The Yellow Birds

  • by Kevin Powers
  • Narrated by Holter Graham
  • 5 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"The war tried to kill us in the spring," begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, 21-year-old Private Bartle and 18-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger.
Bound together since basic training when their tough-as-nails sergeant ordered Bartle to watch over Murphy, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes impossible actions.
With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel about the costs of war that is destined to become a classic.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Sad and Unforgettable

I accept that it is not possible to know what it is like to be in combat unless one has actually experienced it, but good literature is as close as one can get. The Yellow Birds, set in Iraq, tells the story of two young American soldiers from Virginia, their experiences and the aftermath. It is not a pretty picture. The genius of the book, a first work by Kevin Powers, is that it uses powerful and artful writing to not only tell a story, but to provide insight into the consciousness of other human beings who are caught in the madness of war and killing. This is not a story of hope or spiritual uplifting; rather, it is an exposition (not an explanation) of existence under this latest version of war. It is sad and unforgettable. Beautifully read.
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- Buzz

Brutal Honesty

Any additional comments?

This was a heartwrenching story. Very real and eye opening to what deployment is really like and how combat changes lives. I thought I had an idea of combat, as a military wife, but this was enlightening, in a bittersweet way. I have a much greater understanding of the how and why of PTSD. I believe combat is one of those experiences you could never understand unless you have been there, but this is definitely the closest thing to it. An amazing story and I appreciate the author going to these places in his mind to help us see a glimpse of war.

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- Melissa Phillips

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-11-2012
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio