Home > Audiobooks, Fiction: Historical > Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres

Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres

Fiction: Historical. Unabridged audiobook from Books on Tape. Published in 2004. 22 hours and 47 minutes. Narrated by John Lee. From Audible.com.

Wow. This book is full of very well described, interesting Turkish history. I learned a lot that I did not know. In light of that fact, I feel a bit bad complaining about the book, but I had a really difficult time with the fact that the information was not presented in chronological order. It would go back and forth and I had a hard time keeping track of what went where in the time line.  I also had trouble keeping the characters straight, in part because they were unfamiliar names, but also because it was never really clear who exactly the book was about. Eventually I figured out it was about the town itself, rather than one character, but it was almost the end of the book before I got it. (Not sure if I was just especially slow on the uptake or if it wasn’t clear.)
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.
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