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Birds Without Wings Audiobook
Birds Without Wings
Written by: 
Louis de Bernieres
Narrated by: 
John Lee
 >   > 
Birds Without Wings Audiobook

Birds Without Wings

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: Hard to put into words the effect of this powerful historical novel. British author Louis de Bernieres has essentially created a world of vivid, finely drawn characters, whose simple lives will change irrevokably in the wake of World War I. Like the best novels based on real events, de Bernieres' Birds Without Wings enriches the listener's understanding of a period in history while revealing with great sensitivity the impact of terrible events on human lives.

Publisher's Summary

Birds Without Wings is the story of a small town in Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire told in the richly varied voices of the men and women (Armenians, Christians, and Muslims) whose lives are intertwined and rooted there: Iskander, the potter and local fount of wisdom; Philotei, the Christian girl of legendary beauty, courted almost from infancy by Ibrahim the goatherd, a great love that culminates in tragedy and madness; and many more. When jihad is declared against the Franks and the young men of the town are conscripted, we follow Iskander's son, Karatavuk, to Gallipoli, where the intimate brutality of battle robs him of all innocence, just as the town he left behind is robbed of its centuries-old peace by the twin scourges of fanatical religion and nationalism that the war unleashed.

©2004 Louis de Bernieres; (P)2004 Books on Tape

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (313 )
5 star
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4.3 (151 )
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Story
4.5 (149 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ayala oakland, CA, United States 11-10-15
    Ayala oakland, CA, United States 11-10-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Strong start..."

    If you want to grow attached to quirky characters set in what we now know as Turkey and then listen to hours of their lives being ravaged by war, then this is for you. Provides interesting historical, cultural, and political background. Awesome performance. Ratio of peace to war was effectively oppressive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bateyk 01-18-15
    Bateyk 01-18-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    Story
    "Too sad and beautiful"

    Thank you for this glorious telling of a glorious story. I am weeping as I finish it.

    De bernieres is masterful as always

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Millard Santa Rosa, CA, USA 12-12-07
    Millard Santa Rosa, CA, USA 12-12-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Birds Without Wings"

    A great combination of history and art. Some critics say, "He's not Tolstoy".
    True enough. Why should he be? But he's just as interesting with that wonderful reader. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 05-20-07
    Richard 05-20-07

    Biomedical entrepreneur. Lifelong Libertarian. Yoga enthusiast.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    104
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    "Wonderful book"

    What an incredible book! It takes genius of mind and heart to write a book that touches so profoundly and humanly on so much of life -- the good, the bad and the ugly. I have virtually no knowledge of the historical events that surround this story, but hope that the book is as accurate on this as it is in telling the story of people going about their ordinary lives one day at a time. And the prose is magnificent, as is the reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 01-31-07
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 01-31-07 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    435
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    5
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    "A masterpiece"

    This haunting, stirring, frightening and sometimes hilarious epic is a perfect fit for Audible. The story is so intensely human, the period characters so vivid, I listened to it over a year ago and I'm listening to it again. The content of the novel provides a real education for ill-educated Americans in a manner that is provocative, exciting and endlessly entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail N. 04-24-06
    Gail N. 04-24-06 Member Since 2012

    Honest Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    106
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    "Simply the best"

    This marvelous book kept me enthralled. The characters are fully developed - I felt as if I knew them, and I deeply cared about them. The narration is superb and adds greatly to the feeling of personal intimacy with each character. The historical sweep is grand, covering the period immediately before the first world war and continuing to well after, paralleling the rise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, whose biography is interwined throughout. I am sorry that the story has come to an end. My only question: when will Audible offer another of Louis de Berniere's books to its listeners?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Kenosha, WI, United States 08-17-09
    Elizabeth Kenosha, WI, United States 08-17-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Please Just Shoot the Birds"

    This MAY be a profoundly good book.
    Frankly, the narrator alienated me with his snarky voice and horrible female impersonations.
    Also, the book seems heavily weighted towards the Turkish side, with a rather degrading view of the Greeks.
    Had expected a little more balance in such an observant writer. War description is detailed and fascinating, but the smug, nasal narration really lets it down.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful

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