Birds without Wings cover

ISBN: 1-4000-7932-2

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Birds Without Wings

“Birds Without Wings is a wise, beautiful and enthralling book.”
 The Mail on Sunday

 “De Bernières’s narrative voice is captivating and compelling … [He] deserves praise for his imaginative sympathy, which enlarges the spirit … De Bernières has written a masterpiece.   Where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was the work of a romantic young man, this is the sadder, grimmer novel of a mature writer, whose rage at human cruelty and stupidity is Tolstoyan.”
The Independent on Sunday

 “A book which is about the great and important things in living – love, death, honour, failure and guilt – and about the small things that are vital to those great things … Gently humorous asides litter the book … This is a magnificent, poetic, colossal novel, filled with wry, poignant stories …  It’s a beautiful mesmer of voices and people and events …  Birds Without Wings is superbly written, gathering people and their hearts and souls and all their baggage of loss and hope together in one place and giving a point to life.  It is, in every sense, a sublime book.”
The Irish Times

“He evokes with absolute certainty and delicacy the texture of daily life, whether that is the life of a small town and surrounding countryside, or the life in the trenches of Gallipoli … it is wonderfully vivid. There is love in the writing of this novel, which is why so many will love it.”
The Scotsman

 “Although his account of Gallipoli is inspired – rarely has the ugly face of war been so lovingly described – his heart belongs to the smaller canvas, and his portrayal of sleepy, multi-ethnic village life before, during and after the First World War is a magnificent achievement.” 
The Times

“De Bernières allows a multitude of characters to jostle for attention, at first to suggest the richness of the community’s life, and then to register its erosion. … de Bernières has a remarkable ability to evoke the tenderness of relationships even as he depicts their brutality … he can move seamlessly from energetic humour to poignancy, and from easy charm to a searing anger.”
The Financial Times

“de Bernieres’ second Mediterranean epic mingles humour, horror and humanity”
The Independent

“…enchanting mix of love, horror, humour and despair…  This is a beautifully written, compelling and thought-provoking novel.”
Lincolnshire Echo

“… an illustration of how religion and nationalism can dehumanise people and lead them to commit heinous crimes.   Salutary reading in the wake of the Bosnian and Gulf wars.”
Glamour magazine

“he has recreated a lost world at the point of its dissolution and realised the grandeur of his themes: the endurance of love, the pity of war”
Hampstead & Highgate Express

“Louis de Bernières’s most serious and ambitious achievement to date”
Times Literary Supplement

“Astonishing, compulsively readable… His characters attach themselves to us and won’t let go.”
Los Angeles Times

“Engrossing…The prose is gorgeous…Everyone in this cast of characters is someone memorable, and their lives and fates intertwine to make a marvellously engaging story of a village.” 
Chicago Tribune

 “A deeply rewarding work… A great bazaar of family life and international politics… This epic about the tragedy of borders is likely to cross all borders, moving readers everywhere… It’s both exotically remote and tragically relevant in our age of confident nation building… So much is remarkable about this novel, from the heft of its history to the power of its legends.”
Christian Science Monitor

 “De Bernieres is so inventive – celebratory but never sentimental”
Newsweek

“Fascinating, evocative…Rich and compelling…A thrilling ride through a whirlwind of history…De Bernieres has reached heights that few modern novelists ever attempt”
The Washington Post

“We feel everything through a host of vivid, moving and often amusing characters.”
San Jose Mercury News

 “He is to be understood as … a prolific and ambitious writer with a rather astonishing body of work, notable for its dense lyricism, fierce wisdom, soaring passion and remarkable wit.  In this tradition, Birds Without Wings is pure de Bernières.  … this is again a rich and passionate story of love and war, and in many ways a much more ambitious and important one. … Stories of grand passions move the novel: conjugal, fraternal, inter-species.  Many are delivered in an episodic, fragmentary and provocative manner, interspersing voices in first and third person to create a rich, mottled chorus, an amalgam of subplots that weave and complement each other in such a way that the town itself might be better called the central character.

For those who do not devour it immediately, Birds Without Wings will sit as great epics sit, on one’s shelf demanding to be read, making one feel irresponsible and guilty, provoking resolutions of ‘must read this before death’.  Do read it before you die.  It would be a terrible thing to have missed a work of such importance, beauty and compassion.”
The Globe and Mail, Canada