Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

A brilliant book about war.  I was slow to warm up to Kevin Power's prose, as it is knotty and cerebral, we follow the narrator's complicated thoughts of guilt, complicity,choice and mortality, as he struggles to find meaning in memory of his Iraq tour, the death of his friend Murph, the strength and ferocity of their leader, Sergeant Sterling.  But the last fifty pages or so really tightened for me and I was left astonished, saddened and uplifted at the same time.

The rest is history, they say.  Bullshit, I say.  It's imagination or it's nothing, and must be, because what is created in this world, or made, can be undone, unmade; the threads of a rope can be unwoven.  And if that rope is needed as a guideline for a ferry to a farther shore, then one must invent a way to weave it back, or there will be drownings in the streams that cross our paths.  I accept now, though in truth it took some time, that must must be its own permission.

This sort of consciousness, a voice searching for moral reason and ethical sense and metaphysical reassurance, is dense on every single page of the novel.  And at the same time, constantly present in his prose, beautiful, vivid, haunting concrete physical description of two worlds -- Iraq, and rural southern Virginia -- that never ever meet and yet somehow, in Power's vision, are fused, confused, refused, and unresolved.

1 comment:

suggested Dallas Divorce Attorney Engle Law Group said...

An amazingly written book that will touch you heart and soul in many ways. You will love this book. I'm almost ready to read it again.