Swallows of Kabul
While there is a story and a plot, the book is really about the desolate conditions in the war-scarred capital of Kabul: a dying city in a dying landscape of desert heat and dryness hemmed in by mountains. Half of the buildings are destroyed, including mosques. Some structures are simply fronts of buildings; business is conducted in pieces of buildings.
The Swallows of Kabul is a novel by Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra. It was originally written and published in French.
You meet Atiq Shaukat, a jailer. His wife, Musarrat, is very sick and dying. She is a burden to him and made him late for work. He escorts a prostitute to be executed. You meet Mohsen Ramat. He's against the new Taliban rule. He is in the market place when he sees a prostitute being stoned to ...more
I still feel very conflicted about this book.Originally, I had planned on giving it four stars. But after having thought about it some more, I'll be settling for three instead. (reasons below)
Whilst many mentioned that their biggest gripe was getting into the book, for me that was hardly an issue. I was pretty much full on engrossed from the first page. And with a opening page starting with a woman being stoned to death, how the hell can I not be? Not only did it really make me recoil from ...more
“And yet it is also here, amid the hush of stony places and the silence of graves, in this land of dry earth and arid hearts, that our story is born, like the water lily that blooms in the stagnant swamp.”
You could almost read the first two pages and have a ...more
There is the Taliban is all of it's violence, whipping, stoning, executions and preaching. The characters include the jailer of a prison used to house women to be executed and his dying wife. Also there is an educated couple who have lost everything and the wife refuses to leave the house as she would have to wear a burka.
There is a lot of conflict ...more
This book was read based on a recommendation by one of our library volunteers. With over five thousand ratings present on Goodreads, I find myself safely in the middle. The writing is simply beautiful and the author does an excellent job of placing us in Taliban ruled Afghanistan . I felt the concept of focusing on two different ...more
Khadra writes with poetic detail about a city which the residents no longer ...more
The characters of this novel try in their small way tried to revolt against the Taliban, but found themselves within a society that devalues women and makes a male feel less so because they lose their right to defend the individualistic ability of their wives, daughters, ...more
Two couples live their restricted lives under the oppressive sun of the ...more
Yes yes I know karen I said this book was good. Well when I was in high school I remember being told that colleges liked people who got bs or cs freshman year and worked their way up to as their senior year. These are called rising stars. On the other hand there are things like a clockwork orange. what I mean is the movie. It is fantastic, but long and suddenly the production team appears to have gotten bored and decided to end the movie for no particular reason. Thereby making the last ...more
The writing is perfection--description of place and emotion precise and light and full of concrete color. I love ...more
The book is about the sufferance that's going on in kaboul (capital of Afghanistan ) , under the reign of Taliban..
The characters (different social ranges and different points of view ) are Zuneira and her husband who are well educated , university graduates who lost everything , and atiq and his wife ..
And my favorite was Mussarat (such a brave lady , such serenity and so much love and selfness ) ...more
Most Afghani languages are in the Persian family and the region for most of its history has had very little to do the Mediterranean where Khadra was born and still lives. The fact that Khadra comes from a Muslim society does not ...more
The Swallows of Kabul, whose title derives from the flocks of women in burkas, puts an ordinary face on the Taliban's repressive regime. Mohsen releases his rage by participating in a stoning; his wife feels demeaned walking in public. By focusing on the lives of the two couples and giving the Taliban only walk-on roles, Khadra (the pseudonym for Algerian writer Mohammed Moulessehoul) renders the repression all the more sinister. His spare, taut prose depicts the bleakness that leads ordinary...more
The story starts with the disgusting, yet riveting, stoning of a prostitute and launches the reader headfirst into a foreign, and seemingly backward and unimaginable world, where women are without rights, without a voice and without value. While the author ...more
A short but emotional book focusing on two couples in Kabul. Atiq is a veteran of the war with Russia, and his wife Musarrat is ill, Moshen and Zunaira are younger , well educated and struggling to find their way under the Taliban regime, particularly Zunaira, who once was a law student and now as a woman feels like less than a citizen. A simple trip to the market erupts into conflict and brings the couples ...more
Moulessehoul, an officer in the Algerian army, adopted a woman's pseudonym to avoid military censorship. Despite the publication of many successful novels in Algeria, Moulessehoul only revealed his true identity in 2001 after leaving the army and going into exile and ...more