A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR `A thrilling, razor-sharp critique of US foreign policy ... Red Birds is an incisive, unsparing critique of war and of America's role in the destruction of the Middle East. It combines modern and ancient farcical traditions in thrilling way` Guardian American pilot Major Ellie has crashed his plane in the middle of a desert. Lucky for him there's room for him at the very refugee camp he was supposed to bomb. Teenage Momo doesn't see it that way: the camp is a trap, not a refuge. His brother's missing, his parents are in a rage, and an aid worker won't stop trying to interview him for her book on the Teenage Muslim Mind. Savage, irreverent and deliciously dark, Red Birds is a masterful unravelling of intertwined fates in a forgotten war-scape - and a brilliant satire about satire about the absurdity of war and the impossibility of peace.
The funniest tragedy I've read in years -- Hanif Kureishi Funny, dark, compassionate and angry * Daily Telegraph * A novel at once funny, sad and disturbing * Mail on Sunday * A marvel -- Pankaj Mishra * Guardian, Summer Reading 2018 * A razor-tongued critique -- Dina Nayeri * Guardian * Irreverent, dripping with exuberant disdain -- Ben East * Observer * Skewers the entrenched insanity of conflict ... Hanif's bleak, formidable use of irony burns deeply -- Claire Allfree * Daily Mail * A savagely surreal satire of US foreign policy -- Justine Jordan * Guardian, Books of the Year * Irreverent, anarchic, comic, savage and humane -- Kamila Shamsie A blistering, savage, tragicomic satire about the cruelty of war and the impossibility of peace ... Hanif writes of violence and bitterness with flashes of hilarity that underline his anger and his humanity * The Times * Defiant ... The outrage is all too real * Sunday Times * Hanif has a talent for taking the most serious subjects - convoluted wars or paranoid dictators - and, in a style indebted to Joseph Heller's Catch-22, emphasising their fundamental absurdity through satire ... Hanif's authorial gifts are undeniable and Red Birds is written with ambition and powerful satirical anger * Literary Review * Like a highly charged political chamber opera -- Claire Armitstead * Guardian * The set-up is terrific: a US pilot crash lands in the Middle East and seeks shelter in the camp he was meant to bomb. Written with wit and a tilt towards the absurd, what follows is a highly original satire on US foreign policy which highlights the monstrousness of war * i * His new novel, set in and around a refugee camp, exhibits his trademark black comedy ... an absurdist riff on modern conflict with shades of Catch-22 * Guardian, Best books of autumn 2018 * Terrific ... A highly original satire on US foreign policy which highlights the monstrousness of war * i * Vivid and clever -- Ali Bhutto * Times Literary Supplement * The wit comes in sharp riffs...considered, otherworldly * Irish Times * The more you read of Pakistani novelist Mohammed Hanif's exuberant, spirited prose, the more you fall in love with him. ... A wry, brutal satire, with many laugh-out-loud moments, and the dialogue fizzes like Alka Seltzer. But there is also much to tug at the soul in yet another contemporary fiction which looks at the current state of the planet and sees rage, madness and sadness all around -- Jane Graham * Big Issue * An impressive multi-voiced performance that straddles bitter tragedy and pungent black comedy, grounded realism and flighty absurdity ... Red Birds thrums with rambunctious energy. Hanif's narrators are compelling forces, their wild accounts capable of gripping, moving and entertaining the reader ... this is writing with guts, satire with bite * The National *