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Birds Without Wings by Louis De Bernieres
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Birds Without Wings (edition 2005)

by Louis De Bernieres

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1,990363,388 (4.05)112
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English (34)  Danish (2)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
This is a very moving story set in a small town in Turkey in the early 20th century. Told in many voices and from many viewpoints, it is about a mixed community of Christians and Muslims, Greeks and Turks, who live peacefully together until the war and a changing national identity tears them apart. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
An intriguing interweaving of many stories...a fascinating way to try to understand conflicts (mainly between Greeks and Turks) in Turkey in the early 20th century. Because the story revolves around people in one small town, the relationships become personal and the conflicts seem more absurd.

Excellent reader. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
Joy's review: This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. It covers the life of a small village and it's inhabitants as they were affected by happenings in greater Turkey from the late 1800's through the 1920's. It was a horrific time when human cruelty seemed to break out regularly and randomly. So, it's odd that this book would seem so beautiful to me, but de Bernieres' writing is exceptional and the stories and points-of-view are strong and unique. I loved this book. ( )
  konastories | Aug 21, 2015 |
La profonda inutilita' delle religioni, la stupidita' della guerra, il caos confusionario nel quale versa da sempre la regione balcanica e turca, la nascita della Turchia come nazione, una insolita epopea ambientata in Anatolia dove partecipano tutti: armeni, curdi, greci, ottomani, italiani, inglesi e di rimbalzo anche qualche contingente neozelandese. Le stragi dimenticate e le inutili carneficine dei primi anni del secolo scorso, il dolore della gente povera e ricca, l'impotenza e l'impossibilita' di vivere una vita dignitosa. Qui dentro c'e' tutto, e anche qualcosa d'altro. Un testo impegnativo, con tanti riferimenti storici, di una storia che non si studia a scuola - in Italia. Un libro importante, al quale per essere perfetto manca la scintilla della magia diffusa, dalla quale de Bernieres non sembra essere toccato interamente - come invece lo è nei lunghi paragrafi ambientati a Gallipoli, davvero intensi. Una odissea sconosciuta che è giusto leggere, almeno una volta nella vita. Chapeau. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
After Captain Corelli's Mandoline (1994) this is a new story about the absurdities of warfare, nationalism and love. In introducing one village in Anatolia, one (or maybe two) lovestory and one friendship overcoming ethnic differences between Greeks and Moslim Ottomans declared Turcs, the author succeeds in making you believe in the characters and their stories. Almost a brave story on its own account is the framework that sketches the career of Kemal Atatürk.
The communication between the Turkish and the Greek Boy is maintained by the use of terracotta birdwhistles. These whistles, like the friends, have no wings so they cannot fly back and forth like birds. ( )
  Dettingmeijer | May 27, 2014 |
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[poem] THE CAT / She was licking / the opened tin / for hours and hours / without realising / that she was drinking / her own blood. // Spyros Kyriazopoulos
Dedication
In the great scheme of things, this book is necessarily dedicated to the unhappy memory of the millions of civilians on all sides during the times portrayed, [...]. More personally, it is also dedicated to the memory of my maternal grandfather, Arthur Kenneth Smithells, [...]. Manet in pectus domesticum.
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The people who remained in this place have often asked themselves why it was that the Ibrahim went mad.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099478986, Paperback)

Set against the backdrop of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, the Gallipoli campaign and the subsequent bitter struggle between Greeks and Turks, Birds Without Wings traces the fortunes of one small community in south-west Anatolia - a town in which Christian and Muslim lives and traditions have co-existed peacefully for centuries. When war is declared and the outside world intrudes, the twin scourges of religion and nationalism lead to forced marches and massacres, and the peaceful fabric of life is destroyed. Birds Without Wings is a novel about the personal and political costs of war, and about love: between men and women; between friends; between those who are driven to be enemies; and between Philothei, a Christian girl of legendary beauty, and Ibrahim the Goatherd, who has courted her since infancy. Epic in sweep, intoxicating in its sensual detail, it is an enchanting masterpiece.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:18 -0400)

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During the finals days of the Ottoman Empire, the young men of the village are instructed to battle the invading forces during the Great War and destroy the peace.

(summary from another edition)

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