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The Yellow Birds (Anglais) Broché – 30 avril 2013

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Broché, 30 avril 2013
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Remarkable for its intensity of both feeling and expression. In this book about death, every line is a defiant assertion of the power of beauty to revivify, whether beauty shows itself in nature or (later) in art. Graves, Owen and Sassoon would have recognised this war and the strange poetry it has bred. (HILARY MANTEL, GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

An extraordinary novel . . . remarkable . . . stands with Tim O'Brien's enduring Vietnam book, The Things They Carried, as a classic of contemporary war fiction . . . brilliantly observed and deeply affecting. (MICHIKO KAKUTANI, NEW YORK TIMES)

A stunning achievement, visceral [and] poignant. (SUNDAY TIMES)

A masterpiece ... a classic. (THE TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

THE YELLOW BIRDS is a wonderful, powerful novel that moves and terrifies. (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Tautly written and unforgiving in its depiction of the human cost of war. (THE TIMES)

I found in THE YELLOW BIRDS by Kevin Powers a vivid, poetic account of modern warfare. Powers joined the US Marines at 17, going on to serve as a machine gunner in Iraq, and each line bleeds hard-fought truths. (RICHARD GODWIN, EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

Powers has written a compassionate, poetic evocation of war and its legacy which has already been hailed as a classic of its genre. (SUNDAY EXPRESS, BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

'Harrowing, inexplicably beautiful, and utterly, urgently necessary.' (ANN PATCHETT, Orange Prizewinning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder)

'Kevin Powers has conjured a poetic and devastating account of war's effect on the individual.' (DAMIAN LEWIS, star of Homeland and Band of Brothers)

Extraordinarily well-written . . . brilliant . . . he's just a really, really beautiful writer . . . everyone will be reading it. (ALEX HEMINSLEY, BBC RADIO 2 ARTS SHOW)

Reaffirms the power of fiction to tell the truth about the unspeakable ... a superb literary achievement. I urge everyone to read it. (CHRIS CLEAVE, author of The Other Hand and Gold)

Written with an intensity which is deeply compelling. (COLM T?IB?N, author of Brooklyn and The Master)

'This is a novel I've been waiting for. THE YELLOW BIRDS is born from experience and rendered with compassion and intelligence. All of us owe Kevin Powers our heartfelt gratitude.' (ALICE SEBOLD, author of The Lovely Bones)

. . . One of those books that knocks your perceptions into new alignment permanently. (BARBARA KINGSOLVER)

'THE YELLOW BIRDS is the All Quiet on the Western Front of America's Arab Wars.' (TOM WOLFE, author of The Bonfire of the Vanities)

[Powers] has forged a harrowing, enormously powerful first novel . . . Powers' writing is also attentive to nature and landscape, and he manages to entertain contradictory notions of beauty and horror. Wasn't that Fitzgerald's definition of genius? (FINANCIAL TIMES)

Kevin Powers' lyrical account of war's deep impact on the individual is an important addition to the tradition of American war fiction and perhaps the first great novel to emerge from the long, intractable conflicts in the Middle East. (JOHANNA THOMAS-CORR, LITERARY REVIEW)

A stunning read . . . beautiful [and] devastating. (SIMON MAYO, BBC RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB)

Thus far the definitive novel of our long wars in the Middle East; this book is certain to be read and taught for generations to come. (PHILIPP MEYER author of American Rust)

And then I heard this . . . an extraordinary novel - honest painful, poetic. Powers's exquisitely drawn portrait of three young soldiers struggling in their own way to make sense of their situation gives you the real human story. (GUARDIAN)

Kevin Powers' poetic, grievously sad debut novel captures one young man's experience of the war in Iraq . . . Powers is clear-eyed and dolorous, observing the damage done, but alive to the beauty of the landscape, and the details that cement friendship in a world dominated by violence and fear. (MARIE CLAIRE)

Page after page yields unforgettable images . . . undeniably, this is an important novel by a formidable talent. (DAILY MAIL)

A novel about the war in Iraq might not usually top your reading list, but make an exception for this one . . . it's an intense, brutal and yet lyrical tale . . . Novelists from Ann Pratchett to Colm Toibin have praised its harrowing beauty. It's an elegant literary treat. (EASY LIVING)

'The most recent war is much like the most ancient, torn bodies, cracked psyches, the emotional roundelay of pride, pain, confusion and sorrow. In THE YELLOW BIRDS, Kevin Powers has delivered an exceptional novel from the war in Iraq, written in clean, evocative prose, lyric and graphic, in assured rhythms, a story for today and tomorrow and the next.' (DANIEL WOODRELL, author of WINTER'S BONE)

We haven't just been waiting for a great novel to come out of the Iraq War, our 21st century Vietnam; we have also been waiting for something more important, a work of art that illuminates our flawed and complex and striving humanity behind all such wars. At last we have both in Kevin Powers' THE YELLOW BIRDS. (ROBERT OLEN BUTLER, author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain)

In the great tradition of Hemingway and Tim O'Brien, Kevin Powers's exquisitely written THE YELLOW BIRDS draws us in to the combat zones of Iraq: the watch, the wait ("Stay alive, Stay alert"), the bungle, the slaughter and the irreparable aftermath. (EDNA O'BRIEN, GUARDIAN)

'THE YELLOW BIRDS is a superb novel. Call it a war novel or a first novel or whatever you'd like. Powers has created a powerful work of art that captures the complexity and life altering realities of combat service. This book will endure. Read it and then put it way up on that high rare shelf alongside Ernest Hemingway and Tim O'Brien.' (ANTHONY SWOFFORD, author of Jarhead)

Short, taut and eminently readable. With a John Updike-like hypersensitivity in rendering the mundane extraordinary . . . an extremely impressive debut - Kevin Powers is a name to watch. (TIME OUT Book of the Week)

THE YELLOW BIRDS skulks along, detached and undemanding, until all of a sudden you turn a page and find yourself weeping. (GQ, Debut Novel of the Month)

Elegiac, sober, and haunting. (TIME magazine)

It is a novel about the horrors of war made beautiful by the author's poetic language which is like handsome ironmongery, delicately strong but not overwrought . . . At one stage in the book, there's a bravura passage of stream of consciousness that may well be among the most effective lines ever written about a soldier trying to come to terms with what he has seen and done. For that alone Powers deserves a medal. (THE SCOTSMAN)

Intense, painful, excellent . . . Bartle tries to piece it all together, and his torment, which must be akin to the author's, feels like a gift. (SPECTATOR)

The author's status as a veteran of the war, and therefore a curio in the American literary world, provides an unimpeachable veracity to the novel . . . It is quite clear that he is major talent. (INDEPENDENT)

[An] unforgettable debut novel . . . [Powers has] written fiction that seems more real than the "real" thing. (NEWSWEEK)

'Powers' poetic gifts render the experience of Americans in Iraq with great emotional intensity. War has been a subject of literature ever since The Iliad. The best books transcend their time and circumstances to say something enduring and truthful about war itself. THE YELLOW BIRDS belongs in that category.' (PHILIP CAPUTO, author of A Rumor of War)

Terrific . . . vivid [and] gripping. A very much needed book. (MARGARET FORSTER, author of Diary of an Ordinary Woman)

What happens to soldiers at war? THE YELLOW BIRDS delivers answers that should rightfully unnerve us, if we're still willing - ten long years into Iraq and Afghanistan - to contemplate 'our little pest of a war.' The human cost is surely beyond any comprehensible measure, but in this haunting, unflinching crucible of a novel, Kevin Powers gives us the essence, with all comfortable, corrupting illusion and rhetoric burned away. (BEN FOUNTAIN, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)

Beautifully written . . . This is a harrowing and pitiful story of the sad waste of war. (THE LADY)

'This book epitomises the power of the written word; the language is at once poetic and brutal, vivid and sparse. A stunning, timely and engrossing novel.' (BOOKSELLER)

What impresses most here are the mournful and melodious refrains which manage to cultivate beauty and pathos from the smothering chaos and dust. (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)

A book that will make you look good on the bus . . . a powerful tale. (HEAT)

From an opening that suggests The Waste Land to a closing that echoes The Great Gatsby, Kevin Powers has crafted one of the most beguiling and beautiful war novels of recent times . . . its soul spills out over every poetic page. (RTE GUIDE)

That it horrifies with beauty and numbs by way of sensuality is Powers' big achievement (SUNDAY INDEPENDENT (DUBLIN))

If you're looking for one of the first great novels of the Iraq war, this may be it. (CNN.com)

Extraordinary . . . beautifully accomplished. The mark of an artist of the first order . . . a must-read book. (JOHN BURNSIDE, GUARDIAN)

It's a sad and deftly written story - and one that can stand tall with the great war novels that preceded it. (EMERALD STREET)

Présentation de l'éditeur
















An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran and poet, THE YELLOW BIRDS is already being hailed as a modern classic.

Everywhere John looks, he sees Murph.

He flinches when cars drive past. His fingers clasp around the rifle he hasn't held for months. Wide-eyed strangers praise him as a hero, but he can feel himself disappearing.

Back home after a year in Iraq, memories swarm around him: bodies burning in the crisp morning air. Sunlight falling through branches; bullets kicking up dust; ripples on a pond wavering like plucked strings. The promise he made, to a young man's mother, that her son would be brought home safely.

With THE YELLOW BIRDS, poet and veteran Kevin Powers has composed an unforgettable account of friendship and loss. It vividly captures the desperation and brutality of war, and its terrible after-effects. But it is also a story of love, of great courage, and of extraordinary human survival.

Written with profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on families at home, THE YELLOW BIRDS is one of the most haunting, true and powerful novels of our time.

'THE YELLOW BIRDS is the All Quiet on the Western Front of America's Arab Wars.'

(Tom Wolfe, author of The Bonfire of the Vanities )

'Kevin Powers has conjured a poetic and devastating account of war's effect on the individual.'

(Damian Lewis, star of Homeland and Band of Brothers )

'Inexplicably beautiful'.

(Ann Patchett, Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder)

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 256 pages
  • Editeur : Sceptre (30 avril 2013)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 144476876X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444768763
  • Dimensions du produit: 12,2 x 1,7 x 17,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 17.581 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par annamark le 4 octobre 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Histoire de guerre très forte, écrite comme un reportage, mais qui est un roman - quand même écrit par un tireur de l'armée américaine qui a passé du temps en Afghanistan. Sur les horreurs de la guerre vécues et décrites par un jeune soldat et sa difficulté de retour à la vie 'normale'. Ses belles descriptions des paysages contrastent fortement avec la brutalité de la mort et le coût en vies humaines. Extrêmement bien écrit. Très émouvant, car les soldats sont tellement jeunes et la guerre qu'ils découvrent ne correspondent en rien à ce qu'ils pensaient quand ils sont partis 'servir leur patrie'.
Chose importante - il vaut mieux le lire en français si vous ne parlez pas anglais parfaitement , car il est très riche en vocabulaire et ce sera vraiment dommage de ne comprendre que les grandes lignes.
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par alain monroche le 22 avril 2013
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Très intéressant, ce vécu d'une guerre de notre époque, tel que c'est ressenti par de jeunes soldats américains. Il y a aussi ce lien très fort entre deux jeunes soldats dans la tourmente.
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305 internautes sur 330 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant 22 août 2012
Par Sid Nuncius - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is a superb, moving and insightful book about war and its effects on the men and women who take part in it. The author, Kevin Powers, is a veteran of Iraq in 2004 where this book is set and is now a poet. This combination of first-hand experience and ability with language coupled with great insight and honesty creates something quite remarkable.

The book is narrated in the first person by private John Bartle on his first tour of duty in Iraq. The language is heightened throughout, often poetic and sometimes almost hallucinatory. The timescale moves between his time in Iraq, his pre-tour training and his homecoming and after. The story is really that of Bartle's psychological journey and is quite stunning in its evocation of the war itself and of the state of mind of the young man who went through it. It is deceptively quiet in tone with even the violent action (of which there is relatively little) described without hysteria, and this lends it a remarkable power to convey things like fear, exhaustion, the rush of excitement and the dreadful problems of reintegrating once home.

All this may sound forbidding, turgid or preachy but it isn't at all. This is an engrossing, readable book which is quite short but has immense impact and which will stay with me for a very long time. I think this genuinely belongs among great war books such as All Quiet On the Western Front and Dispatches. I could give a long list of examples of how thoughtful, insightful and honest it is, but I will just say that I recommend that you read it. It is truly exceptional and you will never forget it.
239 internautes sur 258 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Review of The Yellow Birds 9 septembre 2012
Par Lydia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is not a pretty story. It's stark, harsh, filled with horror, and made me, honestly, want to yell and scream at someone - anyone. And the thing is, I think that's the emotions it was supposed to evoke in me.

In The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, in less than 250 pages, we're taken on a journey. A journey to war - in all it's brutal, killing glory. This is a story about two Privates - each with their own path in life and death, and the hell each will leave as their legacy.

I honestly don't know how to review this book. As far as a review goes, let me just say that this is a seriously depressing book. It's about war, and it does not paint a pretty picture. There's no soldier playing guitar for a bunch of little refugee kids here. There's no parties, no laughter, no fun and games behind the lines as everyone tries to ease up on the stress level. This is what happens when hope has been not just taken away, but stomped under the feet of a commanding officer and then forced into the rotting guts of a dead enemy. Get the picture? I hope so - because I kind of wish I'd had someone to pound that into me.

After reading The Yellow Birds I was in a stupor for the rest of the day... on into the next day. There was an analogy Kevin Powers talked about - how rushing into battle is like that moment before you collide with another car in an accident. There's that same feeling of helplessness - the knowing that you may very well die in a mere second. I had a horrific accident almost one year ago - a driver pulled out in front of me, running his stop sign, and I collided with him. I was going 52 mph. That moment before impact felt like years, and in those years I had a thousand (at least) thoughts run through my head. But first and foremost? I didn't want to die. I wasn't ready. And yet I think so very little about the soldiers we have out there living that moment every single day of their lives - both active duty and inactive.

I don't want to get political in this review, I just want to say that it drove its point home to me. I don't know what it's like to be a soldier in war - and frankly I know that I wouldn't have the guts to do it. But I can educate myself about it, and that's what this story has done for me.
394 internautes sur 438 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A book about war, but not my war 17 octobre 2012
Par R. Mcbeth - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Operation Iraqi Freedom wasn't one war, it was three.

The first war was from the initial invasion until about 2005-2006. This was the time when we were still figuring out how this whole war thing was supposed to be fought. It was when we ran patrols in soft-skinned Hummers and ran over IEDs that killed entire crews. We didn't have the right equipment. We didn't know the right tactics. We did the wrong things. We abused prisoners. We made mistakes. We holed up in FOBs and went out to do... well, shows of force while the big heads in the Green Zone rewrote Iraqi traffic laws. This is the time span in which the book takes place.

The second war was the surge which lasted from 2006 until about 2009. This was when we poured money into the clear-hold-build strategy. This strategy started to work, especially when the Sons of Iraq were formed and we worked hand-in-hand with the Iraqis as they started to figure out that they had a stake in this after all. We fought smarter and had better equipment. This was when Iran started pumping EFPs into the bombmaker's arsenals, but it's also when we really pushed to counter the bombs and the bombmakers. This was the war of The Hurt Locker.

The third war was from 2009 until 2011 as we closed bases and started to pull out. This was the long kiss goodnight as we packed up and left and let the Iraqis do most of the fighting. This was the war of the Fobbits - the soldiers who never left the FOB and consumed ice cream, attended Salsa Night and toured Saddam's Palaces.

Everybody's experience is different. Mine was from 2008 - 2009 some of it as a Fobbit, and some of it running convoys. To me, Iraq will always look like miles and miles of concrete T-walls with the sound of a generator running in the background, or the view outside an armored M1115 window as we pulled onto Route Irish.

I had high hopes for the book. I wanted it to reflect the feeling in my stomach as we pulled onto Route Michigan and I got that sinking feeling that I was going to get hit that day. I wanted it to explain what it felt like to have a tourniquet velcroed to my arm and leg on the door side of the vehicle, just in case I got blasted. I wanted it to reflect how I felt when I was turned away at the chow hall because I had just come off of mission and my uniform was too messy to eat inside.

But it didn't reflect any of that because I served in the second war and the author served in the first.

For me, Iraq was kind of akin to a daily commute where you never knew if the curb in front of you was going to explode, peppered with the stupidity of your boss yelling at you because you didn't wear the right shirt to work that day.

Maybe somebody will write a book like that one day. Heck, maybe I will. But I can't call "The Yellow Birds" a definitive book about Iraq. I can't even call it a definitive book about war in general.

It is probably a good account of men going numb. But there is no joy in the novel. There is no highlights on the funny, stupid, games that privates play when the boredom sets in.

The book displayed moments of brilliance, namely when it explained combat as that dump of adrenaline in an auto accident. That was spot-on. It knocked my socks off when it showed how angry the main character was when everybody called him a hero, and he wanted to break their noses for it.

That made me want to give the book five stars.

But parts of the book just didn't ring true to me. There was no humor. You never felt the fear or fatigue of the soldier. Maybe the soldiers in the first war just felt hollow all of the time and I just have no capability of understanding it? But that part of the book made we want to give it one star.

So as a compromise , I settle on three. The book is worth buying just for those two moments of brilliance that I explained two paragraphs above, but it will never be my war so my review may be biased in favor of what I expected.
44 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not what the high-powered critics say it is 27 septembre 2012
Par NSW - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I read an advance review of this several months ago, and based on pre-reviews at that time I anticipated really loving this book - or at least liking it. When I started it, it was the great writing I expected, and I connected with the story right away.

That feeling did not last long. By the time I finished, I did remain impressed with Powers writing skills. He's a poet, and the care and thought in his prose is evident in every single word. But in the end, there's not much here. Remove the language, and behind it is a story that's unrealistic and implausible. While the three main characters are certainly well developed, they are not original representations of soldiers; these are typecasts I've seen before, concluded with an ending that does not make sense.

Mostly, and it's not Powers' fault, I was disappointed that I was sold a bill of goods by advance reviewers that were not fair to this book. It is NOT All Quiet on the Western Front or The Things They Carried. Those books have decades of history and weight behind them. In 50 years, I doubt it, but maybe we'll still be talking about "Yellow Birds." Until then, let's keep perspective.

If I had come to this book as a new release that I discovered myself, I'm sure I would have been sort of impressed and would have forgiven many of the flaws. But this book's marketing scheme will suck up the oxygen of Iraq literature, while not being nearly the "great book" these blurbers seem desperate to want it to be. It's a finely written book, no doubt, though with these serious flaws; honest, reasonable praise or criticism should have been enough - not this absurd coronation.

It's a war story, sure, but it's not an Iraq story. These soldiers could be transplanted out of Iraq, and into any other derivative war narrative and would have fit right in. The ending, however, didn't fit into Iraq at all. Vietnam, maybe.

I don't like giving it a bad review. I'm an Army veteran of Iraq too, and I've been to Iraq as an embedded journalist. I want these stories told, in fiction or truth. But cultural interest based on wishful praise isn't productive; people will figure out this really wasn't that good, and they won't spend their future money on the books that are.

This book is going to get a lot of five-star reviews, because it's the kind of book people will wish is as important as they've been told it is. Blame the blurbs for false expectations, wishful thinking, and frankly, denial. This is like "Hurt Locker," which also looked very good while spinning a fanciful and unrealistic story. A veteran/writer I've talked to said it perfectly - all the blurbs are just like those deluded neo-con politicans who spun the Iraq War as an easy conflict with flowers and parades. Iraq was a bill of goods from beginning to end; now it continues from the left-wing flipside, with cultural elites telling all us hoi polloi what's "important." It isn't important. It's a step below okay.
128 internautes sur 155 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Sadly disappointed 15 septembre 2012
Par Jake Mckenna - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I bought Yellow Birds because it was mentioned favorably in "Time" magazine. The reviewer gave me the impression the book was essentially a traditional war novel which generally combines coming of age within the horror of war. Nick Arvin did a remarkable job depicting the life of a soldier in World War Two in "Articles of War". "Matterhorn" is a novel in that mode and was engrossing, displaying both grim detail and dark humor to create a very believable experience of the Vietnam conflict. I served in Vietnam, flew helicopters there, and the book captured the experience grippingly. Thus I came to this book with the expectation of the same type of exposure to another one of our mistaken wars. Vietnam was fought by a different generation by soldiers drafted into an unpopular war. The current conflicts are now fought exclusively by volunteers. Perhaps that difference explains a subtle yet significant difference in the portrayal of the conflicts. Perhaps choosing mitigates the horror to which you've been exposed, and blunts the outrage. Who knows?
Unfortunately what I read seemed a dreamy exercise in self indulgence. The author both served in Iraq and earned a MFA (apparently with an emphasis in poetry) from the University of Texas. No doubt the man can write. His description of the experience of combat as being akin to the moment in an auto accident between understanding what has happened and the impact was brilliant.
But, sadly, I never became engaged with any of the characters and thus did not really care what happened to private Bartle or his friend Murphy. Their friendship seemed false from the beginning and never developed into anything deeper. Plot points were also not convincing. SPOILER ALERT For example the mutilation of a body (and the concern a parent would open the coffin) becomes the reason for the climactic events in the war zone. Maybe things have changed, but in Vietnam certain coffins were sent home sealed with the warning not to view the remains. And most concerning the abrupt murder of an innocent Iraqi is provided as a shock, but then not followed with any apparent effect on the moral issues of the book.
The writing itself lacked precision. Rather than dig into the characters Mr. Powers chose instead to tell us what to feel and often in vague sentences such as: "Clouds spread out over the Atlantic like soiled linens on an unmade bed." This had the effect of distancing me from the events and lead to confusion. I'm not sure, for example, whether the final scene in Iraq took place at night, or morning, or both. The scene starts out in a "...city, past curfew,..." and at least two references to lit streetlights. Yet, a few pages later action occurred "....in the heat of late morning." I missed any transition indicating the squad (or company?)had stayed out overnight.
If you enjoy sentences like this one describing the appearance of an alley: "In the dark, a swallow illustrated the turns with its call's echo." You may enjoy this book. But frankly I thought the false tone of the story belied its impact. It may be that I missed some illusive point; I looked for it. Instead the book left me empty and a bit annoyed, particularly in light of my expectations. I wish Mr. Powers all the luck on his literary career, but for me, a good story, well told, is the reason I read, and this book did not provide that at all.
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