Extended Audio Sample

Download Pretty Birds: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Pretty Birds: A Novel Audiobook, by Scott Simon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 5 3.70 (23 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: November 2016 ISBN: 9781436143936
Regular Price: $29.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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. Download and start listening now!

c6q8

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louie | 1/5/2014

    " A truly tragic tale, where bad things happened on both sides... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marjorie Snook | 12/21/2013

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book--I remember the siege of Sarajevo from when I was a kid, but I never really understood the details. This book tells the story of the siege from the perspective of a Bosnian teenage girl who becomes a sniper. The prose is competent, though nothing spectacular, but Simon clearly had a deep understanding of the experience of that siege, and it opened my eyes to the reality of that kind of warfare. Definitely a good read for anyone interested in foreign policy and current events. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen | 11/28/2013

    " This was a fabulous read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kip | 11/3/2013

    " This is the best book I've read all year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 10/3/2013

    " This book transported me to war and a part of the world I don't know much about. I was riveted and grateful for a larger perspective. Well worth reading! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joycehershberger | 10/2/2013

    " A great read. It's a coming of age story of a young girl in Sarajevo. The twist is she comes of age as a sniper. I am learning a lot about the conflict between the Muslims and Serbs, made more interesting by the recent capture of Karadzic who is regularly mentioned in the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 8/24/2013

    " Protagonist is teenager Irena Zaric. Action takes place during the 1992 siege of Sarajevo. Narrated by Christina Moore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Brace | 4/29/2013

    " The reality of this piece of fiction is striking. I woke up terrified because my window was wide open and I was vulnerable to the snipers. Wonderful read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 2/27/2013

    " Compelling story told by Scott Simon, NPR news reporter, who was there reporting during the war. Powerful and intense accounting of people torn apart by war and what they have to do to stay alive. Enlightening. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Naomi | 12/22/2012

    " A nice, quick read; the ending isn't great, but I liked the book as a whole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Regina | 10/20/2012

    " I listened to this as an audiobook, and could imagine the places and characters. Worthwhile read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 6/17/2012

    " After returning from Sarajevo, Bosnia, I always keep my eyes open for books about the city/country. This one paints a very realistic (and graphic) picture of the civil war that took place in the 90's. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bridget | 4/25/2012

    " Had to abandon this book. I just hated the writing style. Interesting and sad topic, but I just couldn't get into it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl S. | 3/2/2012

    " Sarajevo under siege. Loved this book until the very end which left me wondering if I had missed something. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 11/7/2010

    " This book portrays the lives of a teenage girl in Sarajevo during the war in the early 1990s. There is an excellent dichotomy of her day to day life before and during the war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 4/26/2010

    " This book transported me to war and a part of the world I don't know much about. I was riveted and grateful for a larger perspective. Well worth reading! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 3/18/2010

    " Good book. A thought provoking read about the intestines of war. It was a slow beginning but picked up speed as it went along.



    May 9th 2006 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2005)
    detailsPaperback, 368 pages "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 2/10/2010

    " teen in war in Afghanistan. Written by PBS radio commentator - good job - teenaged view a different look at war. LR book group "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 11/29/2009

    " Protagonist is teenager Irena Zaric. Action takes place during the 1992 siege of Sarajevo. Narrated by Christina Moore. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Scott Simon

Scott Simon is one of America’s most admired writers and broadcasters, having reported from all over the world and from many wars. He is now the award-winning host of Weekend Edition Saturday. With over 4 million listeners, it is the most-listened-to news program on NPR. Simon has won a Peabody and an Emmy for his reporting and also has over 1.2 million followers on Twitter.

About the Narrator

Christina Moore is an actress and award-winning audiobook narrator who has garnered eighteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she is best known for her roles in the television series That ’70s Show, Hawthorne, and 90210. She is a founding member of Bitches Funny, an all-female sketch group that has performed in New York City and Los Angeles for the past five years.