Say something about yourself!
I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who has been touched by the Iraq war--especially those left behind on the home front. I believe that Matterhorn was the definitive novel of Viet Nam, and Yellow Birds may be the same for Iraq. Kevin Powers writes beautifully--the language alone is worth the price of the book.The story is both difficult and powerful. It was challenging to try to guess the final outcome as the plot was so well executed. It was easy to visualize the main characters, who were strongly written. The settings were also very easy to visualize because of Powers' gift with descriptive words and phrases.
Two books that compare to The Yellow Birds are The Red Badge of Courage for the American Civil War and Matterhorn for the Viet Nam conflict. All three books are written from the perspective of young, inexperienced soldiers and all three contain great poignancy as the main characters struggle to make sense of their experiences.
This is the first time I have purchased a book read by Holter Graham. While listening, I thought that perhaps it was being read by the author because the delivery was so personal. He was able to capture accents beautifully, as well as convey both drudgery and despair. His military voices and the voices of interpreters were especially powerful. It was easy to forget about the reader, as the story was so well delivered.
I don't often find a book that deserves five stars in all categories, but it was easy to give this audible's highest rating. Although not an easy read, it is a story that will remain with the listener. Well defined characters, setting and plot make this a great choice for the discerning listener.
So says Private Bartle in the 'Yellow Birds'. This book in concert with the novel 'Matterhorn' and the movie 'The Hurt Locker' have assisted me in having a little insight into the devastating impact that war has on the ordinary men and women not only the active participants but those at home. To some degree, in this age of instant news and our own short term attention span, sometimes wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan do not register as wars. As the protagonist refers to Iraq as 'our little pest of a war'. We need to focus our attention and support on these brave men and women. 'The Yellow Birds' is a terrific book, well read and a real punch in the gut. Two thumbs up !!!!!
The descriptions are so potent and tangible, it doesn't take much imagination to transport yourself into his shoes, though it's not really a place anyone wants to be. It communicates a very sobering, true-to-life glimpse of the modern day soldier's experience, and I feel helps the reader to better understand the situation.
There were several. Of course the big reveal of how Murphy is killed is probably the most memorable and shocking. I also thought the picture of the bleeding horse coming down into the water was memorable.
Very convincing voice - he conveyed the raw emotion in a tempered (albeit harsh) way that felt true to the way the author would read it, stating the truth without shying from the awfulness of it (without being whiny or overly dramatic).
A young soldier, tasked with an impossible burden...
...to keep his friend safe.
This is not about the bravado of fighting in war or the glory of overcoming one's enemies. It is a deeply insightful glimpse into the mind of a man, mentally savaged by the reality of the new war in the middle east. Take from it what you will, but it is difficult to believe this is fiction. It must be based on true experience for it to have the kind of sharp, pungent accuracy it does in its detailed and rich descriptions. Those are not the sorts of details that can be made up by someone outside of that reality.
No. The narrator's interpretation is wrong.
Certainly. He shows great promise as a thinker and writer.
Anyone who prefers a little decaf before reading.
No. The printed book is readable in a sitting.
I can't imagine that Powers had any input into the narration.
'The Yellow Birds' is pretty typical war book fare. The one time it gets beyond that is when he comes home and everybody is congratulating hin om killing all those hadjis. Then he knows he is not deserving of praise, because he had unbelievably stronger fire power which he used indiscriminately. A book about the Iraq War from the Iraqi viewpoint would be much more interesting.