Birds Without Wings

Birds Without Wings 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 comm

  • Title: Birds Without Wings
  • Author: Louis de Bernières
  • ISBN: 9780099478980
  • Page: 242
  • Format: 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 inSet 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.

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      Published :2019-07-14T06:14:46+00:00

    1 thought on “Birds Without Wings”

    1. No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in MankindeJohn DonneTo destroyWhen is it a duty? When is it a right? When is it a sin? What makes one human being violate another’s body and spirit? What makes Cain to pick up the stone? What convinces one man that the death of thousands would make the world a better place? And on the contrary: Who, what and when should we save? Iskander the Potter believes that it is not the individual’s fault and t [...]

    2. Tracing the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of the modern republic of Turkey, this novel alternates the first and third person narratives of a range of characters from the fictional town of Eskibahçe (meaning Garden of Eden) in southwest Turkey with an account of the life of Mustafa Kemal, later Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first leader of modern Turkey. At the turn of the 20th century, the inhabitants of Eskibahçe comprise Muslim Turks, Christians of Greek origin and Armenians. They li [...]

    3. ETA on completion: Chrissie, stoip saying you love the book. Explain why! Everything explained below remains true. Other books are emotionally captivating, intellectually interesting, filled with humor and sorrow, What is it that makes this one different for me? It is that this book has a message. It looks at people and life and it says loud and clear how stupid we human beings are and how wonderful too! Does that make sense to you? Do you see life that way too?Read with: Twice a Stranger: The M [...]

    4. 4.5 Stars Birds without Wings by Louis Bernieres.A dense, mesmerising, harrowing and yet humorous novel that will bring out all emotions that a reader can experience but did not think possible in one story. Set in the peaceful fictional village of Eskibahce in south west Turkey and home to Turkish Muslims and Greek Christians who have lived for centuries side by side and tolerate and enjoy for the most parts each other's traditions and religions. The author introduces us to a village of characte [...]

    5. This, for me, is one of those rare and treasured reads, a book that will stay with me forever. It tells the story of a small village in Smyrna starting about 1900, before it became Turkey. It is divided into many short chapters, and is told mostly in the third person. Sprinkled throughout, though, are chapters told from the point of view of several of the villagers, some of whom we meet as children, while others merely recount events from their young lives from the perspective of mature adults. [...]

    6. Hopefully, a proper review will follow in the next few days. One of those special novels that drew me in from the first page and kept me riveted until the very last. The characters became people I really did care about. I will think about them for a long time to come. My top quotes from the novel:“Man is a bird without wings and a bird is a man without sorrow.”“There comes a point in life where each one of us who survives begins to feel like a ghost that has forgotten to die at the right t [...]

    7. One of the GoodReads groups I am in, The World's Literature, is focusing on literature from and about Turkey this year. Birds Without Wings was one of the February picks (discussion will end up here,) and even though I started it a while ago, it took me staying up until 2 am this morning to get through it. This is an incredibly well-executed novel. The author tells the story of Turkey in the early 20th century, from its development from the Ottoman Empire or Anatolia, into a time where the peopl [...]

    8. I so wish that the editor had been a bit more stringent with this book so that more people would read it! Even adoring the book as I did, I found I would have preferred it with one or two fewer plot lines. It is an incredibly historically informational novel peopled with (a few too many) warmly flawed and incredibly real characters. I think the author's ability to provide a variety of viewpoints (via the different Muslim, Catholic, Turkish and Greek characters we meet) on a time period that is h [...]

    9. This book should come with a warning. It will sadden you beyond measure. Set in a coastal village at the end of the Ottoman empire in what is now Turkey, it follows the fortunes and misfortunes of a large cast of characters. As Christians and Muslims, they have lived together peaceably for generations, and would continue to have done so without the virulent rise of nationalism in the "great world" around them. So the author argues, as the entire village is swept up in the wars and civil wars eru [...]

    10. This book breaks your heart, but in a good way. DeBernieres' has a beautiful, eloquent, lyrical style, the effect of which is augmented by the tragic nature of much of his content. He also imbues his story with much pathos and humor. By doing so, he avoids heavy-handedness. Birds Without Wings is a marvelously ambitious book. It is a epic about conflict and coexistence between Muslim and Christian Turks, Kurds and Armenians, set over the course of decades. The book is historically informative, a [...]

    11. I LOVED this book. It's a story of true friendships which are torn apart by superficial definitions of separateness. It covers the topics of beauty, birth, a parent's love, a brothers love, unrequited lovers, addiction, the reality of death of old age and the brutality of untimely death. This book tells the story of Ataturk and the Armenian forced migration in a balanced and objective yet intimate way. It tells the story of the unity of the Greeks and the Turks before Wilson's nationalism had st [...]

    12. I loved this book. It's now on my list of all-time favorites.The writing is lush and gorgeous and witty and empathetic. The many characters come alive and are very compelling. The setting is a little village in southwest Turkey, not too distant from Symrna (Izmir), and the time is the WW I period. The story is mostly told from the point of view of the various villagers and occasionally from the view of Mustafa Kemal (on his way to becoming Ataturk).We get a fascinating view of Turkish village li [...]

    13. Everyday, every single day there are those heart-breaking stories of people fleeing their countries, by road, crossing razor sharp barbed wire fences. People fleeing in flimsy rubber dinghies, being caught in storms and waves, toddlers dying, flung on shores beautiful, lifeless dolls.Heartbreaking, just heartbreakingAnd then my mind races to the beautiful, beautiful ‘Birds Without Wings’ by Louis de Bernières.My mind moves with anguish to the turn of the Century, to the Ottoman Empire with [...]

    14. Well I would like to put three and a half stars for this book. This book is about the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the author simultaneously contrasts the happenings of the international political world with that of a small cast-away village where Greek Christians and Turkish Muslims lived side by side. Being from Greece, you are 'taught' that the Ottoman Empire was an evil and repressive empire and hence why Greeks hate Turks and visa versa. What de Bernieres succeeds in doing is not be [...]

    15. This was a book I read without any previous knowledge of the story, other than what my friend Marieke told me which was just her impression of the book. I agree with much of what she said, except I rarely cry while I read, and this was no exception; though the story did touch me immensely in parts. In addition to knowing little of the actual story before reading it, I admit to knowing little of the events within the story - the Battle of Gallipoli, for example. I must have missed those days that [...]

    16. I have an unusual relationship with de Benieres' novels. I loved the lyrical Captain Correlli's Mandolin (the film is a disaster, with Nicholas Cage giving possibly the worst performance in cinematic history), but the novel itself has it all: humour, tragedy, love, war, relationships and history. I enjoyed the wit and colour of The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts. But after three reading swings at The Partisan's Daughter, I eventually struck out on what could only be defined as overly twee ma [...]

    17. Louis de Bernieres won the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Best Book, 1995 for Captain Corellis' Mandolin. I doubt whether Birds without Wings will win any kind of prize or much praise.This is a sprawling novel set against the background of the collapsing Ottoman empire, the Gallipoli campaign and the ensuing struggle between Greeks and Turks that resulted from World War I. I was overwhelmed by all of this and underwhelmed by the awful cliched ‘narrator’ style employed by de Bernieres. When I re [...]

    18. I could not get into this book. I read and loved Corelli's Mandolin but never felt any of the same attachment to the characters in Birds. This one was a disappointment for me.

    19. The story of how modern Turkey came to be, as told through the life of a village near Fethiye, Telmessos that was, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. Turkey really is the crossroads of continents, which only means that it has been the marching ground of armies since civilization began. de Bernieres' description of the fighting and the atrocities before, during and after World War I leave you feeling that no matter how horrible was the forced relocation of Greek Turks to Greece and Turkish Greeks t [...]

    20. "Beautiful" is an accurate word to describe this book that hardly does it justice. As a lover of history, anthropology, good storytelling, and especially Turkish culture, this book satisfied me and then some. It is an exceptional portrayal of the struggles that everyday people underwent during the strange time between the end of the Ottoman Empire and the dawn of Atatürk's republic, when superficial lines were drawn up between people who had lived for centuries comfortably next to and around ea [...]

    21. I have read a number of books by de Bernieres the first being Captain Corelli's Mandolin, (I enjoyed both the book and the film) I then went on read The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts, then The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman (two of his Colombian trilogy) which I didn’t particularly enjoy as they were in the magical mystery genre of Gabriel García Márquez, whom Bernières greatly admires. However I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Birds without Wings’ and was blown away by the vast amou [...]

    22. “The people who remained in this place have often asked themselves why it was that Ibrahim went mad. I am the only one who knows, but I have always been committed to silence, because he begged me to respect his grief, or, as he also put it, to take pity on his guilt.”Set in southwestern Anatolia (today Turkey) before and during World War I, Birds Without Wings is a wonderful novel about a small village and the people who live there. Prior to the war, the community is made up of Muslims and C [...]

    23. Ναι, ναι ναι το τελειωσα. Χειροκροτήστε με. Πραγματικά μετά το πιο άκυρο αναγνωστικό μου καλοκαίρι που για λόγους δουλειάς το διάβασμα πήγε πίσω το να ολοκληρώσω πλέον καποιο βιβλίο και πόσο μάλλον δύσκολο και ογκώδες καταγράφεται ως κοσμοϊστορικό γεγονός. Αρα ένας εξτρα π [...]

    24. A great book. I became utterly engrossed in the lives of the Muslim and Christian villagers in SW Turkey in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. I spent time near where the village was located and the descriptions were spot on and made me miss it. Sometimes funny, frequently tragic and always moving.

    25. This was a very complex story with many characters developed in short chapters. The characters are mixed as is the time line but I did not find it too difficult to follow. "Destiny caresses the few, but molests the many, and finally every sheep will hang by its own foot on the butcher's hook, just as every grain of wheat arrives at the millstone, no matter where it grew." p.6The time period is end of the great European empires, the beginning of WWI, the beginning of the Turkish nation. The life [...]

    26. The premise of this book was promising—a portrait of Turks, Greeks, and Armenians from an early 20th century Anatolian town before and during the collapse of their world—but its style took some getting used to. Chapters are short, episodic, and disjointed, rotating points of view among the large cast of characters. Although the protagonists evolve, there is no central tension driving the narrative, making an already lengthy book seem longer. Then there are the politics. Louis de Bernières r [...]

    27. It's hard to put down this book after spending so many delightful hours laughing and weeping with the people of Eskibahce, a sleepy small town in today's Turkey in which Armenians, Greeks and Muslims live quite peacefully considering themselves Osmans until history interrupts the course of their lives. Some of the chapters dedicated to Kemal Atatürk and to political events were a little bit lenghty and too rich in detail for my liking, but still I just ADORED this book. The sheer humanity of Be [...]

    28. This book was recommended to me as the best book available on understanding 20th-century Turkey. It focuses on the first two decades of the 20th century--when the Ottoman Empire was breaking apart and Turkey is formed. Interesting mix of history and fiction--background scenarios are historical while the main characters are from a fictitious small village. Both engaging and ponderous to read. Book is series of narratives told by the different characters--appropriate for an oral culture. One (Must [...]

    29. Munched my way through this with relish. It has the same mix of honesty,non-judgmental observation and fascinating historical detail that I'm coming to love with Louis de Bernieres. It is ( as seems to be his style) a touch long winded in sections (in this case the Mustafa Kemel sections) but even these are fascinating, so they inspire only the mildest spike of irritation and nothing more.I'm fast coming to love this writer. *makes grabby hands for another of his books*

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