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Entangled Lives

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Raza, a poor orphan trapped in the slums of Pakistan, is sent to a strict madrassah where he meets and falls in love with Perveen. They attempt to flee the city to escape their respective fates but fail. Perveen, pregnant, is sent back to her family, and Raza is sent to Afghanistan to fight as a Taliban solider. American journalist, Rachael Brown, travels to Afghanistan to ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published July 27th 2018 by Roundfire Books
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Marialyce
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
4 most harrowing stars
My reviews can be found here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

Frightening, although a work of fiction, this story about a young boy trained to be an ISIS fighter, was not only well written but mesmerizing. The things related in this book, are true, scarily true, and one could see that in many cases there was no choice for these young boys than to either die, watch their family die, or join ISIS. Coincidentally, I am reading The Terrorist Factory: ISIS, the Yazidi
...more
Tiff (fictionaltiff)
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you, @netgalley and Roundfire Books, for the advanced reading copy! Releases tomorrow! Review Below.
Entangled Lives has been the most diverse and unique reads of this year for me. Overall, I’m glad I read this book because it gave me a perspective of a world I otherwise might not have learned much about.
Raza is an orphan in Pakistan who is raised in a madrassah, a poor Muslim school that raises children with strict religious standards, but traps them in a world of perversion and abuse.
Once
...more
Meike
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Kudos to Imran Omer – he has the audacity to take the perspective of a Taliban fighter (of course not to absolve him from his crimes, but to shine a light on his perceptions) and to confront Western readers with the historic realities of people living in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Most people in the West (me included) do not know enough about these regions, although some local conflicts have been prompted and shaped by Western politics. Just as Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost ...more
Endlesscribbles
An emotional read that will keep thinking and rightly so. The conflicts involving countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan are what we only see and get the view point from the media. We never learn about where the hate comes from and why. Raza, one of the main characters in this story grew up in a madrasa in Pakistan after his mother left. Were the boys at the madrasa were treated badly and became dollars per head to go fight for the Taliban. Most of which didn't understand the war and were ...more
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-asia
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

I was drawn to Entangled Lives by the ambiguous expression in the eyes of the man on its cover and when I discovered that this is an #ownvoices novel written by a Pakistani author, I knew I wanted to read it. Omer has made one of his protagonists a Taliban soldier which I felt was a brave step in the current political climate, especially as this soldier, Raza, tells us his story unapologetically. We follow his life from young orphaned child
...more
Noorilhuda
Good attempt.

Though, 1) you are left to wonder why someone did something. There is zero character development (e.g. the main protagonist, Raza's unbelievable story reads like a go-with-the-flow checklist of bad fate and dumb choices, I don't even know where to begin with him; Rachael acts like a typical white foreigner with a savior complex, you also never understand how in the world she ever ended up hooking up with Arun, let alone marrying him; Bayfazl - has no family - and is raping kids but
...more
Jill Dobbe
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A gripping fictional story that could easily be a real account of what happens to survivors of the onslaught of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Told by a reporter who goes to Afghanistan to interview a Taliban soldier captured by American forces, the soldier relays the story of his life while being left behind by his mother, growing up in a madrasa, and losing his child and the woman he loved.

An emotional and at times, heartbreaking read that will keep you thinking.

Thank you Net Galley.
Katya Kazbek
I have mixed feelings about this book. While I find the subject—how does one become a Taliban militant?—fascinating, I thought that the narrative was way too strongly tailored towards the sort of audience who enjoys “Homeland” and “Quantico”. And this is an admirable effort, but I see the danger of catering to American exceptionalism and cultural xenophobia: in effect, presenting them with a sympathetic Taliban fighter does not do much to change their overall attitudes. Reza is seemingly ...more
Rachel Lee
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. I learnt a great deal whilst reading it yet I found it very subtle. I was drawn into the story of Raza which managed to span several generations and thereby managed to enlighten me as an unknowledgeable reader on the conflicts in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I found the writing at times to be quite poetic. Rachael as a character seemed to me to be quite believable, even likeable, and her story as an American journalist worked well to weave in and out of Raza's. I would ...more
Joni Martins
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Review

Basic Details:

Book Title: Entangled Lives
Subtitle:
Author: Imran Omer
Genre: Culture – Pakistan, Historical Fiction
Part of a series? No
Order in series:
Best read after earlier books in series? No
Available: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...
Overall score:
I scored this book 5/5

Short Summary of the book:
This book tells the story of a young orphan, Raza, who lives in the slums of Pakistan. One day he is offered an education at a madrassah. It is a strict life, where he suffers abuse
...more
Nicole Overmoyer
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Imran Omer’s Entangled Lives is not an easy book to read. It shouldn’t be an easy book to read. It is, after all, the story of how young men in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s saw perpetual war as a given and had little choice but to fight. It is, after all, the story of a war between the USSR and Afghanistan that led to the rise of the Taliban that harbored Osama bin Laden.

And it is part memoir, because Imran Omer grew up in Pakistan during the times he writes about in this
...more
Kameron
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)


I want to begin this review by stating that when Imran Omer contacted me to read Entangled Lives I was very upfront about my initial thoughts based off the book summary. I said the following to him…. “It’s not my typical read but I am willing to give it a chance.”

As you read my review below, I think you’ll see I was fair and honest. I may not like the subject matter but he did give more insight into a world I’m not overly familiar
...more
Margaret Duke-Wyer
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was drawn to this book because I know that I am sadly lacking in knowledge about the rise to power of the Taliban; conflicts in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and the reality of what this means to the various sections of society in these regions. I was not disappointed; shocked, angered, yes, but disappointed? No. Imran Omer has, with his beautifully written book, has filled in some of the gaps.

There are several strands to the plot. The orphan Pakistani boy, Raza, was placed in a Madrasa to be
...more
Cat
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Raza, Perveen and Rachael, three people whose paths cross and each will never be the same. Raza and Perveen both are growing up in the slums of Pakistan. Rachael is an investigative journalist who has worked in the area for years and struggles with her own demons.
My main reason for wanting to read this book was to understand the path to becoming a Taliban soldier. The author accomplishes this, and it’s not a happy road to follow. Perveen, Raza’s love, being a female in the land of Sharia law has
...more
Elainedav
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book tells the story of Raza and Perveen who grow up in a madrassah, which they try unsucessfully to escape. Raza is ultimately forced to travel to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban. Twice, in different circumstances, he meets Rachael, an American Journalist.

The narration of the story switches between Raza and Rachael. I found Rachael's narration to be extremely absorbing and one which read almost as a memoir. In fact, the whole book has the feeling of a true story, I suppose because, in
...more
Sohail
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very rarely one finds a book where the author has gone against the tide of popular opinion and takes a different approach to the subject. Imran’s book Entangled Lives, does exactly that. He has presented a different face of the Jihadist movement and shed light on conditions and mechanisms that insinuate militant minds.

Imran’s has researched his subject well and his depiction of the chaos and the events that occurred around Dr Najibullah overthrow and demise are daunting and realistic. His story
...more
Beej Jeffery
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s always satisfying when someone does what they say they will do and Roundfire have done it with this novel. Their claim that. “Put simply we publish great stories” rings true with this work from Imran Omer. His insightful probe into the inner thoughts and beliefs of the Taliban were both informative and alarming and the world is a better place now that they are gone.

Imran blend of cultures, Eastern and Western is seamless and convincing and his character development is well rounded.
This is a
...more
Sathepine Marco
Eye-opening and bittersweet

The novel follows the heartbreaking story of Raza who lives a life of hardship and sacrifice in Pakistan. Although we do follow a journalist Rachael who has her own struggles, this is very much Raza's story. His story is quite compelling for me especially that I don't live and definitely can't imagine living in the circumstances and environment he lives in. The glimpses of politics, societal dynamics, human interaction and relationships are eye-opening and
...more
Sarah
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

An interesting story that gives a human face of someone who was fighting with the Taliban...however, in my copy the formatting was a mess and the story jumped back and forth between Reza's, Tara's and Rachael's stories so abruptly that it was hard to follow.
Nupur Govila
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another beautiful read given by Netgalley (thank you) which is contemporary and historic in its narrative which so clearly emphasises that in war, there are no winners or losers, just victims on both sides.
Emma
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
Full Review here:

Screen Wipe... TV ,MOVIE and BOOK Review: Entangled Lives by Imran Omer http://screenwiper.blogspot.com/2018/...
Harris M
rated it liked it
Sep 19, 2018
Nicole Harmon
Jul 28, 2018 marked it as to-read
Title: Entangled Lives
Author: Imran Omer
Publish Date: 7/27/18
Publisher: Round fire Books –UK
Buy Link: https://goo.gl/rZp7hi

Book Review of Entangled Lives

Book Blurb: “But you have to promise me one thing: If you really get any money by writing about me then you will not spend it on me in any way. I want you to use it to get my son out of that madrassah…”

Review:
The war overseas in countries that follow Islam has been going on for centuries and will probably continue to go on. Prejudice,
...more
Elite Group
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Behind the inflammatory headlines lies a tragic reality

The newspaper headlines only present one side of a complex story when it comes to reporting about the Taliban. The reality is heartbreaking and the author uses his narrative to explain how poor young men are cannon fodder for the war machine that feeds the extremism of the Taliban.

Young boys that are orphaned or from poor families are given to the Madrasa, supposedly to be educated but the reality is that they are indoctrinated, often suffer
...more
Ron Samul
rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2018
Daniel Casey
rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2018
Jade
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Entangled Lives takes place in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan in the 90’s and early 2000’s, with a few scenes in the US. A small part of the narrative takes place in Bangladesh and Pakistan in the 1970’s.

Raza and Parveen, Raza’s mother Tara, and Rachael: different characters, but all linked together by an invisible string, and pulled apart by war, human nature, and greed.

Imran Omer does an amazing job of creating a novel that is both historical (including recent history) fiction and fact,
...more
aaliyah Rafeeq
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I saw this book and read the synopsis I knew it was a book I needed to read, obviously I also was aware it may be a difficult read as some aspects were portraying Islam in a slightly negative light When very often it is culture that is to blame. But I was really surprised it wasn't as bad as I thought. In fact I found the story beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time! Okay the writing style at times I found it rather descriptive so I would loose concentration but then it would rectify ...more
Imran Omer
Feb 13, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)

With his brilliant novel Entangled Lives, Imran Omer puts a human face on a subject otherwise overwhelmed by propaganda on all sides. In a story as exciting as it is important, as sad as it is hopeful, we can begin to understand the all too human personal tragedies behind a generation of war. Philip Athans, bestselling author
Wytzia Raspe
As an immigration lawyer I have seen many cases of Afghani refugees. However this novel still made a huge impression on me. We here in Holland live nowadays a safe life and you can hardly imagine what it will be when that safety is snatched away from you or when you are never safe.. This is happening over and over again in this book.

The novel tells the story of three different people and their lives are entangled with each other. Hence the title. We meet at first a young mother who recognises on
...more
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