July 22, 2017

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

Real life fiction. Great book. But mired in controversy – despite changing the names of those featured it was quite easy for people to work out who it was really about. And so in 2010¬†Shah Muhammad Rais took the author to court and won. He’s also since written his own version of events (although I’m not aware of that being available in English).The Bookseller of Kabul

So, I’m going to review the book as a fiction, just as it stands rather than get mired in the rights or wrongs of it all.

The book weaves a fascinating mix of the history of Afganistan together with the modern situation (well as in 2010). The various characters in the story have very different points of view on the present day and different challenges – it’s quite fascinating exploring each point of view. Topics covered include family relationships, the modernisation of society in Kabul, religion, the confusion of youth and so much more.

But I don’t think this is primarily a political book – it’s a very gripping tale and a very easy read. I really enjoyed it.

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