In his intense debut, Powers turns his experiences as a U.S. Army machine gunner in Iraq into an angry, searching ode to what his protagonist calls ”a s— ty little war.” Much of the story takes place inside the burdened mind of Private Bartle, who obsesses over a tragic incident whose details aren’t divulged until the end. The Yellow Birds hops through time disjointedly, effectively mirroring Bartle’s shaken sense of consciousness. While Powers occasionally lapses into abstraction to fill the spaces in his relatively sparse plot, he effectively shows how, for these soldiers, war isn’t hell. It’s purgatory. B+
WELCOME TO PURGATORY The Yellow Birds chronicles a soldier's psychological turmoil following a tragic incident
Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Posted October 5 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Ghostbusters' new car: Paul Feig reveals #whattheygonnadrive
- Gay marriage ruling movie in the works at Fox
- Casting Net: Ellen Page signs on for Iraq War drama Lioness
- Hillary Clinton talks 'SNL' impressions
- Miss USA pageant names new hosts
- Rosie Perez leaving 'The View'
- Jeff Goldblum and wife welcome first son on the only possible day
- 'American Idol Live!' tour photos: Let's go backstage!
- They look like THAT now? See some of the latest child stars all grown up
- Channing Tatum in 'Magic Mike XXL' leads our quip picks
- Reel-to-real couples: 12 relationships on-screen and off
- 'Back to the Future' turns 30: See the cast, then and now
- Khloé Kardashian, Paul Rudd, Taylor Swift & More!