The Yellow Birds 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… The Yellow Birds 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… 2012-09-11 Fiction Little, Brown and Company
Book Review

The Yellow Birds (2012)

WELCOME TO PURGATORY The Yellow Birds chronicles a soldier's psychological turmoil following a tragic incident
WELCOME TO PURGATORY The Yellow Birds chronicles a soldier's psychological turmoil following a tragic incident
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Sep 11, 2012; Writer: Kevin Powers; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

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+

Originally posted Aug 29, 2012 Published in issue #1223 Sep 07, 2012 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners