Eliza's Reviews > Pretty Birds

Pretty Birds by Scott Simon
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's review
Aug 14, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-post-college
Read in August, 2008

The weekend the Russian/Georgian situation blew up, my mother recommended this book to me. My father also had good things to say about it when he saw it with my stuff. I trust them, and it seemed appropriate given current events, so I brought it home with me. From the very first chapter, the horror of war on one's own home soil was explicit. Even in the aftermath of 9/11, the huge majority of Americans continued day-to-day life as usual. Not so in Sarajevo.

Scott Simon is a reporter for NPR; this is his first novel. I like his writing style, which I think is informed by his experience as a reporter. This book could be heavy on symbolism, but for the most part it's not. I think that ties the reader closer to the characters as I doubt there's a lot of time for symbolism and deep thinking in the middle of a war waged right outside your apartment building. Sometimes a pet bird is just a pet bird. No that one is pretty symbolic, but sometimes an appreciation for them music of Sting is just that.

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