Jim's Reviews > Swallows of Kabul

Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra
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's review
Nov 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, fiction-middle-east-islamic, middle-east
Read from November 24 to 25, 2011

An excellent novella by an Algerian/French author (using a pseudonym) that critiques the harsh and terrifying life in Kabul under Taliban rule. None of the characters presented approve of the fundamentalist thugs and the treatment of the citizens, especially women, is chilling. There is little warmth here, and the purpose seems to be how life under these religious zealots has drained any enjoyment and love from the populous, as well as made many simply crazy. How Khadra escaped discovery (he apparently lives in seclusion) and fatwa is amazing. I don't know if he ever lived in Afghanistan, or if the desciptions apply to his homeland, but it is a startling novel that is worth reading, especially alongside nonfiction accounts and serves as a warning to every country to keep a close eye on their own zealots.

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