "charge," Murphy.
I would highly recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in war, particularly the after effects of being in highly intense, traumatic situations. The novel is detailed, compelling, and quite indicative of the mental and emotional toll the Iraqi war has had on our generation of veterans.
I haven't read too many books like this, but I've read in other reviews that this is sort of like the modern day version of "All Is Calm On The Western Front".
Graham conveys the emotion of the characters very well, especially during some of the internal monologues.
Absolutely. About 3/4 of way into the story, there's a particularly epic internal monologue/rant where the main character essentially vents all the pent up emotion at once, and you hear first hand what kind of impact such experiences can have on a young man.
A solid first novel from Kevin Powers, the story is captivating and gripping, and I found it hard to put down as soon as I got it.