Extended Audio Sample

Download Birdy Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Birdy (Unabridged), by William Wharton
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,952 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Wharton Narrator: Jim Colby, James Yaegashi Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN:
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This masterful National Book Award winner explores the shattering effects of war on the human mind.

Growing up, Birdy dreams of flying like a bird and shares these fantasies with his best friend, Al. Years later, World War II sends both men to hospitals - Al for physical wounds and Birdy for psychological trauma. When Birdy falls into a catatonic state, it is Al who tries to pull him out. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela Young | 2/20/2014

    " Told by two narrators who were childhood friends, Al and Birdy, this is a strange and poetic story about a man who always wanted to be a bird. The only thing is that Birdy's words are in his head, not spoken aloud (unsurprisingly for a bird). Al's words are spoken to Birdy who is in a secure cell in a mental hospital. Al has been persuaded by Birdy's psychiatrist to come and talk to his childhood friend, to try to get through to him, to try to persuade him out of his catatonic state. The book is also about the horrors of war (Al has recently returned from a war) ... and ultimately about what it is to be a human being in a world that can frighten you into the very inside of yourself. It is a thoughtful beautiful novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicki | 2/8/2014

    " This books is VERY strange, but unforgettable. It is about old childhood friends who have both gone to war and are meeting again under unfortunate circumstances, scarred and disfigured in their separate ways. The narrator, Alfonso, was the stronger, popular, sexually savvy of the two friends when they were younger, who had an abusive Italian father who left him with serious anger management issues. His bosum buddy turned estranged, freak-a-zoidal PTSD friend, calls himself Birdy. Birdy's childhood/adolescent dream, which he did everything to realize, was to fly, and eventually, to be a bird. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Celine | 2/1/2014

    " Just as terrific on re-reading as it was the first time around. I have no idea, though, how it was made into a movie. Must get out on DVD. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 roberrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt | 1/22/2014

    " this is a fantastic dual narration about two friends who go to war. one is your everyday stereotypical jock while the other has this facination with birds and hopes of becoming one some day. a great book which questions what is true insanity and what is freedom. an argument can be made that the language and writing isn't that stellar but the defense for that is that the writing reflects the youth and immaturity of these 19-year-old boys sent off to war. i read this while i was in high school and at the time felt it was my own story. this is probably one of the most personally influencial books i've read. it isn't the best but because i felt like i connected to it so deeply, i have to hold this high. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Syd | 1/10/2014

    " A well written novel about the friendship of two very different men. Worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 12/28/2013

    " Melodic writing and imaginative storytelling, though the ending felt almost abrupt after the meditative and focused-in pace of the main story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 12/27/2013

    " Not sure why the movie is set during Vietnam, when the novel is set during WWII. There is probably the most intense fight/war scene I've ever read at the end of the novel, during the reveal of Birdy's trauma. Brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Hughes | 12/15/2013

    " Who would have thought that one of the most beautiful love stories I've read is between a canary and a teenage boy dreaming he's a bird? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karina Al-mohsin | 12/11/2013

    " My first Wharton- loved it and still do .. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Norma | 12/8/2013

    " Set in Upper Darby, a weird but poignant coming of age/anti war story. I really liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 12/4/2013

    " One of my all time favorite books about a boy who dreams he is a bird, or perhaps a bird who dreams he is a boy..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 polet' :) | 9/26/2013

    " powerful!! <3 "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie Bell | 8/8/2013

    " I did enjoy the discussion that this book provoked, but didn't really like the book itself. I'm just not that big a fan of birds... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine | 5/3/2013

    " I read this long long ago, it was sad and beautiful "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dilay | 4/25/2013

    " Questioning about insanity and being normal,this book gave me a fantastic point of view about birds, dreams and the perception of insanity. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deanna Miller | 7/24/2012

    " the strangest book i've ever read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 8/29/2011

    " Listened to audio book. Nice shift between characters and alternate readers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 8/29/2011

    " Good story about a boy and his friend who reunite after traumatic war experiences in a mental hospital. Birdy falls in love with his canary and thinks he is a bird himself. Al has always been a tough-guy but combat breaks him. At the end they help each other over some hurdles of life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paula | 5/27/2011

    " one of my favorite books...read several times "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eero | 4/15/2011

    " This is a fascinating story about that birds and wanting to fly. Freedom and acceptance are the two words that come to my mind after 20 after reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tory | 2/27/2011

    " I gave this too a couple of members of my book club to read and they didn't finish it. I have read it 3 times. I guess if you cant imagine being a bird or any reason why you might want to, and you weren't a weird kid, then you might not get anything out of it. I love this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dilay | 1/19/2011

    " questioning about insanity and being normal..this book gave me fantastic point of wiev about birds, dreams and the perception of insanity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 1/14/2011

    " Not sure why the movie is set during Vietnam, when the novel is set during WWII. There is probably the most intense fight/war scene I've ever read at the end of the novel, during the reveal of Birdy's trauma. Brilliant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catharine | 8/28/2010

    " I can't say I liked this book. I didn't. But it's stuck with me for 30-plus years since I read it. Maybe it needs re-reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 12/27/2009

    " Melodic writing and imaginative storytelling, though the ending felt almost abrupt after the meditative and focused-in pace of the main story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristie | 10/20/2009

    " So far I'm really liking this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brenda | 7/18/2009

    " While I can't say I loved this book, it has stuck with me. It's weird and endearing, and a little disturbing, but most of all it memorable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 linda | 4/11/2009

    " A strange little book but I did enjoy it. It makes one question - what is sanity? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stradonis | 3/28/2009

    " Nice one. (I know it sounds horrible, but I'm not that insensitive...) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paula | 12/27/2008

    " one of my favorite books...read several times "

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