Monday, June 22, 2015

The Bookseller of Kabul

I came late to The Bookseller of Kabul.

Picked it up in a charity shop and was intrigued. I've just finished it and once again I am appalled at my lack of world knowledge.

The character of the title is Sultan Khan and from the blurb and the way it described his efforts to keep selling books in spite of all the prohibition and threats of imprisonment, I expected him to be a wise, broad-minded liberal but in his treatment of his family we find he is no different from any other Afghan man.

I am appalled by the conditions the families have to live in under the various regimes and have tremendous respect for the way they accept their lot and make the best of it. However the treatment of women is unbelievable. Yes, I know it's the culture, history, tradition, whatever, but the unfairness of the whole system makes me so glad yet again that I was born in this country.

Oh yes and I'd give it 4*.

* * * * * * * * *
I think I mentioned that we'd ordered all six seasons of The Sopranos. We're well into the first season now and I'm really enjoying it. Husband is less keen. He says, 'It's more your sort of thing.'
'What do you mean?'
'Well, it's about families. It's not Boardwalk Empire.'

All I can say is that you know it must be very good writing when you begin to feel sorry for a murderous gangster when the snooty friends of his next door neighbour patronise him. Which, as Husband pointed out, is rather a foolish thing to do with a Mafia boss.


Robyn Lee said...

I must keep an eye out for that book. Liz, have you read "The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul" by Deborah Rodriguez? I think you'd enjoy it. It's a factual story and like the one you read, gives an idea of what life is like in Afghanistan.

Liz Hinds said...

Okay, I'll look out for it, Robyn.