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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  174 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The unforgettable story of two Afghan brothers and a perilous trek across continents in search of a place to build a life, based on the real-life experiences of the “lost boys.”

Two boys are crossing Europe. Only fourteen and eight years old, they have nothing but the clothes on their backs and a dwindling inheritance stitched into the lining of a belt. Their goal is a futu
Kindle Edition
Published (first published August 1st 2011)
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Andrew Paxman
Hinterland envisions a child’s perspective of an odyssey across multiple borders, as two Afghan orphans flee the Taliban for dreamt-of sanctuary and education in England. The boys’ trek is by turns gruelling, heartening, and devastating. As they walk and work, founder and finesse their way across Europe, it’s impossible not to cheer for them.

The novel unfolds in beautiful, economic prose, with evocative flashbacks to the Asian leg of the journey. Some passages – working on a farm during a grim G
Was looking forward to this book - so felt disappointed at it's over-written early pages and feared here would be one more fetishisation-of-suffering through aesthetics book. But no, it soon settles down to tell the story of two brothers travelling overland from Kabul to London and it does this very well, detailing the many obstacles that they find in their way, the small victories, the small mercies. It is, as Barbara Trapido commands us on the cover, 'a story everyone should read.'

There are t
Annie Leonard
This book kept me riveted from the first page! I had a hard time putting it down. I couldn't stop thinking about the brothers, Aryan and Kabir, and what these orphans endured as they made their way across the world to their promised land in England. Some of the scenes are horrific, certainly, but mostly it was the tenuousness of their survival and the boy's courage and optimism that makes this an unforgettable book. But in spite of the boys' love for each other and their resilience, it is the pe ...more
This was a good book that I would actually give 3.5 stars to. It is a story of two young boys who were trying to escape Afganistan and make it to England. The crazy thing about the story was the modern-time setting and what life was like for these boys after they had lost everything. The fact that this type of thing goes on all around us during this day in age is disturbing. However, on the brighter side, their opinions and attitudes towards the most simple things are a great reminder of the thi ...more
A short novel which convincingly portrays the lives of child refugees, in this case two Afghani brothers trying to reach London. The plot line clearly incorporates real stories from the author's extensive research. My own experience is that refugees or migrants more generally are often reluctant to talk about their journeys, perhaps sensing that a listener in the UK is either unlikely to understand or will – if they do – be overwhelmed by the inevitable tales of hardship.

Hinterland underlies how
Kathleen McRae
Hinterland is a novel but I think taken from real life happenings. It describes the horror and havoc war visits on countries and families when it leaves two brothers orphaned and compelled to leave their home to seek a safer place.Then the book spotlights the predation of children as the two brothers are forced to work on a farm from dawn to dusk on starvation rations.They also have to dodge the pedophiles.Hinterland is not a book for the faint hearted but in many places in the world it is happe ...more
Hinterland is a hauntingly poetic story which deals with the displacement of people from homelands, the heart-breaking journey of two brothers across countries, giving us glimpses into the multi-faceted problems faced not only by refugees, but also by authorities trying to deal with them.

Caroline Brothers brings a wealth of background information to this story, and it's hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for her to decide what detail to include and what to leave out, how to achieve
I only wish that this novel were truly fiction. Melanie

This excert By Maria Caspani:

As journalist Caroline Brothers listened to some boys in a shelter telling their stories she was taken aback by some of the experiences they recounted at such a young age.

Brothers, a correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, was interviewing Afghan children at refugee shelters and day centres in Paris for her latest book, “Hinterland”.

She wanted to give voice to the experiences of some of the thousands
This is the story of 2 brothers,one 14 and one 8, and the long and arduous, not to mention dangerous, journey they undertake in order to find a better life outside of Taliban controlled Afghanistan. They somehow survive cold, hunger, and those who take advantage of them, in hopes of reaching England where they can go to school, and be free. Whenever I finish a book that opens my eyes to the plight of those in other parts of the world, that helps me to empathize, to understand, or to be more awar ...more
This is a beautiful book, and it's true there is a very sad somewhat open ending.

I really love the fact that the entire book is in third person present point of view. It really struck me because sadly this sort of scenario is going on everyday without a lot of us realizing it. Made me do a lot of introspection and a little ashamed for complaining about things like angry patrons at work, and running out of hot water for showers, haha.

That being said, I could only give it three stars though becaus
I enjoyed this book. The STORY is really good, the style in which it's delivered makes me think that the book has been set up to become a film; it really reads like a screenplay. Much too much detail for my taste, but...again, the story is strong and she moves it quite nicely. This is the type of fiction (and style of writing) which is very popular right now in's not profound or deep, it's full of descriptive images, and basically doesn't leave anything up to the imagination of the ...more
Sarah Carr
This book was extremely captivating! From the start I couldn't put it down until the very end. I was so upset and disappointed with the way the book ended. Not the way it was written, but what happened. These two boys have persevered through thick and thin and then when you think they have finally made it, BAM! Not what I was hoping for. I tossed the book on my coffee table with disgust after I read the ending and said, (view spoiler) (sorry, do ...more
Deon Stonehouse
Two brothers, only 14 and 8, struggle westward from war torn Afghanistan joining a veritable army of children heading by any means available to England. They travel any way they can, by foot, in rafts across swollen rivers, locked in trucks, moving ever westward well off the grid and unprotected. Unscrupulous farmers and plant managers use them as slave labor; they live rough in sheds, on beaches, wherever they can find shelter. Trying to reach a place where they can be safe, stay together, go t ...more
An interesting story of two brothers as they travel from Afghanistan to England in hopes of finding some freedom from the Taliban. Although it is an amazing story, it is not well written.

The storyline is jumbled and jumps from past to present and different locations so often that I had a hard time keeping up. And there was not much detail or development into the characters. This cross-country journey was squished into a mere 245 pages... there is no way that all the details of their journey cou
Janet Roberts
This is one of the most moving, and extraordinary books, I've ever read. It tells the story of two brothers. Aryan is 14, and in charge of 8 yer old Kabir, war orphans from Afghanistan. They know this vital mantra 'Kabul-Tehran-Instanbul-Athens-Rome-Paris-London'. If they can complete this perilous journey they think they will be safe, and able to go to school, their one ambition in life. But the journey is a nightmare of exploitation, abuse, cold, hunger and exhaustion, but they know they canno ...more
Andrew Crofts
Haunting story of two young boys trying to make their way from Afghanistan to England. The author is a journalist who has obviously spent a great deal of time with displaced children such as these and knows all too well how grim their lives are. All the time I was reading it I was aware that there are millions of people on this planet who end up, through no fault of their own, on the outside of society, doing their best and willing to work hard but never getting a break. Very sad and very readab ...more
Though this is a story of heartbreak and suffering, of two brothers who flee Afganistan in hopes of making it to London where they can go to school. Despite its sadness, I enjoyed reading it. The writing was a pleasure and the story was a surprise to me. Are there really countries that do so little to help orphaned children on the street? Does America do the same thing? Are there really children of so young an age who make their way alone for thousands of miles?

I really liked this book.
This is a sobering story of 2 young boys' flight to freedom. Brothers, Aryan and Kabir, are the only surviving members left of their Afgan family after the Taliban wars started. They use people smugglers, grit, determination and luck to transport themselves from Afganistan to London, England to try for a better life. It tells of how they are treated, both good and bad, and what kind of conditions they survive, and how they take care of each other.
A harrowing and heart-wrenching novel about two orphaned Afghani boys crossing borders to secure their perceived freedom and futures in England. Their geographic mantra of KabulTehranIstanbulAthensRomeParisLondon is a refrain that will stay in your mind - and will likely make you see these cities in a very different light. A worthwhile read, but definitely heart-wrenching.
Carolyn Crocker
The heartbreaking story of the modern refugees, "unaccompanied children", _Hinterland_ is the novel we don't want to read. Two Afghan brothers make the perilous journey from Iran-- with even more exile and tragedy in their backstory-- to the dream of school in England. The reluctant reader wishes this were _only_ fiction.
Mary Ann
Very moving with a somewhat disturbing ending. The author, a foreign correspondent for Rueters as well an expert on human migration issues is well versed in the realites that many people over the world are facing as they flee from repressive regimes. This story of the two young Afghani brothers is indeed heart-wrenching
This is one of the most captivating and heartbreaking books I've read in a long time. I bonded with the characters very quickly. I found myself thinking about Aryan and Kabir constantly; I worried about them, daydreamed about them, and shared updates on their journey with friends. I highly, highly recommend this book.
Another well written, sad story. It tells of orphan brothers from Afghanistan being smuggled and making their way towards England and the harrowing events that befall them. It makes you realize how hard life is for so many people today and how fortunate we are for our relative security and freedom from want.
This is a beautifully written story (novel) of two young brothers from Afghanistan who travel to England as refugees. The author manages to portray the heartwrenching struggles the boys face without being too graphic with the violence. I think she achieves a good balance of facts with emotion.
Kelsey Cooper
One of the sadder stories I can remember, Caroline Brothers brings the boys alive and their story is immediate. My heart goes out to the hundreds of young people trying to escape oppression. I found the cirmcunstances to be completely believable. I couldn't put it down.
So little is expressed of the horror the children of the warring nations suffer - this book expresses it all. Two young brothers who have one objective - to head for UK; after the extreme revulsion they experienced of watching their parents murdered.
Another random grab from the library - I got wrapped up in the story of two brothers from Afghanistan trying to make it to London for a better life. Very heart-wrenching. Some parts were over-written for my taste, but I still raced to the finish.
A heart-wrenching page-turner...the characters are impossible not to love. I felt like Brother's writing was somewhat forced and overdone which was at times annoying. The overall story though made up for any small annoyance.
This was one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. I wish I could write as well as this author! The story is sad but good. I love the relationship between these two brothers but their situation is tough.
Niall O'neill
The story of two Afghan brothers fleeing through Europe to England. Read it in a day so it held the attention, but despite relentless sadness and misery, the writing was not as evocative as it tried to be.
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Caroline Brothers was born in Australia. She has a PhD in history from University College London and has worked as a foreign correspondent in Europe and Latin America. She currently lives in Paris where she writes for the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She is the author of War and Photography and also writes short stories. Hinterland is her first novel.
More about Caroline Brothers...
War and Photography: A Cultural History I fratelli di Kabul (eNewton Narrativa)

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