Friday, April 10, 2009

The Bookseller of Kabul

Title: The Bookseller of Kabul
Author: Asne Seierstad

Publ: Virago - 2004
ISBN: 1 84408 047 1

It was a bit of a dragging read, but I managed to finish it. I don't think this is a great book. The author tells us the story of an Afghan family at the time of the Taliban regime and afterwards. She narrates incidents from this family consisting of many members, and through them tries to give us a picture of the Afghan society of the time. But I think she has been successful in neither. Neither could she weave up an interesting story out of the plot, nor show us enough of the Taliban influenced nation. Both lack depth. The account of the happenings of Sultan Khan's family has nothing in it that makes it an artistic creation of fiction. It's nothing more than a dull, monotonous report. And as she had to concentrate on the affairs of the family, she couldn't give us much of the real society shattered by the Taleban.

I guess most of the readers who say it's a fantastic book are westerners. And the reason must be their introduction to something from the culture of the East that sounds strange and fascinating in some way as it is all different from their own. This is the same thing I felt about The Memoirs of a Geisha. But I think that that book was a bit better than this as it could claim a bit more depth to its overall content.

Courtesy: katrinat who made a bookring of this.

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