Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

And No Birds Sang (The Farley Mowat Series) Paperback – August 18, 2004


See all 30 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, August 18, 2004
$23.50 $0.74

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee" by Marja Mills.

Product Details

  • Series: The Farley Mowat Series
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books (August 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811731456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811731454
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,545,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

There is a deceptive quiet to the beginning of this recollection by Farley Mowat of the hell he and his comrades endured in the bloody Sicilian and Italian campaigns of World War II. And the undersized, baby-faced young man the author was three decades ago, eager to "get a damn good lick in at the Hun," seems, in the first few pages, unendurably callow, striking attitudes as false and dated as his slang. But he grows up fast and the battles he survived as a second lieutenant in the Canadian infantry are clamorously, jarringly real - justifying epigraphs from Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, Edmund Blunden. In 1940 at age 19 Mowat joined his father's old outfit, the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, known as the Hasty Pees and made up of men from southeastern Ontario. A bird-watcher and something of a loner, he ends up in command of a platoon of hard cases and misfits, a iamb among lions. They were thrown into the invasion of Sicily in July of 1943 and Mowat soon loses the illusion that war is little more than an exciting form of battle game. "For the first time," he writes laconically, "I truly understood that the dead were dead." Then, as the Canadians are put through the meat grinder attempting to storm a German mountain-top fortress, he comes to know an unshakable fear; each time he finds it a little harder to blind himself to the death or mutilation he is certain awaits him. Mowat not only gets his emotional responses right, but he also makes the actual battle operations intelligible. A memorable book from a practiced hand. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

On September 2, 1939, Farley Mowat was painting the porch of his family's home when his ebullient father drove into the driveway and shouted, "Farley, my lad, there's big bloody news! The war is on!" Eighteen-year-old Farley responded with glee, but four years later, pinned down in the wintry mud of Italy, he saw a soldier "humping jerily away from his own leg, which had been severed at the thigh. In the instant I saw him, he gave one final bubbling shriek, collapsed and mercifully was still." And No Birds Sang is Mowat's gripping account of how a young man excited by the prospect of battle, is transformed into a war-weary veteran. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
22
4 star
6
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 28 customer reviews
I quickly realized that I had picked out a good book.
Woman Pleaser
Farley Mowat's book about the war in Italy is certainly one of the most moving accounts I have read.
Luke Killion
Mr. Mowat is an acute observer of human nature, something he uses with a cutting edge in this book.
D. Blankenship

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. Rule on October 31, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was a great surprise for me. I picked it up at a local library because I saw the name Mowat and thought, "Funny, Isn't he a Canadian naturalist? What's he doing in the History section?" What followed was a fascinating voyage of war,adventure,hilarity and,ultimately,tragedy and pain. Walking into the experience of WWII with a completely innocent demeanor, anxious to get into a fight, this brilliant writer has many funny and almost fatal false starts. When the fighting gets serious, the glib descriptions of his units treacherous challenges are positively riveting. I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. If you like your war personal, exciting and honest, get this book to a comfortable chair and be prepared to not move for a night and a day. A brilliant book by a Canadian national treasure.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a much overlooked classic now days. Mr. Mowat has given us a vivid first hand account of his expierences during WWII and this book ranks at the top of such works. Not only do we get a first hand view of the actual fighting (found in many/most accounts), but we also see the other side of the war. The horrible loneliness and boredom. Mr. Mowat is an acute observer of human nature, something he uses with a cutting edge in this book. For this amature historian of this period, and those just passingly interested, this is a good read and I highly recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rod Szasz on June 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
In late 1943, the western allies attack the so-called "soft-underbelly of Europe" and worked their way up from Sicily through the boot of Italy. Horrendous battles ensued with names writ large in history, Salerno, Cassino, Anzio are a few that are evoked.
On the extreme right hand side of the Allied Line, at a coastal village called Ortona, a personal contest of wills was under way between the German Parachute Regiment of battle-hardened soldiers who has seen tours of duty on the Russian Front, against Canadians from dispirate backgrounds with little combat experience.
In the month-long battle that followed nearly 2000 Canadian soldiers were killed to capture a small village. Farley Mowat was a young officer in one of the Canadian regiments, the Hastings Prince Edward Regiment "Hastie-Pees." After a landing at Sicily and fighting their way up this far in Italy what to come at Ortona made all that came before pale in comparison.
Mowat, a writer known for his wit shows that even during the dark, wet, winter months he was able to find things that give him joy in the charnel house of Ortona. He describes the pressure on an officer just before and attack goes in, the corssing of the Moro River, and, in one of the most amazing tales of battlefield desperation, describes his charge against a German tank with fixed bayonets.
As the battle drew on streets in the town changed sides frequently with the focus of the battle being a particular house in a particular street. Ortona earned the name of "little Stalingrad" for those who faught there and Mowat describes the drama day by day as the battle winds on and the Germans are forced out leaving the legacy of 1600 Canadian corpses buried in the British Commonwealth Moro River Cemetary.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Martin on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mowat developed into a fine writer, and you can see that he was destined to record his generation's fight with the Germans. He's that classic "writer guy" immortalized in so many books and movies.

Unlike most of those, he is utterly real, and thus, believable. The result is that the non-battle portions of the book are just as gripping as the battle scenes, and there are plenty of fine examples of both.

When his unit is sent to scale the cliffs behind the Germans, it is fabulous reading. I had never heard of the assault on Assoro, so following Mowat as he leads the men climbing up the cliff, I had no idea how it would come out.

It's better than fiction - as it should be. I'm now going on to read more Mowat!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K Scheffler on November 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Undeniably the best war memoir written by a Canadian who served in the Second World War. The book chronicles Mowat's experiences in 1943 as a participant in the invasion of Sicily and Italy, and in classic Mowat style captures both the stark reality and lighter side of his experiences. Mowat also wrote a history of his unit--one of the first books he published, and which was later revised (and is somewhat difficult to find at the moment)--entitled The Regiment.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joe Stefanoni on January 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book, written about the author's personal war experiences as an infantryman fighting in Sicily and the mountains of Italy, exposed the brutalities of war and also the kinship of the common foot soldier. Mowat's usual humor is present but the savagery of the battles in combination with the cold, rainy weather of the Appenine mountains in winter, threaten to break both his spirit and his sanity. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the hardships that an infantryman experiences in combat and also anyone with an interest in the Italian campaign of World War II. I was completely engrossed in this book and was sad to see it end.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Farley Mowat has entertained many readers like me for many years with lots of books. His story of his life as a soldier during WW 2 comes as no surprise. Now it is fashionable in America to talk of post traumatic stress disorder but the same conditions have existed on every battlefield from the beginning of time. Mowat vividly brings them to life as many writers of wartime do. This is an intensly personal and moving story and should be required reading for every 17 year old itching to go into the army. The title is especially evocative since Mowat is a naturalist and everywhere he goes, he looks for local birds. In spite of being in an exotic place, he would collect no new species there
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?