Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Yellow Birds

My reading habits don't often include fiction, but after reading a couple of reviews of The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers I made an exception.

The book is set both in the U.S. and in Iraq during the war and is basically a descent into madness, an all too often side effect of war.  The story derives from a promise by a twenty-one year old soldier to the mother of an eighteen year old soldier to keep her son safe and bring him home alive.  If the promise were kept, there wouldn't be a novel and the reader is aware at the beginning that the promise wasn't kept.

Beautifully written book that describes what war does to the mind more so than what war does to the body.  By the end of the book I could close my eyes and picture a scene from the movie Apocalypse Now, the one near the end where Marlon Brando, as Colonel Kurtz, is holding a bloody knife and his two words of dialogue are simply, "The horror." 

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers.  Little, Brown and Company.   September 2012.

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