Benedict Cumberbatch to Star in Adaptation of ‘The Yellow Birds’

by |May 21, 2014

It seems Kevin Powers’ acclaimed novel The Yellow Birds has found even more fans in Hollywood, with Benedict Cumberbatch set to star in the film adaptation helmed by director David Lowery.

“I never had any interest in making a war film until Jeff and Evan (Story Mining pictures) brought me the novel by Kevin Powers,” said Lowery. “And perhaps I still don’t, because while Powers’ story takes place during wartime, it isn’t about the conflict. It is about characters who find themselves caught up in war but who struggle to not let it define them. I fell in love with them.”

The film is also set to star Tye Sheridan and Will Poulter.

The Yellow Birds has been lavished with praise since its release, with Tom Wolfe called it the “All Quiet on the Western Front for America’s Arab wars.”

Grab a copy of Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds here

More rave reviews:

Extraordinary … beautifully accomplished. The mark of an artist of the first order … a must-read book – JOHN BURNSIDE, GUARDIAN

A masterpiece … a classic – THE TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR

A stunning achievement – visceral [and] poignant – SUNDAY TIMES

Remarkable for its intensity of both feeling and expression. In this book about death, every line is a defiant assertion of the power of beauty to revivify, whether beauty shows itself in nature or (later) in art – HILARY MANTEL

The best book I have read this year – IRISH TIMES

A wonderful, powerful novel that moves and terrifies – INDEPENDENT

Harrowing, inexplicably beautiful, and utterly, urgently necessary.’ ANN PATCHETT

Grab a copy of Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds here

The Yellow Birds

by Kevin Powers

An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran and poet, The Yellow Birds is already being hailed as a modern classic.


A soldier’s broken promise … a mother’s loss … an agonizing truth. The Yellow Birds gives a powerful, emotional insight into the human cost of war – its impact on soldiers, their families, and most of all what it is like to return home, but never be able to leave the memories behind. Kevin Powers served two terms as a machine gunner with the US army in Iraq. On his return, he was asked one question more than any other: “What was it like over there?”

The Yellow Birds is his attempt to reckon with that question.

About the Author

Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry. He served in the US Army in 2004 and 2005 in Iraq, where he was deployed as a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar. He currently lives in Florence, where his wife studies fashion.

Grab a copy of Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds here

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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