Honest Critique, December 2, 2008 (view all comments by Honest Critique)
Very interesting read. This book presents a brutal look into the lives of an Afghani family. HOWEVER, be warned, despite what the tainted eyes of other Westerners would lead you to believe. This book is not unbiased. Seierstad attepts to remove herself from the story via point of view; however, Western biases in the POV of the characters involved is subtly intertwined within the novel, but blatantly obvious at times. This is not a typical Afghani family, and this is NOT nonfiction. The author often recieves information through 3rd to 5th or more string sources, and despite this, still interjects her own perception of what those people's thoughts were. In no way do I endorse the actions of the characters presented but do not be easily consumed by the authors pathos. Wonderful read, but DON'T be fooled into believing this book is what it assumes itself as.
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kps5, August 23, 2006 (view all comments by kps5)
An excellent book, detailed character sketches make the characters come to life, their thoughts, desires and aspirations are beautifully handled.
It was one of those books that, once picked up cannot be put down.An engrossing tale about the daily struggles, both personal and political faced by the resilient Afghans.
A must-read !!
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Little Brown and Company -
by Michal D.,
In this remarkable portrait, Norwegian journalist Åsne Seierstad recounts with brutal honesty the day to day lives of one Afghani family persevering through life in a country beset by chaos. With the assent of the Khan family with whom she lives, Seierstad gives us intimate access to a world were women have few privileges, and where an attitude of hope seems uncommonly rare.
by Michal D.
by Publishers Weekly,
"[A]n astounding portrait....Seierstad's visceral account is equally seductive and repulsive...An international bestseller, it will likely stand as one of the best books of reportage of Afghan life after the fall of the Taliban."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"A slice of Afghanistan today, rendered with a talent for fine, sobering prose and strange, unnerving settings."
- An international phenomenon. Translated into 17 languages, The Bookseller Of Kabul has become not only the bestselling nonfiction book ever published in the author's native Norway, but also a tremendous success throughout Europe and around the world. - A book that honestly portrays real life behind the veil--and illuminates the plight of Afghan women as no other book does. - Like the current bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, the paperback edition of The Bookseller of Kabul is certain to be popular with reading groups. - Hardcover
A compelling saga of redemption and renewal from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Anthony Shadid tells the story of rebuilding his family's ancestral home in Lebanon amid political strife, and his eventual understanding of the emotions behind the turbulence in the Middle East.
“Evocative and beautifully written, House of Stone . . . should be read by anyone who wishes to understand the agonies and hopes of the Middle East.” — Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of Crossing Mandelbaum Gate
“In rebuilding his family home in southern Lebanon, Shadid commits an extraordinarily generous act of restoration for his wounded land, and for us all.” — Annia Ciezadlo, author of Day of Honey
In spring 2011, Anthony Shadid was one of four New York Times reporters captured in Libya, cuffed and beaten, as that country was seized by revolution. When he was freed, he went home. Not to Boston or Beirut—where he lives— or to Oklahoma City, where his Lebanese-American family had settled and where he was raised. Instead, he returned to his great-grandfathers estate, a house that, over three years earlier, Shadid had begun to rebuild.
House of Stone is the story of a battle-scarred home and a war correspondents jostled spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this poignant and resonant memoir, the author of the award-winning Night Draws Near creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the houses renewal alongside his familys flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America. In the process, Shadid memorializes a lost world, documents the shifting Middle East, and provides profound insights into this volatile landscape. House of Stone is an unforgettable meditation on war, exile, rebirth, and the universal yearning for home.
This mesmerizing portrait of a proud man who, through three decades and successive repressive regimes, heroically braved persecution to bring books to the people of Kabul has elicited extraordinary praise throughout the world and become a phenomenal international bestseller. The Bookseller of Kabul is startling in its intimacy and its details - a revelation of the plight of Afghan women and a window into the surprising realities of daily life in today's Afghanistan.
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