Murray's Reviews > Birds Without Wings

Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernières
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Apr 27, 09

bookshelves: historical, novel, politics
Recommended for: Anyone who likes their history in the form of a gripping novel.
Read in January, 2004

This is one I probably will read again. It is not Captain Corelli mark II and perhaps suffered in my eyes a little because of that. However, it opens a vista on some history that perhaps people from northern Europe are not so well aware of. The story opens in a village in Anatolia, where people who considered themselves as Greek and Christian lived in some harmony with their Muslim Turkish neighbours. The arrival of Ataturk and also the nationalist movements amongst those Greeks seeking a 'Greater Greece' led to a conflict that disrupted the lives of thousands and led to death and ruin of many.

As always with de Berniers, there are some descriptions and characters that just stay in your mind for ages after finishing one of his books. The nationalist Greek in the village, with his bird in a cage, is one. Another is the local pasha and the concubine he acquires.

This tale is full of humanity and sad with that sadness that springs from inhuman stupidity(or perhaps it is all too human).
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