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Dispatches from the Kabul Cafe

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Where can you buy 913 Kalashnikovs? How do you tell a friend her expat love is never coming back? What’s it like to date a mercenary?

In 2007, Canadian journalist Heidi Kingstone arrived in Kabul, eager to uncover the mysteries and shadows of one turbulent corner of the world. Over the next four years, she encountered idealists and chancers, gunrunners and warlords. She in
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ebook, Advance edition: it has been fully edited, designed and proofed, but may be subject to further revisions; it is priced at a 60% discount to the expected final list price., 148 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Advance Editions (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  25 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Alex Nye
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dispatches is a beautifully-written, innovative and original piece of travel journalism which is well worth a read. What I really like about this book - apart from the descriptions of Kabul, its landscape and its people - is the fact that the author gives women a voice through her writing style. Not just women in Afghanistan, but women everywhere, through being true to the feminine perspective. This is how women perceive a war, and the brutalities and horrors which accompany that war.

Heidi Kings
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Dana
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sure, we've all seen Christiane Amanpour bundled up in a bullet-proof vest reporting from the streets of a red-hot war zone. But it's rare to read about daily life in a war zone from a western woman's highly-personal perspective. Not just from the streets, but from cafes, drawing rooms and even bedrooms.

We have beautiful childhood accounts such as the Diary of Anne Frank and I am Malala as notable examples of how war affects the female mind and heart. But as a woman over 30, reading Heidi Kings
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Karen Bayley-ewell
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a very educational and interesting read! Heidi Kingstone offers an incredible insight to life in Kabul during the attempt by NATO to try and develop and bring peace to Afghanistan. She describes the banality and ordinariness of life juxtaposed against a war-torn country and the difficulties presented to women there. Kabul is fine "until it isn't" and peace can turn to terror in an instant with suicide bombers and other threats that come with living within a fundamental theocracy.

She desc
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Dirk
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: current, history
Heidi Kingstone has written a stunning book. I came across it by pure coincidence on Twitter. I learned so much, not at least how little I know about the world. Heidi excels in describing what life is like in Kabul and how badly things have developed over the past years. Her experience of living in Kabul, the people she met and the relationship she developed, are so much richer than any report about Afganistan on TV. I highly recommend Heidi's book.

It is also more than worthwhile visiting the we
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Karina
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A riveting narrative of life on the edge in war-torn Afghanistan, Dispatches leads the reader from adventure to tragedy and finally through to hope. As a journalist sent to report on gender equality after the 2009 passing of Afghan legislation, namely Elimination of Violence Against Women, the author's depiction of her encounters with characters as diverse as mercenaries, NGO medics, expat fashionistas and local warlords, is thoroughly compelling. Dispatches is so authentic, I could feel sand in ...more
Kristen Harrison
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hugely entertaining memoir by a smart and sassy author. The book is made up of a series of mini adventures, anecdotes and character studies about people the author - Heidi Kingstone - encountered during her four years in Kabul (from 1997-2001). It is funny, intelligent, cheeky and insightful all at once and it is a perspective on Afghanistan that noone else will give you. Great book.

PS. My fellow countrymen and countrywomen (Aussies) who feature in this book are... well... nutters. Fabulous nut
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Nic
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I haven't been able to read a book in months. I started Dispatches from the Kabul Cafe in hopes that it would help with my research on Kabul... It didn't help as much as I had hoped but, it was a brilliant read. Thank you, Heidi Kingston, for sharing your incredible experience. I couldn't put this book down.

If you are like me and read a lot from the romance genre, and are maybe looking for something to cleanse your reading palette, Ms. Kingstone's memoir of her time in Kabul is an absolutely bri
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Chris Baker
Sep 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Suggestion posted to Advance Editions website:

Ch15 is a beautiful letter from your friend Zaman, but who is he? How do you know him? Is he an Afghan journalist? Where did you meet him? How did he escape?I'd love to hear more.
Nick
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Insightful, but somewhat disjointed, with the 'dispatches' more random jottings and thoughts than 'From Our Own Correspondent'. I enjoyed this book, but also found it a little frustrating, some decent editing would probably have helped, it felt more like a cathartic exercise for the writer than something produced to inform the reader.
Guadalupe Cordero
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phil
Dec 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
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