What readers said about my novel "The Intrepid Pigeon"
[The background tune on this page is titled "Requiem for an Unsung musician" which is 100% composed and
performed by yours truly, Berge Wassilian]
I enjoyed reading your book “The Intrepid Pigeon.”
In all my years of teaching, there have been few things that have given me such a sense of reward as learning that
you went on to write that book I urged you to write so long ago. It is such a privilege and joy to know that as a
teacher, I helped someone discover a way to his own fulfillment. And you’ve had an amazing life; you’ll have things to
write about forever.
And thank you for giving your father and dog life again in your book. May the world come to wildflowers.
Ann Fisher-Wirth . Ph.D.,
English and American literature
“A riveting and captivating story of one man’s emotional struggles with: his own self esteem; the existence of God;
and a deluge of unjust episodes that have engulfed his childhood soul.
While the writer ping-pongs through his life’s trails and tribulations, he manages to stay affixed on the most impactful
event in his life, from which he draws his source of sorrow, strength, inspiration, and perseverance.
Berge Wassilian demonstrates an uncanny ability to use his humor in order to convey his deepest emotions. He also
depicts clever analogies between himself, God, and the lives that surround him. This is a must read book for those
who would like to take a deep dive into the Pandora’s Box of their soul and reflect on themselves from the inside out.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
An interesting, and captivating book about the writer's turbulent life. Where amongst all the insanity and conflict, the
writer tries to find harmony and logic to his life.
Your book “The intrepid Pigeon” was entertaining and educational at the same time, to say the least. I was born in a
Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon just like you were born in an Armenian refugee camp in Lebanon. We both
had similar fates. Your parents were refugees in Lebanon as a result of Ottoman Turkish massacres; my parents
were refugees in Lebanon as a result of Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian Arabs. From my childhood, the
seeds of hatred were planted in me towards the Jews. I am sure that the seeds of hatred were implanted in you
towards the Turks during your childhood.
I came across your book by chance. I was flying from Vancouver to New York on a business trip, and I saw a man
sitting next to me reading the last chapters of a book with tears in his eyes. He was an Armenian man from Lebanon,
also on a business trip to New York. When he was done reading the book, he turned around and suggested that if
everyone in the world read your book “The Intrepid Pigeon,” hatred would be wiped out. I borrowed the book from
him, and as soon as I started reading it, I simply could not put it back down.
Just like you came to terms with yourself by writing about your unfortunate life experiences and dealt with your self-
hatred and hatred in general, after reading your moving novel, I too, came to understand the roots of my own hatreds.
I plan to move my family to Gaza, Palestine in the coming years. Instead of going there with my heart full of hatred
towards the Jews, thanks to your novel, INSHALLA, I will face my lifetime enemy, my Jewish neighbors, with an open
mind and clear conscience.
Your book has a lot of humor. It made me cry and it made me laugh. All the stories are well connected and to the
point. In the end, I had an eerie sensation that I had seen innumerable movies, because you have a God given talent
to tell a story.
Bahij Salahuddin-El Atrash
Berge, three cheers for you!
I thoroughly enjoyed your masterpiece - - The Intrepid Pigeon - - and wish to extend my heartfelt congratulations to
Your unexpectedly moving book presents an interesting combination of romance, action/adventure, suspense,
exhilaration, sadness, torment, heartbreaking experiences, a full menu of emotions, but also efficacious will-power,
strong determination, realizable ambition, resolute courage, undaunted hope, triumph over bigotry and betrayal, as
well as strong commitment and sense of sacred responsibility as an exemplary father and devoted husband.
The book has a lot of depth and poignancy - - it is well-established, well-balanced, and true to life. It has good lines
and great scenes, a lot of heart and great deal of emotion. It is a bitter-sweet story with actual meat and substance. It
is both a sensational and genuine book and you have nailed both components to the wall. It features several
elements that would become romance novel standards.
Your distinctive writing style stands out from the crowd. Such books are very difficult to come by. It is one of those
rare publications that can be read more than once. If this were a motion picture, I would have given you a rousing
standing ovation, but please accept, once again, my sincere appreciation and admiration to you for your most
impressive work. I am extremely proud to call you "one of my most talented, visionary and hardworking former
Garbis Der-Yeghiayan, Ph.D.
President, Mashdots College
When I started reading The Intrepid Pigeon, written in English by an Armenian, the first thing that captured my
attention was the skill the author had acquired in using a language that is not his native language. There is
spontaneity to his recitation that is praiseworthy.
But there is a difference between proficiency in the use of language, which the author has, and the art of writing
which the author has to toil harder to master.
Though Mr. Wassilian clearly states in the first pages of his novel that he is merely writing as an amateur, later, at
several intervals he promises more writing in the future. In this regard, in order to ride to a higher level of narration
and to have a firmer grip on the art of writing, I advise him a long list of reading material that will include masters of
the novel and of memoirs like Stendhal, Flaubert, Tolostoy, Dostoyevsky, Henry James, Joyce, Proust, Virginia
Woolf, Kafka, Kundera, Gabriel Marquez, Gunter Gass, etc...
The Intrepid Pigeon abounds in material extracted from this leisurely writer’s childhood to adult age. But such material
is in need of screening and segregation, whereby the valuable stuff is isolated and separated from the drivel. The
novel is overloaded with realism and naturalism, but in several passages these criterion deteriorate into vulgarisms
in diction and in images. I can not see any useful purpose served by their inclusion in the body of the text; their
expurgation would have added to my pleasure of reading this book.
Mr. Wassilian certainly and strikingly possesses one of the essential tools of writing - language in addition to
abundant real-life material. There are in the market thousands of so called “best sellers” written with the same
language; but unlike Mr. Wassilian's first novel The Intrepid Pigeon, many of those so called bestsellers fail to face up
to time and impress a cultured mind.
These observations are to be considered as the remarks of one reader [and not of a professional critic] that may be
at variance with the opinions of other readers or of the author himself.
I have read your book "The Intrepid Pigeon" immediately after receiving it, but unfortunately procrastinated to
comment on it. It's an excellent novel. Inspiring, real, authentic and presented beautifully. Don't take my comments as
final, as I will elaborate on each one of them [soon.]
After reading your novel “The Intrepid Pigeon,” I am going to call you a romantic Novelist or Dreamer.
It was a great surprise to me that my friend from childhood of Teero camp-- and later on-- classmate from the same
high school, the silent and shy boy was a sleeping volcano gathering all the bittersweet events and the happenings
from his childhood in a shantytown, waiting to be erupted, to argue and ask for answers from The One who created
You mentioned in one paragraph on page 170 “…they might be the descendents, the multiplying fools, that God had
regretted creating on the eighth day! But the fools stayed…” Well, my friend, you must know that you are one of
those fools; I mean, you must be proud that you are one of them, because we see many of them in our Armenian
reality. We even sing about the fearless ‘fools’ in a song titled “Sardarabad,” which, you know very well that it
depicts Armenia’s and the Armenian people’s final battle against the attacking Turkish army at the end of WWI. As a
battered people, they find a solution for survival, when there was no hope left for survival as a nation--which, by the
way, brings me to the point:
You have the courage to believe in your destiny. It was one created with your own hard work. You dare to yell at the
face of injustice, to remember sad events in Armenian reality as well as the sad reality of the Lebanese people who
endured long years of civil war.
Without hesitating, you must write new stories about the [now disappeared] narrow alleys of Teero camp and expose
its poor people’s dreams which never became reality. Like you mention in your novel, I believe we have to learn from
You made me remember my own childhood in the narrow alleys of Teero camp. I remembered the gloomy faces of its
inhabitants… you made me cry sometimes and laugh moreover.
You have an uncanny ability to create characters in your imagination and connect them to the realities in your
survival story which makes the reader more interested.
You are like one of the few intrepid pigeons of the Teero shooting range that manage to escape from the firing
squad, flying high towards the horizon, hoping to reach its destiny. With your novel, you manage to fly to reach yours.
The Intrepid Pigeon by Berge Wassilian portrays the author’s journey starting from the Armenian refugee camps of
Lebanon and on to the Lebanese civil war, his relocation to Los Angeles and the accomplishment of his share of the
American Dream by overcoming enormous hardships, discrimination, prejudices and betrayals. The book isn’t an
ordinary memoir/novel. The author has a very creative and colorful way of writing and describing never-before-heard
stories. The book is also considered a self-help book in that it inspires the reader to overcome personal fears and to
live life to the fullest.
The novel touches upon a world that has seldom been presented in the literary world. His portrayal of the old
shantytown life is very nostalgic and poignant. The reader will be able to relate to the author and his incredible
journey of self-discovery.
I have read your book, “The Intrepid Pigeon” while few times, your music from your CD “Bittersweet
Dreams” accompanied my reading.
It was interesting to learn about your biography through your novel. I am happy [as your high school
friend] that after countless ups and downs, now, seemingly you have achieved a contented lifestyle.
I am thankful for the mere existence of this book. You have awakened countless memories in me;
memories of forgotten and wiped out old neighborhoods, people, events, and feelings which, many of
us Lebanese experienced them on our skins and in our souls. Besides addressing them all, with your
novel, you were able to immortalize them.
More than your biography, this book contains imperative historical events [in Lebanon] and you raise
many profound philosophical questions. With your story, you were able to amazingly address and give
answers to them all.
Bearjig, Berge Wassilian, The Intrepid Pigeon, Bittersweet Dreams, bearjig, berge, intrepid pigeon, smooth jazz, Lebanon
writer, Armenian writer, Lebanese writer, Lebanon civil war,
Dear visitor. This web site was
created primarily to promote my
"The Intrepid Pigeon"
and my music CD,
If you came to this comments page
directly from the Internet, I urge you
to visit my home page first. Thanks.
Comments on my novel "THE INTREPID PIGEON"
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