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Red Birds – Mohammed Hanif – Book Review

Red Birds

Book Review

Red Birds - Mohammed Hanif

“There are no winners in a war”, while reading Red Birds I fully endorsed this quote.

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Red Birds
Mohammed Hanif

“There are no winners in a war”, I read this quote somewhere. While reading Red Birds I fully realised it. There are victims, devastation, death on both sides. Yet, the human nature to possess and conquer makes them indulge in this horrific act again and again. When I looked at the cover recommendations it labelled as a humour filled story. All along my reading I kept searching for that… to be honest it’s a sad, ugly, heartbreaking and terrible tale of history that keeps repeating itself in a hope that someday someone will learn something from it.


In Red Birds, Major Ellie is an American pilot who directed to bomb certain areas. His own aircraft crashes down into the desert. His story gives us a glimpse into the mindset of soldiers who have to fight that they know little about. Hence it wreaks havoc in their own life as their bombing does to those unaware innocents. Momo rescued him, who was an inhabitant of the refugee camp.

Momo is a young man representing the life of numerous young people living in a war torn area. They have no idea how they became refugees in their own land. Why they were showered with bombs and bullets. Their homes turned into rubble In front of their eyes. Now living in a refugee camp, he keeps dreaming about bringing back his brother Ali who went to work for the goras and never returned. Ali represents all the disappeared people either sold or killed. His mother’s and father’s anguish and helplessness in nothing but heartbreaking. Do you see any humour yet? Ahh and then there is Mutt.


Momo’s dog whose narration makes more sense than the humans around. The only comic character I found in Red Birds was the Flower body. He’s a foreigner from an NGO sent to study the Young Muslims minds of the area after they have successfully ruined their lives in pursuit of ghosts. Their frustration and devastation summed up into an impressive thesis paper. They would surely bring her applause and a high grade.

Red Birds is the third book I have read by Mohammed Hanif and all three have impressed me. His writing style as always was sarcastic (maybe that’s why they mistook it as humorous). He presented hard bitter facts in a milder tone. Engaging storyline that kept me interested throughout. It’s a good one. I recommend it.

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About Sidra Javed

Sidra Javed is a home maker yet reading enthusiast. She loves reading different genres and likes to share her views with others, hoping this will inspire others to take up reading books. On the contrary she's interested in Calligraphy and Art too. She loves adding creativity and delicacy in food.

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