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Born Under a Million Shadows
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Born Under a Million Shadows

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,270 Ratings  ·  289 Reviews
A moving tale of the triumph of the human spirit amidst heartbreaking tragedy, told through the eyes of a charming, impish, and wickedly observant Afghan boy

The Taliban have withdrawn from Kabul's streets, but the long shadows of their regime remain. In his short life, eleven-year-old Fawad has known more grief than most: his father and brother have been killed, his sister
ebook, 320 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2009)
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Tea Jovanović
Ova knjiga me je podsetila na "Lovca na zmajeve" i zato ju je Marso objavio... Nema Hoseinijevu jačinu ali je interesantna...
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I bought this book I was expecting something like The Kite Runner and a Thousand Splendid Suns, I was a little put off by the title of the novel. This book is nothing like the Kite Runner and I found it really entertaining, informative and a very intersting insight into Afghan Coulture and how they view western coulture. This story is told through the eyes of a young boy Fawad. The operning two sentances of the book had me totally hooked

" My name is Fawad and my mother tells me I was born u
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pub-2009
What happened here was that Andrea Busfield took a crap book (The Kite Runner) and wrote a cheap knock-off of it. It was such a blatant example 'if you liked that, read this' than I don't think anyone is even pretending that there was anything other trying to cash in on The Kite Runner's success.

Andrea Busfield is a British journalist who spent some time in Afghanistan, so her research at least goes beyond the Wikipedia but unfortunately she doesn't know how to use it and she makes her child nar
Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You know the old adage about the “sum being greater than the whole of its parts?” Well, “Born Under a Million Shadows” is one of those books, for me, where the individual parts are much greater than the sum. This highly praised coming of age story has it all – rich multicultural details, a fascinating socio-political landscape, colorful characters, unexpected humor, and touching moments of beauty, tenderness, and domesticity. Why, then, did I find the book completely unaffecting? The entire time ...more
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Born under a Million Shadows, Andrea Busfield does several things well that make this novel work for me: First and foremost - she effectively conveys a fascination and beauty of a country which in my mind had so far been equated with images of war and burkas. Upon reading Fawad's story and those of his friends and family - I feel that I've been properly acquainted with Afghanistan now.

Busfield is a journalist who has traveled to Afghanistan and in her author's notes (in the back of the book)
Claire Hessing
This was kind of a coming-of-age story about a boy in Afghanistan. I thought it was going to be good but I just didn't care for it. I didn't like the narrative voice because I thought it was completely unbelievable -- there wasn't a good balance between childhood naivete and the 'grown-up' kind of insights in a coming-of-age story. I ended up just being bored by it. And the ending... way too much of a fairytale to sit well with me.
Leigh Hancock
Sep 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third in my Afghani series. Getting past the title was hard (where was the editor on that one?) and the first chapter or two read like a first novel (which it is) by someone writing outside her culture. I had a hard time at first believing the narrator was male (i.e, separate from author), but once we got past those tiny bits of housekeeping, a real story began to evolve. I started enjoying the Afghan names (Haji Khan, for instance, which I sometimes read aloud just because it was fun) and Spand ...more
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I first saw the book in borders, I read that it was written by a British journalist, and that made me judge it. An outsider, that was my first thought.
I started the book with no expectations, and as I progressed through the book I didn't really find any character to be original or one that I found real, except perhaps Fawad's mother. She has been through a lot and yet she's survived and her main concern in life is her son, I found her most believable. As for her son, Fawad, I found him to
Apr 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-east
Unfortunately the comparison to The Kite Runner raised my expectations to a level the book didn't live up to. It was an enjoyable but rather tame read.
Emmm bueno, en realidad es un 4.5 porque aunque era todo muy interesante y la narración era muy entretenida, algo hacía que me canse y lo deje por un par de días antes de continuarlo... Es como que no logró engancharme de esa forma que en general me engancho (soy súper obsesiva y no suelo poder parar hasta que termine) pero de todas formas me mantuvo interesada lo suficiente como para retomarlo cada vez sin sentir que me estaba obligando a hacerlo.
En fin, más allá de ese aspecto tan personal, te
Dec 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book truly capivated me! It's charming, funny, informative, heart-warming and at times a little sad.

Amazon describes it like this:
"A moving tale of the triumph of the human spirit amidst heartbreaking tragedy, told through the eyes of a charming, impish, and wickedly observant Afghan boy."

It's all true. I love the way the author looked at everything through the eyes of an intelligent, observant, caring 11 year old boy. I smiled, I laughed out loud and I cried while reading this book. Afgha
Kasa Cotugno
Dec 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By choosing to have this story told through the eyes of an 11 year old boy, Andrea Busfield is able to infuse the tale with a sense of discovery. However, this being Afghanistan where childhood is over too soon, there is a worldliness to his observations that may seem beyond someone of his youth. The story does flag in spots, but these lapses are soon overcome. Busfield's obvious respect for this country and her people is evident with every character. Highly recommend.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a must read book.
the author gives us many things to know, to be grateful, to laugh at, to cry on *hha

the characters descriptions were so real.
everything I need from a book is given by Andrea Busfield ❤
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The book is set in Afghanistan after the Taliban rule. Although a bit of normalcy has been restored in the country, life for Afghans is far from normal. The effects of the Taliban rule are still being experienced in the country. Most people have lost loved ones. Stories of death and missing people fill the air of Afghanistan.

In the midst of this, is our narrator, Fawad. He is ten- eleven years old in the story. I immediately fell in love with this characte
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully balanced book.

I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book during a recent long journey and the miles flew by. The author has hit just that perfect balance between putting across a serious message and making a book entertaining. For a book set in Afghanistan it has some wonderfully humorous momnents too.

Fawad is an 11yr old boy, living with his mother in an aunt's house. His father and two brothers are dead and no-one knows what has become of his sister since she was abduc
Tara Chevrestt
I thought this was a story about life in Afghanistan after the Taliban... and it is, sorta. The story is told from eleven year old Fawad's point of view. He is a delightful boy. His narrative is full of innocent, overly wise observations about life, women, and people in general. Basically the kid voices things we all think at some point in our life, but never say. I had quite a few laugh out moments, escpecially when Fawad thought about women, Christmas, lesbians, having the squirts.. funny stuf ...more
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: afghanistan
Fawad is a preteen boy in modern-day Afghanistan. He has only known the horror of war, first by the Taliban and now the occupying forces of the West. When his widowed mother gets a job cooking and cleaning for three Westerners, Fawad gets a first-hand look at the strange customs and lifestyle that the occupiers are bringing to his homeland. Despite the foreigners' strangeness, Fawad and his mother come to appreciate and love James, May, and Georgie.
James is a lazy, drunken journalist, but has a
Maliha Fatima
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Fawad is such a clever boy. Beautiful tale of the Afgan people cohabitating with Westerners. The reader gets to know what life is like through the eyes of a boy that has seen nothing but the war. Fawad finds beauty in an war-torn country and finds ways to enjoy life. He makes you want to rethink the amenities that you have and reconsider the outlook you have on your own life. Andrea Busfield really shows the reader the beautiful side of Afghanistan: The people! No matter how bad the wa ...more
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
A beautifully written story about the life of a young boy growing up in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. The title...a million shadows...describes perfectly how the Taliban has affected the life of the people there.

Andrea Busfield's writing is beautiful, amazingly descriptive. She makes you feel comfortable and a part of the country and the people there. She makes you smile as you follow Fawad and his understanding of the world around him. She creates a deep sadness within you as you
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, cultural
For the most part, I really enjoyed this one. It did start to drag a little towards the end- the story just wasn't going anywhere for the last bit- but mostly, I thought it was great. I thought Fawad's character was very lovable, and his point of view was fascinating. I loved watching him discover how different things were between his world and Georgie's and how puzzling some things appeared to him. I found all the character's really interesting and I liked how they interacted with each other. I ...more
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I dare you not to fall in love with the eleven-year-old boy, Fawad, who narrates the story. He is intelligent, mature and funny. It's not often that my kids are giving me strange looks because I'm laughing out loud as I read a book. This is not what I expected when I picked up a novel about war-torn Afghanistan. Telling a story through the innocent eyes of a child introduces the reader to a side of this country that we don't hear about in the news. Fawad's perception of the We ...more
I didn't open this book expecting to like it, since I don't personally gravitate toward young narrators or MidEast topics, but "Born Under a Million Shadows" grabbed me from the first page.

There is a lot of humor in this story because it's told through a young boy's eyes, though the subject matter - drugs, terrorism, poverty, Taliban, deformity - are quite tough. It's obvious that the writer adores Afghanistan and has a good understanding of their way of life and values, and I appreciated both t
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by a former student. Although it's categorized as adult, definitely has potential for teen audiences as the main character is young.

Set in Kabul after the Taliban have withdrawn. Fawad and his mother Mariya end up working for 3 Westerners, one of whom is in a relationship with an Afghani man. Lots of great interactions, revelations of culture. Characters are well-developed. Plot is also well-developed and keeps moving and leaves the reader wanting to know what will happen next.
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: andrea-busfield
Loved this book!! Fawad is a sweet and inquisitive little boy who you just loving following page after page. He charms you right from the beginning as he experiences love,loss and life living in Afghanistan. The author shows you the everyday life of Afghan's and yet puts an interesting "Western" twist to it all which is done, I think, extremely well. Fawad will keep you entertained right to the end. A must read!
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, insightful tale. I cared about the characters;Fawad was such a delight. The observations of life and perspectives of the Afghan people were thought provoking. I'm looking forward to her next novel.
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! It truly "captures the home and humanity of the Afghan people and the foreigners who live among them." Born Under a Million Shadows is beautifully written and easy to read; opens your eyes & heart to current day Afghanistan.
Yvonne Debono
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of an 11 old boy in modern day Afghanistan. Whilst the book touches on the war and the Taliban and how it ripped apart the lives of the Afghan characters, its main focus is the strength and warmth of these people which is something not often seen in books of this nature.
Jeanne Roberson
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully executed in the writing and perspective. The innocent perceptions of a young boy made me really think about life. Made me laugh and cry...great book!
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was a beautifully written book about life in Afghanastan after the Taliban
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Former journalist turned full-time writer.
More about Andrea Busfield...
“In fact, I couldn't help thinking that despite their height, adults were just plain unbelievably stupid: men were blowing up other men; soldiers were shooting at children; men were ignoring women they loved; the women who loved them pretended they didn't; and when I read the newspapers to Pir Hederi everyone they talked about seemed to be far more interested in rules and arguments and taking sides than the actual business of living.” 8 likes
“I know most people think of spring as the season of new beginnings, when women chase the winter dirt from their homes, when the plants come out of hiding and the animals give birth to their new babies, but for me autumn is the season that whispers fresh promise.” 4 likes
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