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Extended Audio Sample Pretty Birds: A Novel, by Scott Simon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (693 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Scott Simon Narrator: Christina Moore Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Celebrated NPR personality and acclaimed author Scott Simon is an Emmy and Peabody Award winner. This astonishing novel is based on his experiences covering the siege of Sarajevo. Teenaged Irena and her parents are forced into hiding when Bosnian Serbs launch their war of ethnic cleansing against Muslims. But Tedic, a strong-willed Muslim man, convinces Irena to become a sniper and take up the defense of her home and people. A deadly chess game, Irena’s story plays out against the backdrop of a city brutalized by war. Based entirely on true events, Pretty Birds is a powerful and striking tale.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by katy | 2/20/2014

    " The novel is a scary, oppressive account of the siege of Sarajevo told from the point of view of a Bosnian teenage girl basketball player who is recruited to be a sniper in the 1990's war against the Serbians. We see how her family suffers violent encounters and increasing deprivations during the months covered by the novel. Teenage girls from both sides try to understand the conflict of cultures which has gone on for centuries. I recently visited these Balkan countries and the layers of history there are mind boggling. I think the author makes a good presentation on the futility of war and people's inability to escape their cultural and ideological biases. The role of the NATO troops, standing by passively as people are slaughtered is also disturbing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Cathy | 2/8/2014

    " This book had so much potential but fizzled out at the end & finished badly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by JoBeth | 1/28/2014

    " See review of The Cellist of Sarajevo - reading these two books in tandem was a rich experience. Scott Simon, the reporter on NPR, brings that keen eye and ear to this novel about the first few months of the siege of Sarajevo. The protagonist is a high school basketball star who is the victim of "ethnic cleansing" of Muslims, brutalized and forced to flee to the other side of the river that bisects the city. Because of her athletic ability, she is recruited as a sniper. The evolution of her thinking about war is deeply moving and thought provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Becci | 1/10/2014

    " PRETTY BIRDS is a story well told, hard to read, but hard to lay down. Simon weaves a war story around a precocius 17-year old girl who becomes a sniper in the Bosnian Serb ar. The characters are very human, her family members feel like a familiar family. But nothing is "normal" in this war story as former friends shoot each other for no other reason than that they are of the wrong religion, on the wrong side of the conflict. I was very moved by his telling of this war. "

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