Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Swallows of Kabul

swallows of kabul

We have all heard about the hoours of the Taliban. What about ordenariy people? We don’t get much glispe of them and how they manage to surrive under such an oppressive regime. Swallows Of Kabul aims to do just that.

This book showcases people as they go about their lives in Afghanistan. In this book the Taliban blend into the background while the characters attempt to lead their lives.

It is difficult enough to lead a life with out any extra adversity thrown in. To throw in a regime as strict and totalitarian as the Taliban make things even more difficult.

Even something as simple as wanting to go for a walk as a woman is rife with perils. As one part of the story illustrates one woman's husband  wanting to take a nice romantic walk with his wife. Things go fine until they run into some Taliban Guards. They assault the man for laughing. Then force him to endure preaching while his wife has to wait outside alone. The woman is never the same.

With these stories we are allowed a glimpse into the life of living under the Taliban. What we see on TV and hear on the radio only gives us a superficial view. We can see that not everyone feels oppressed. There are some who go on about their lives with the politics in the background. This offers a window into those lives.

The writing itself is beautiful. The author is skilled at creating imagery that makes the reader feel as if they have been transported to Kabul and is actually witnessing the events. We get a taste of how the people who live there used to see this ancient city and how the views change with modern Kabul.

The characters are real and believable. The reader becomes invested in what the characters do. They are fully developed and act in what one would expect in the circumstances that they find themselves in. There are plot twist and turns that will leave the reader wanting to see what happens next.

This is a beautiful story. If you are interested in getting a taste of a culture not your own then this book will give you that. This is a highly recommended read.

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