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Boghandleren i Kabul

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  33,030 Ratings  ·  2,613 Reviews
In spring 2002, following the fall of the Taliban, Asne Seierstad spent four months living with a bookseller and his family in Kabul.

For more than twenty years Sultan Khan defied the authorities - be they communist or Taliban - to supply books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned by the communists, and watched illiterate Taliban soldiers bur
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published 2002 by Gyldendal
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Sara Im from Afghanistan and i did find it very genuine but if your search it up she did have experiences there because she is a journalist but thats just…moreIm from Afghanistan and i did find it very genuine but if your search it up she did have experiences there because she is a journalist but thats just my opinion,(i have read the book)(less)
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Community Reviews

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Ariel
Apr 11, 2007 Ariel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one, it's bad
I was irritated early on by the way this book was written. I think it encompasses all my other grips about the book.

Basically the situation is like this: a woman journalist is in Kabul after 9/11. She meets this bookseller, lives with his family a few months with only 3 people in the family speaking English and then she writes a book about them.

First of all, having lived abroad and lived abroad with families, you can't know a family the way this author pretends to in that time. We don't even kn
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Prithvi Shams
Nov 09, 2012 Prithvi Shams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing the book, I was quite surprised at the number of negative reviews here in Goodreads. Maybe a huge culture shock is at play here. Many in the West may be put off by the realization that the values that they take for granted may be totally unheard of in certain parts of the world. There *are* certain cultures where children are nothing but tools for parents and as such, are actively denied education. There *are* cultures where falling in love is a greater "crime" than sawing off a ...more
Margitte
Enter the world of the Norwegian journalist, Åsne Seierstad, who covers the aftermath of the Taliban on society in Afghanistan, and you get what you could expect, but still hope you're wrong: a 'pseudo-novelistic' attempt at exposing the life of a country in turmoil / vicious power struggles / chaos.

Coming from a liberal Norwegian society, and being a young journalist, it is expected that the book will be written from a pessimistic, typical journalistic point of view. In fact, I struggled to get
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Maria Espadinha
Mar 17, 2017 Maria Espadinha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sua Majestade O Islamismo


A queda dos Taliban no Afeganistão surtiu alguma abertura no que toca à condição da mulher.
As raparigas regressaram às escolas, e à mulher foi legalmente concedido, o direito ao trabalho.
Contudo, a lei familiar prevalece. A família é um micro-mundo com leis próprias, e se um pater familiae entender que é mais vantajoso vender as filhas (há homens abastados no Afeganistão que pagam avultadas quantias para casar com jovens adolescentes) para casamento, ou simplesmente usá-
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Frankie
May 16, 2016 Frankie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!
Not long back from Pakistan and it was the perfect time to read this.
Love learning about the culture.
Some of the stories we're savage.
Jan-Maat
Delivering pizzas in Germany is far more lucrative than working as a flight engineer [in Afghanistan] (p58)

Seierstad, a Norwegian journalist, stayed as a guest of the bookseller of Kabul of the title shortly after the fall of the Taliban. (view spoiler)
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Eileen
Aug 10, 2008 Eileen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I learned more from this one book than from any news story or other examination of Afghanistan.
You think, after reading the forward and the beginning of the book, that the bookseller will be a progressive man, but his love for his country's history and its literary heritage is his only redeeming quality and yet the very reason he is such a bastard toward his family. Everything comes second to his passion.
In the wake of the Taliban's withdrawal we see them slowly try to regain their f
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Miramira Endevall
Nov 20, 2009 Miramira Endevall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Valerie
Valerie - I found a used copy of this book for your Christmas present (since I raved about it to you) so don't go buying it! :-)

I wasn't going to write a review of this book at all until I read some of the other reviews posted here and became horrified at their castigation of Ms. Seierstad.

A rebuttal:

I liked this book BECAUSE it doesn't read like investigative journalism. Seirstad never once pretends that she's being unbiased and doesn't apologize for the obvious slant. Frankly, her slant is wha
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Miriam
Mar 04, 2008 Miriam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
my issues with this book are basically ideological/political -- in spite of an introduction justifying her decision to erase herself from the story, the author also says that she spent a significant period of her time in the household arguing with its male members (presumably about gender politics and the subordinate status of the family's women). i think including these disagreements would have made for a far stronger and more compelling story (not to mention more honest) -- as it is, this is j ...more
Ahmed
Jun 02, 2014 Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هناك مجتمعات غالبا أى شئ يُكتب عنها بيكون شيق.
المجتمع الأفغانى من اهم المجتمعات دى . نظرا للتحولات العنيفه التى تعرض لها والظلم الشديد الذى طال الكثير من مواطنيه
هذا الكتاب هو تقرير صحفى طويل من اروع ما يكون .
اذا كنت من عشاق الروايه ستجد صيغته روائيه وممتعه
وان كنت من عشاق الصحافه ستجده يروى نهمك الصحفى
وان كنت من هواة التاريخ ستجد معلومات مهمه جدا فيه
فى المجمل هو عمل شامل . وواقعى جدا
الترجمه كانت ممتازة وأوصلت المعلومه بكل دقه
صحفيه عاشت ضيفه على أسرة أفغانيه لشهور لتسجل هذه الشهاده الحيه
من خل
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☮Karen
It being Banned Books Week when I began this book,  I don't think I could have chosen a more appropriate book to read than The Bookseller of Kabul.  The book was banned in 2008 by the Wyandotte, Michigan, Board  of Education; it tells of actual instances of banning and burning books in Afghanistan; and the main character Sultan Khan was a bookseller who himself specialized in selling illegal books and writings, often right under the noses of the illiterate Taliban a-holes.  Learning that most Ta ...more
Em
Jun 11, 2007 Em rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay so the author seems very naive, and that's a pretty safe bet. She is knowledgeable however, so I'll give her that. I wouldn't take this book seriously if you're looking for some real social or historical insight into Afghanistan. It really pales in that sense. If you're looking for a light read and a good story, in that sense, it's good and can offer some inspiration. So it's all right so far.

--

All right, just finished it. It was interesting and page-turning, but the author's tone really ag
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Tera
Dec 29, 2008 Tera rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-09
The most depressing book about the area that I have read. Most of the characters have little to no redeeming qualities or likeablity. The bookseller was the least likeable of all. The ones that were likeable and you wanted to root for you realize have no chance for happiness or an existance other than servitude and repression.
The book didn't flow very well either. At times I wasn't sure if I was reading a book or a collection of magazine articles. The author represents the people and events as
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Michel
Sep 01, 2013 Michel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
We all know those travel books who pretend to teach you about a culture of which the writer doesn't even speak the language: if you travel using this "guide", I can only feel sorry for you (alright, I'll drop the pretense of anonymity: I mean Rick Steeve).
Only this isn't about tourism, it's about the pain and suffering of an entire country that hasn't known peace and respect for as long as they can remember. Patronizing them and their "inferior" culture isn't just tasteless, it's downright damna
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Bookseller of Kabul, Åsne Seierstad
عنوان: کتابفروش کابل؛ نویسنده: اسن سیراستاد (سی شتاد)؛ برگردان: زهره خلیلی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، قطره، 1384، در 328، صفحه، موضوغ: افغانستان، آداب و رسوم، زندگی اجتماعی، خاطرات، کابل، افغانستان، سیر و سیاحت - قرن 21 م
Paul
Over two decades Sultan Khan sold books in defiance of the authorities. The authority changed from Afghans to communists to Taliban, but the persecutions remained the same; imprisonment, arrest, beatings and regular interrogation. He suffered watching illiterate Taliban thugs burn piles of his books in the streets of Kabul, so he hid them. His collection and stock was secreted across attics and rooms across the capital. Whilst he abhorred censorship and was passionate about all things literary h ...more
Pequete
Mar 15, 2017 Pequete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
4,5 stars: this was not an easy read, and this was not because the English was difficult, the prose was dense or any other such reason. I read this book in just 3 days (which is very fast for me), but I had a hard time reading it, because I empathized with the people – especially the women – portrayed here and gosh… do they have a hard life…
Even so, I did not like what I read in the introductory text by the author in which she says that although she’s written the book in literary form, it is ba
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Fatema Hassan , bahrain



بائع الكتب في كابول
للصحفية و المراسلة النرويجية ( آسني سييرستاد )

خلافًا لما يتوقعه القارئ بناءًا على العنوان من إنصات لبيواغرفية بائع الكتب .. فالكتاب عبارة عن حالة توثيق شاملة لبيوغرافية المجتمع الأفغاني و إقتفاء لعاداته وتقاليده و رصد للتغييرات التي تنطوي عليها بلد مهمش و متكتم كأفغانستان ذو الأكثرية المسلمة الذي تعاقبت فيه الأنظمة و تناقلت السلطة في فترة متقاربة من نظام لنظام مما أدى لتدني مستوى معيشي على كل الأصعدة ، و بيوغرافية الفرد جزء لا يتجزأ من بيوغرافية المجتمع لذلك أعجبتني المناصفة
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Gehna
"My tale from Kabul is the tale of a most unusual Afghan family. A bookseller's family is unusual in a country where three quarters of the population can neither read nor write."

After Taliban's rule in the country, Afghanistan tried to set up their country back to how a democracy should be. Tried to rule out all the old laws made by Taliban. The story is both a nation which was determined and believed in rising up after loosing its freedom to gunmen.

"This is how first-year schoolchildren lear
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Donabilla
Feb 27, 2010 Donabilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
وصف حياة أسرة أفغانيه, ذلك الشعب الذي يحيطه الغموض و لا يدري أحد ما الذي يدور فعلاً داخل أسوار بيوته , استطاعت الكاتبه ان تقنع رب الأسرة بأن تعيش مع أسرته و تراقب حياتهم لتؤلف كتابها الذي يوصف بانه الوصف الأكثر حميميه لحياة
عائليه أفغانيه الذي استطاع صحفي غربي كتابته على الإطلاق
تستطيع فعلاً تخيل الجدران االمثقوبه بالرصاص و مشاهدة الأطفال الذين يسيل المخاط من انوفهم و تشعر بلذة استمتاعهم بتناول الأطعمه الغنيه بالدهن و اللحم و الأرز كما تشعر بالتعاطف مع جميع شخصيات القصه بدءً من بيبي غول الجده الا
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Arvind
Dec 20, 2016 Arvind rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travelogue
This book titled "The Bookseller of Kabul" and the blurb suggests defying Taliban & co by a bookseller for his love of books, was actually a (honest) portrait of Afghan society. And it had little to do with books n reading. So, there was a feeling of being cheated.
Secondly, having read Hosseini's brilliant novels on Afghan society, non-fiction written in a grim, matter-of-fact style was boring. And have read travelogues on d region (though not Afghanistan).
Will repeat though that her writing
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Dem
Sep 17, 2011 Dem rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was slightly confused about this book as when I read the blurb I thought the book was going to be about the bookseller himself and his book shop and about how he defied the authorities to supply books to the people of Kabul but this book sways away from the blurb and concentrates more on Sultan Khan's family.

I am not sure I like the way the story reads, In spring 2002 award winning journalist Asne Seiratad spent four months living with the bookseller and his family but while the story is told
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Susan Johnson
This was a selection from my in person book club and I found it to be okay. It is a true story and I thought I would be reading more about his quest to distribute literature in Kabul. Although he talks about it somewhat, it's not the main thrust of the book. Still the passages about the destruction of libraries and museums is enough to break your heart. I don't understand the "logic" of the Nazis and the Taliban in the burning of books but I guess it cuts down on people having different viewpoi ...more
Dana
Aug 22, 2007 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In keeping in line with my Afghanistan kick, I discovered this book online and got it from the library.

The premise of the book is this: Its non-fiction, written in novel form. Basically, this author (female from Norway) lived with a family for a period of time and interviewed them about their family. So you get the honest workings and day to day life of this family. The are really far from normal. They are all literate(rare for Afghanistan), as the father is a bookseller, and some of them have
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Bettie☯
A hard book to take and I did find some of the angles covered a tad bit implausible, from an investigative POV. Who in their right mind is going to tell this white western woman okayed by Sultan anything as disparate (and desperate) as their feelings about him. Yes, I am a little suspect of Seierstad's methods here but there is no doubt that the behaviours exposed are pretty true to life in Afghanistan at the moment.
Ana T.
For more than twenty years, Sultan Khan has defied the authorities, whether communist or Taliban, to supply books to the people of Kabul. He has been arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned, and has watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. Yet he has persisted in his passion for books, shedding light in one of the world's darkest places. This is the intimate portrait of a man of principle and of his family - two wives, five children, and many relatives sharing a ...more
Dr. Ansh
Another non-fiction from the gothic Afghanistan which will pierce your heart. What makes this book different though, is the profound potrayal of the day-to-day life in an Afghan household post-Taliban era.
A country which is war torn by more than 30 years of war and is finally trying to rebuild itself but is constantly threatened by the dogma of internal dissidents and the ambiguities of its own citizens- who are thrown in between the complex fabric of a phase where they are happy to be free, st
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Marina Zala
*Hasil Bookswap IRF 2016*
----------------------------
** Books 83 - 2017 **

This books to accomplish Tsundoku Books Challange 2017

2 of 5 stars!


This books is pretty boring and unstable character plot. At first i though i will read about Sultan as Bookseller in Kabul. However it isn't! so many another character that makes a main character (sultan) doesn't interesting
Theduchess
Jul 27, 2008 Theduchess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A factual account written in a fictional way. This made for a very good read. I read this book after I had read The Kite Runner and Reading Lolita in Tehran. It enhanced my knowledge of the difficulties of living in a restrictive culture.
Shalini
Jan 11, 2011 Shalini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, non-fiction
Hats off to Afghan women. It was heartbreaking to read of their slavery and oppression, the way society treats them, the way they have to live without hope or expectations, how basic necessities like education and wealth are denied to them, how they are married off (or literally sold off to the highest bidder) to men decades older than them, sometimes as third or fourth wives and how they are physically abused and punished if they even look at another man. I used to think dowry system in India w ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Book description 2 186 Oct 04, 2016 12:56AM  
The Book Vipers: Group Non Fiction Read - February 2016 - The Bookseller of Kabul. SPOILERS ALLOWED 13 27 Mar 08, 2016 10:01AM  
Around the Year i...: The Bookseller of Kabul, by Asne Seierstad 2 20 Feb 07, 2016 05:21AM  
Can this book cause discrimination ? 3 46 Jan 24, 2015 02:07PM  
Pastoon 3 18 Apr 07, 2014 10:35PM  
Dressing code for wemen 1 10 Feb 22, 2014 07:43AM  
The role of the woman 1 11 Feb 22, 2014 07:42AM  
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“What the sounds and smells do not divulge, gossip supplies. It spreads like wildfire in the neighborhood, where everyone is watching one another's morals.” 12 likes
“When a man has everything and does not know what more to do, he tries to teach his donkey to talk.” 10 likes
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