Summary

Birds Without Wings tells of the inhabitants of a small coastal town in South West Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman empire: the local Potter and fount of proverbial wisdom; a Christian girl of legendary beauty; childhood friends who play in the hills above the town, and the two holy men of different faiths, who greet each other with the words 'infidel efendi'.
©2004 Louis de Bernières (P)2005 W. F. Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Michael Corry on 09-07-15

Birds Without Wings

At 28 hours this unabridged edition is something of a marathon albeit a very enjoyable if disturbing one. I had read both the book and also the book of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, the story to which Birds Without Wings is the prequel, a few years earlier so I was revisiting familiar territory. Birds takes us through the confusing muddle that was the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of various Greek and Turkish Ottomans. The threads are woven into a story that is both beautiful and horrifying at one and the same time highlighting the barrenness of nationalism, the folly of war, the stupidity of politicians and how, when measured against the vastness and indifference of time, the efforts of humans, those birds without wings, are ridiculous in their insignificance. The section of the book covering The Gallipoli Campaign, written from the Ottoman side, is most poignant at this time one hundred years later. The narrator is excellent and really brings the story to life.
This is a story that needs to be approached with some thought and at a steady pace but it is very rewarding and one that will live with you for quite some time afterwards. Very highly recommended.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Shevaun on 13-02-15

Very easy listening

One of the best stories I have ever heard. Fantastic!!!!! Very well narrated too. I recommend this story to everyone.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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