Birds without Wings, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Set against the backdrop of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, the Gallipoli campaign and the subsequent bitter struggle between Greeks and Turks, Birds Without Wings traces the fortunes of one small community in south-west Anatolia - a town in which Christian and Muslim lives and traditions have co-existed peacefully for centuries.

When war is declared and the outside world intrudes, the twin scourges of religion and nationalism lead to forced marches and massacres, and the peaceful fabric of life is destroyed.

Birds Without Wings is a novel about the personal and political costs of war, and about love: between men and women; between friends; between those who are driven to be enemies; and between Philothei, a Christian girl of legendary beauty, and Ibrahim the Goatherd, who has courted her since infancy.

Epic in sweep, intoxicating in its sensual detail, it is an enchanting masterpiece.


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

am not unreserved in my praise of this book which I thought far too repetitive and slow at times. Yet other parts of the book were brilliant, particularly the depiction of the Battle of Gallipoli and the complex and brutal emnities between the Turks, Armenians and the Greeks. This novel may well inspire me to read a historical work of the period.

Review by

After Captain Corelli's Mandoline (1994) this is a new story about the absurdities of warfare, nationalism and love. In introducing one village in Anatolia, one (or maybe two) lovestory and one friendship overcoming ethnic differences between Greeks and Moslim Ottomans declared Turcs, the author succeeds in making you believe in the characters and their stories. Almost a brave story on its own account is the framework that sketches the career of Kemal Atatürk. The communication between the Turkish and the Greek Boy is maintained by the use of terracotta birdwhistles. These whistles, like the friends, have no wings so they cannot fly back and forth like birds.