The Yellow Birds

The Yellow Birds

by Kevin Powers
4.0 78

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The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

A novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive.

"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, 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. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.

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 comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.

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 that is destined to become a classic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316219358
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/11/2012
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 113,885
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Kevin Powers is the author of The Yellow Birds, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and was a National Book Award Finalist. He was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry. He served in the US Army in 2004 and 2005 in Iraq, where he was deployed as a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar. This is his first collection of poetry.

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The Yellow Birds: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 78 reviews.
JerseyJoe More than 1 year ago
This is one powerful novel ! It is intense, soul-searching and shocking . I finished it last night and it is still inside my head , consuming my thoughts . It is not an easy read . Stay with it ; you will be deeply moved . I had absolutely no idea what our troops faced on a daily basis in Iraq ; this novel opened my eyes . I believe every politician who so easily advocates placing America's Sons and Daughters in harm's way should read this novel .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book about the unraveling or at least the confusion of moral values that a war inflicts on its young soldiers is a very powerful anti-war statement. It puts a real face on post traumatic stress syndrome. Kevin Powers writes well and does a beautiful job of contrasting the beauty of nature with the baseness of war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is purely amazing book best of it kind, no doubt.
bookbilly More than 1 year ago
A foot soldier, who enlists in the army for ambiguous reasons, experiences the mind numbing disillusioning impact of the horrors of combat. Nothing new about that, but here the story is enhanced by prose laced with the dense metaphors and similies of poetry. That's not surprising based on the author's actual combat experience in Iraq and poetry training. This is certainly a powerful and thoughtful anti-war novel that avoids veering off into the politics of our involvement. But the main character's internal dialogues on the meaningless of it all became repetitious and perhaps tedious. There are better nonfiction alternatives on the subject. War by Sebastian Junger and The Good Soldiers by David Finkel come to mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An absolutely compelling, mesmerizing novel that would read more rapidly, save the desire to re-read nearly every sentence, because of its beauty and power. The finest, grittiest, prose I have read in a war novel.  The book tells more with its terse economy of words and sculpted phrases than any novel four times its length.  A marvelous read, indeed!    d       .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is very affecting and painful. It is very short, more a novelette rather than novel yet it reads as a full novel. In some way that may sound like and insult but it is not how it is intended. The story told is simply larger than the number of actual pages that makes up the novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very insightful into a soldier's experience in war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a major book hang over after reading this book. It gave me a much larger understanding of my Brother and others whom go threw war. I've little by little asked my brother about certain parts and he says there spot on. Thank you for this amazingly insiteful book!
JJSteven More than 1 year ago
Very intense and captivating. This was definitely not what I was expecting when I first picked it up, but the transitions in time really made this story flow perfectly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Yellow Birds ranks with the great war novels of all time. It is an "All Quiet on the Western Front" for the Iraq war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book after hearing a glowing review and interesting interview of the author on NPR. I was, however, disappointed and lost interest half way through. In places I was unable to follow the imagery and thought it overwhelmed the plot and characterization. I wanted to like this book but in the end put it down permanently. Maybe I've been away from poetry too long.
TakeMeAway More than 1 year ago
Insightful and really gives you a feeling of what it's like to be at war. Beautifully written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Powers create a strong story that is disturbing on many levels. His characters are intriguingly flawed; and will live in your memory. I would recommend this book for book club discussions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is sad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smiled and went to bed. <ph> Gtgtb bby
cocobelle More than 1 year ago
When you begin, you feel that you can hardly bear to read it, but soon the writing and the deeply drawn descriptions capture you and make you care. Then you can hardly bear to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JAL2 More than 1 year ago
This is a moving story about two young men who enlist in the Army and serve in Iraq. This is the first book I've read on this subject that focuses on the enlisted soldiers and their experiences. It will change the way you think about those who served in the Afghanistan/Iraq wars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book The Yellow Birds is a book for the ages. On par with The Red Badge of Courage and All Quiet on the Western Front, this is a story about a man fighting in the Iraq War who over time becomes disillusioned with the idea of war and the effects that it has on the soldiers fighting in it. Through the eyes of Pvt. Bartle, the reader can see and truly understand the mentality of a soldier that very few books have done before. This is truly a story that everybody should read. Although the novel does have its action, the real story is the mind of Pvt. Bartle. At home and in Iraq, the mind of a soldier is explored intimately in a way that modern readers can understand and sympathize with. If you have not picked up a copy yet, I would recommend that you do so now. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who has read &ldquo;All Quiet on the Western Front&rdquo;. &ldquo;The Yellow Birds&rdquo; is a very intense novel that shows what war really is. Kevin Powers did an exceptional job writing this novel and does an amazing job describing what war can do to a person&rsquo;s mind. This novel gives the reader an inside look at the war in Iraq and takes you inside the mind of a soldier. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A true look at all that is felt in the no mans land that is, was and forever will be the War in Iraq.