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With profound emotional insight especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel about the costs of war that is destined to become a classicThe war tried to kill us in the spring begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss In Al The Yellow ePUB #192 Tafar I. I ve put off writing this review for a few days now while I mulled the book over because something in it just didn t work for me And this indeed is a conundrum because this novel should have been tailor made for me Generally speaking I m a fan of contemporary war novels I don t enjoy them as escapist entertainment I take them seriously and I respect them because I want to learn I want to listen I want to know what it s like to go to war without actually having to go to war In some ways I see it as a duty If we re going to ask young men and women to fight and die for our country to risk physical and emotional maiming we sure as hell need to know precisely what it is we ask of them and honor their service by asking them only to fight when absolutely necessary Sadly this hasn t always been our country s policyAnd so I read The Yellow Birds a novel that is haunting lyrical and radiates the pain of taking part in and being witness to slaughter Written by Kevin Powers himself an Ira War veteran the novel is told using first person point of view giving our main character John Bartle his own voice In chapters that alternate between his service in Ira and his painful return home Bartle internally explores his own guilt and emotional agony over the brutal and inexplicable loss of his friend Murphy and the role he himself may have played in the incidentThe fragmented non linear structure and sometimes broken redundant syntax are clearly meant to reflect a narrator whose sense of self has been shattered and in sifting through the pieces he is exploring his culpability and who he is meant to be after the war is over There are some poetic lines and descriptions that are emotionally piercing in their perfectionAll of this should have been right up my alley and yet for most of the novel I was strangely unaffected by the account I had an academic appreciation for what he was trying to achieve and a profound respect for his own service and his attempt to capture the experience but still felt emotionally distant from the work In part I think it is because John Bartle s conflict is so internalized that it s difficult to connect because he keeps everyone at a distance after the death of Murphy I also think that if we had the scene of Murphy s death earlier in the narrative Murphy s death is mentioned continuously throughout but the circumstances are not revealed until the very end it might have better framed exactly what John is grappling with for the first 34 of the novel However I think the main factor is this to date I have read no finer depictions of the war experience than those found in the works Tim O Brien Now that may not be fair to compare Powers to O Brien but I couldn t help it Powers s writing takes several pages from the Tim O Brien playbook And I m not saying Powers does this intentionally but O Brien s influence on war narratives is so profound that it has simply become one of the primary sources for how we write about and read about war Fragmented narrative Check Shifting alternating point of view Check Soldier goes AWOL Check Soldier returns home unable to re assimilate into society Check Poetic sometimes esoteric language incongruously used to depict the most horrific base acts of war Check Rambling or broken syntax to depict the soldier s mindset CheckThere were so many similarities that every time I found one I couldn t help but think Tim O Brien does that better And O Brien allows us to emotionally connect with his characters in a way that Powers never uite achieved for me I felt sympathy but not empathyI m keeping the book because I think a re read in the future might change my perspective Despite not being in love with the book I do admire Powers for what he s done here and certainly respect his service to our country Any novel that shows people the real cost of war is certainly worth the readCross posted at This Insignificant Cinder

Summary é PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ Kevin Powers

The Yellow Birds

Omes from constant danger Bound together since basic training when their tough as nails Sergeant ordered Bartle to watch over Murphy the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes impossible action. First off I want to say that the problem with this book is probably with me Many deeper thoughtful readers loved it and I might have enjoyed it if I was in the mood for a book I had to really concentrate on and think about and if I had someone there to explain all the lyrical beautifully written but somewhat confusing prose I had to keep rereading but even now I am not sure of what happened or why in parts of the book It is the story of a soldier serving in Ira in 2004 He has foolishly and a bit flippantly promised a mother to take care of her son with whom he serves It turns out that nobody can keep anyone safe The conseuences of that promise along with the fear isolation and craziness of war are what make up the story The story itself was secondary to the immediate environment and the inner muse of the main character Maybe that is why the story was somewhat hard to follow and a bit anti climactic Here is an example of the writingClouds spread out over the Atlantic like soiled linens on an unmade bed I knew watching them that if in any given moment a measurement could be made it would show how tentative was my mind s mastery over my heart Such small arrangements make a life and though it s hard to get close to saying what the heart is it must at least be that which rushes to spill out of those parentheses which were the beginning and the end of my war the old life disappearing into the dust that hung and hovered over Nineveh even before it could be recalled and longed for young and unformed as it was already broken by the time I reached the furthest working of my memory I was going home But home too was hard to get an image of harder still to think beyond the last curved enclosure of the desert where it seemed I had left the better portion of my self as one among innumerable grains of sand how in the end the weather beaten stone is not one stone but only that which has been weathered a result an example of slow erosion on a thing by wind or wave that break against it so that the else of anyone involved ends up deposited like silt spilling out into an estuary or gathered at the bottom of a river in a city that is all you can rememberSee beautifully written and lyrical but I still am not uite sure what it means I had a hard time knowing understanding or caring deeply about the characters because I never understood uite what was being said and the story was so jumpy and inconclusive The author is a poet and served in Ira as a machine gunner in 2004 2005 He is obviously a talented writer and knows his subject matter I just needed the story to be a bit clear I really wanted to like it

Kevin Powers ☆ 5 review

Ra twenty one year old Private Bartle and eighteen year old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city In the endless days that follow the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side the insurgents physical fatigue and the mental stress that c. Let me tell you right now that this book is going to hurt The suffering the Irai War veterans endure in this book will touch a raw spot in you that you might prefer not to experience You will probably like me have a lump in your throat and teary eyes most of the time when reading this excellent first novel by Kevin Powers 5 stars all around and I m looking forward to reading all future books by Powers a combat veteran of the Ira war


10 thoughts on “The Yellow Birds

  1. says:

    THE WAR TRIED to kill us in the spring As green greened the plains of Nineveh and the weather warmed we patrolled the low slung hills beyond the cities and towns We moved over them and through the tall grass on faith kneading paths into he windswept growth like pioneers While we slept the war rubbed its thousand ribs against the ground in pra

  2. says:

    Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds is a powerful novel which centers on a soldier fighting in the Irai War and what awaits him when he returns to

  3. says:

    I've put off writing this review for a few days now while I mulled the book over because something in it just didn't work for me And this indeed is a conundrum because this novel should have been tailor made for me Generally speaking I'm a fan of contemporary war novels I don't enjoy them as escapist entertainmen

  4. says:

    The Yellow Birds wins the 2012 Guardian First Book Award Review can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses AloudThe 2017 film stars Al

  5. says:

    Let me tell you right now that this book is going to hurt The suffering the Irai War veterans endure in this book will touch a raw spot in you that you might prefer not to experience You will probably like me have a lump in your throat and teary eyes most of the time when reading this excellent first novel by Kevin Powers 5 stars a

  6. says:

    As a chaplain in a VA hospital I don't meet many former warriors who consider themselves heroes nor many who think that war is necessary There is nothing romantic or beautiful about it Some will speak broadly of their exper

  7. says:

    The first lines of Kevin Powers The Yellow Birds announces that it intends to be a classic war novel to be placed on the shelf somewhere between All uiet on the Western Front and The Things They Carried The war tried to kill us in the spring As grass greened the plains of Nineveh and the weather warmed we patrolled low slung hill

  8. says:

    First off I want to say that the problem with this book is probably with me Many deeper thoughtful readers loved it and I might have enjoyed it if I was in the mood for a book I had to really concentrate on and think about and if I h

  9. says:

    The Yellow Birds is a fictionalised account of a young American soldier’s experiences while on a tour of duty in Ira in 2004 That this book has been published and is getting a wide readership is important because any and every account in whatever medium which underlines the absurdity of war is needed urgently until the sending out of young men to fight senseless wars becomes a thing of the past  Powers was 17 when he joined th

  10. says:

    My dad was a cold warrior serving in the Air Force from before my birth to well into my adult years Part of that time was spent serving in Vietnam and Thailand and yes there was combat in Thailand at the time where he was a radio operator who also served on base defense whenever his base was attacked Apparently this happened a few times in his stay in Southeast Asia As a boy being a boy I asked my Dad Dad did