The Bookseller of Kabul

This is not fiction, or at least it`s supposed not to be fiction. On the other hand fiction is quite often less impressive than documentary. A norwegian journalist depicts a story of a muslim family in Kabul. The story is about Sultan - a book merchant - , and his family - two wifes Sharif and Sonja, his sons and his other relatives. The thing that`s most weird about the whole thing is that none of those people come off as being completely intolerable assholes, evil muslims or something like that. Sultan, for instance, is a man of culture who was a real rebel (or something like that) in the days of those crazy taleban sickos, he is liberal at some things yet he literally buys a second wife about thirty years younger than himself, he doesn`t care that his sons don`t get no education and is a real tyrant of the house. And that`s the case not only of Sultan. Probably it was the thing that saved this book for me - it wasn`t too preachy - a thing I dreaded it would be. No, it was quite interesting to learn what life can be like for a muslim. The main thing probably is that life not only sucks if you`re a muslim woman, but also if you`re a muslim man. And it puts a bit a different perspective to a lot of things, especially to my own attitude towards the whole Afganistan thing and the US. By the way, by this book it seems that Soviets weren`t one of the worst things that ever happened to Afganistan, which also is a thing I`d never think of otherwise. As a literary statement this book surely has no value, despite the fact that it does contain "stories" about people of the family.
2005-07-01
8.0
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