Marguerite's Reviews > Swallows of Kabul

Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra
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's review
Apr 02, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: feminism, history, contemporary-fiction
Read from February 18 to 22, 2011

Good, but nowhere near as good as The Attack or The Kite Runner. Mohammed Moulessehoul can write, but this story only comes together near the end. And, I anticipated the major plot twist. At less than 200 pages, it's not much of an investment, though. It adds to the body of work.

"It seems that the whole world is beginning to decay, and that its putrefaction has chosen to spread outward from here, from the land of the Pashtuns, where desertification proceeds at a steady, implacable crawl even in the consciences and intellects of men."

"For him and everyone else, death is only a banality."

"The men of Kabul have taken cover behind shadow puppets, and the women, mummified in shrouds the color of fever or fear, are utterly anonymous."

"Being alive means keeping yourself ready for the sky to fall in on you at any time. If you start from the assumption that existence is only an ordeal, a test we have to pass, then you're equipped to deal with its sorrows and its surprises."

"For him, women are only ghosts, voiceless, charmless ghosts that pass practically unnoticed along the streets; flocks of infirm swallows -- blue, yellow, often faded, several seasons behind -- that make a mournful sound when they come into the proximity of men."

"That world of bold delight is gone, broken up and crumbled away. Dreams have veiled their faces."

"I won't let them kill you.
We've already been killed, all of us. It happened so long ago, we've forgotten it."

"In the next instant , the weapon fires, carrying off in its blasphemy an unfinished prayer."

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