Scott's Reviews > The Yellow Birds

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
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's review
Jun 22, 2012

it was ok

The book is ok. Fine writing. Story needs work. Probably 3 stars by itself. A promising debut but nothing special. Reminded me of Vietnam books. Don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing. Too familiar.

But I rated it 2 stars? Why? Because of 2 things that really bothered me.

One Tom Wolfe blurbed the book! A shared publisher sure, just a coincidence. But just because Tom Wolfe blurbed the book doesn't mean he read it. How do I know? The author of the famous essay of "Stalking the Billion-Footed Beast" made it clear how he feels about flowery navel gazing like this.

Two This may sound petty but it really rubbed me the wrong way. The first person the author thanks in the acknowledgements is himself. I am serious. Not his fellow soldiers, not his family, not a former teacher. Undeserved arrogance at its most extreme.
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