Birds Without Wings by Louis De Bernieres

Birds Without Wings

Louis De Bernieres

An epic masterpiece that captures the humour, tragedy and brutality of the inhabitants of a village caught up in the Turkish and Greek wars. I enjoyed the humorous observations, anecdotes and profound metaphors in the fictional narrative of the Muslims and Christians. These individual chapters outline the harmonious religious and cultural tolerances of a number of colourful local villagers,and later their subsequent distrust, sufferings and loss. I did find the interwoven chapters on Mustafa Kemel (founder of modern Turkey) challenging as they read more like a biographical non-fiction account of the Fall of the Ottoman Empire. On the whole the novel is well worth the read, if you have the time to give to its 640 pages.

So Ali goes back to his wife and children and his hollow tree, and Mohammed goes and catches leeches for all I know, except that it was almost night-time by now, so he probably didn't, come to think of it, and there I am in Nilufer's stable with this adulteress who may or may not be dead, these things being in God's hands, because God's the boss after all.

  • War and Peace by Tolstoy
  • Any title by Dickens
  • Under MilkWood by Dylan Thomas