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Księgarz z Kabulu

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  30,745 Ratings  ·  2,454 Reviews
Åsne Seierstad, młoda norweska dziennikarka, trafiła do Kabulu jesienią 2001 roku, w ostatnich dniach panowania talibów. W zrujnowanym mieście poznała Sułtana Chana, księgarza, wydawcę i niezwykłego człowieka, który od lat trwa przy swym zawodzie, mimo nieustannych szykan i represji ze strony kolejnych reżimów. Zaintrygował ją ten elegancki, wykształcony mężczyzna, pełen p ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published January 2005 by Wydawnictwo W.A.B. (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Prithvi Shams
Nov 24, 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
May 26, 2016 Frankie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, foreign, 2016
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.
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
Aug 30, 2013 Margitte rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, reviewed
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
Miramira Endevall
Jan 28, 2010 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
Jul 15, 2015 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
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)
Mar 06, 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
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 Taliba ...more
Jul 24, 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
Mar 20, 2009 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
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
"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
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
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
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
Sep 26, 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
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
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
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
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
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.
Amaal Ibrahim
Dec 31, 2011 Amaal Ibrahim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-in2011
بناء على ماهو مكتوب خلف الكتاب أن الصحافية الشقراء تذهب لافغانستان وتسكن مع أحد العائلات لتسجل مشاهداتها لحياة الافغان بعد سقوط نظام طالبان. وتبدأ لتتكلم باقتضاب عن كيفية دخولها للعائلة، وفجأة تنسحب الكاتبة من مجريات الاحداث لتتم مشاهداتها بطريقة أدبية كما تقول. كما وتتكلم باقتضاب أيضا عن "سلطان" وهو بائع الكتب وعن تجارته وكيفية تأسيسه لها في مايقارب الفصل أو الفصلين. وتكمل باقي الكتاب بالحديث عن بقية أفراد الاسرة وتصور حياتهم فردا فردا.

أما عن رأيي بالكتاب فلم يضف لي الكثير. صوّر حياتهم بطريقة ك
Dec 15, 2011 Hayes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
It was okay. I should have read it earlier, when it was Current Events and might have seemed original. Now it feels like Ancient History. I have also read A Thousand Splendid Suns, to which it shows an uncanny similarity in several parts.

ETA: I should have said that ATSS is similar to Bookseller, as Bookseller pre-dates it by several years.
Olga Milemis
Mar 03, 2015 Olga Milemis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shortly after 9/11 the Norwegian journalist Asne Seierstad spent few months in Kabul living with the bookseller Sultan Khan and his family. The result of her experience in Khan’s house is a matchless portrait not only of this particular family but of the country as well. “The bookseller of Kabul” (2002) offers an in-depth look in the life of people who experienced and survived different occupations of the country. In this book, we learn as well about food and customs, feelings, hope and fear and ...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 29, 2008 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting, journalistic depiction of life in Afghanistan as told from inside the tent of a relatively well-to-do family, with particular attention to the experiences of females. It is compelling reading, and should be mandatory for anyone who wants to know about life in Afghanistan. It is not a good thing to be a female there.
Coffee Bean
Jan 13, 2011 Coffee Bean 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
Anne Hawn Smith
It's hard to read this book even though it is very good. I just can't believe that a society can treat women the way they do in this area of the world. I also got so angry at all of the world treasures the Taliban blew up or destroyed. It just boggles my mind. In fact, I consider it "crimes against humanity." Has there ever been a group of people who destroyed so many of their own national treasures? I guess the Huns and Visigoths did the same, but world has lost a lot because of the Taliban.

Feb 07, 2012 Talal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
في صفحة تقع هذه الرواية تتجول بك في حياة عائلة أفغانية تنقل القارئ لذلك البلد بأسلوب بديع تقييمي /

أسلوب الكاتبة جميل جدا فهي تشدك لآخر الرواية حتى تعرف مصير أبطال الرواية وكأنك تنتزع اعترافا من جاسوس

الرواية دسمة بالمعلومات عن ظروف حياة العائلات الأفغانية وطقوسهم المعتادة في الزواجات وترى مدى تقارب افراد العائلة الواحدة

أحداث الرواية حقيقية وقد عاشت مؤلفتها فترة من الزمن في هذا البيت الأفغاني وأصبحت كأنها فردا من العائلة

من يعشق الكتب والمكتبات والنشر سوف يعيش أوقات سعيدة وأخرى حزينة مع هذا البائع
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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.” 11 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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