Customer Reviews for

The Bookseller of Kabul

Average Rating 4
( 39 )
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5 Star

(10)

4 Star

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2 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Insight Into a Different World

Seierstad's intimate portrait of an atypical family in Kabul, Afghanistan evokes a myriad of emotions. The reader, at times, feels caught between admiration for Sultan the bookseller who defends women's rights, and Sultan the tyrannical leader of his family who takes a...
Seierstad's intimate portrait of an atypical family in Kabul, Afghanistan evokes a myriad of emotions. The reader, at times, feels caught between admiration for Sultan the bookseller who defends women's rights, and Sultan the tyrannical leader of his family who takes a different stance when it comes to the women in his household. I was left with a feeling of frustration and anger towards him and felt that his passion for books and knowledge was the most important thing in his life. His lack of compassion and concern for the plight of family members (especially the women) mirrored the way his father had ruled his family and, I suspect that Sultan's sons will follow in kind. One is left wondering if this cycle can ever be broken. A good read.

posted by Paige01 on March 27, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A Thrilling Adventure of a lifetime

I'm a soon to be junior at Holt High School. I'm doing a review in English class for the book The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seirstad. I came across this book one day in my school library when I was looking for a silent reading book. I told our librarian that I real...
I'm a soon to be junior at Holt High School. I'm doing a review in English class for the book The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seirstad. I came across this book one day in my school library when I was looking for a silent reading book. I told our librarian that I really liked the book The Kite Runner which had similar themes and she introduced me to this new book that had not even been put in our school library system yet. When she told me about the book and how it has a lot of connections with Afghan culture it made me want to read it more because that subject interests me.
This book is about a family living in Afghanistan during the rise of the Taliban. They allow a reporter to come and stay with them for several months and shadow them as they go about their lives. The main character is Sultan Khan, a bookseller in Kabul. During the Taliban rule all books were banned besides the ones given by the Taliban. He is so in live with his books that throughout the book you will find yourself following him to prison and conflict. Another character in the book is Sultans wife Sharifa and his main wife Jamila. You also follow them as they demonstrate the strong principles of the role of women. You will get to experience Sultans son's first rebellion as a youth and his younger sisters as they get married and find jobs to escape their family's tight grip on their lives.
Overall I give this book 3.5 stars because it is a very hard book to read and I would only suggest for advanced readers. It is interesting if you truly want to read but if you are not enjoying it the book will not make sense so a book I might suggest for you is the Kite Runner.

posted by 1442652 on June 8, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2005

    Afghanistan after the Taliban

    'The Bookseller of Kabul' was a very informative book for me to read. I knew much more about Afghani life during the Taliban than I knew of life after the fall of the regime. 'Bookseller' really delved into actual situations that Afghani people faced. I was especially astonished of the treatment of women even after the Taliban. This book, though not 100% fact, illustrated the dire straits of the Afghani women, and even more surprisingly, the hard life that even the men must live. We have heard so much about the mistreatment of women in Afghanistan that the horrible standards of living faced by everyone is largely ignored. The stark contrast between our way of life and theirs is unsettling, but the author also allows the similarities among all humans to shine through. The only difficulty that was faced in reading was the author's fondness for jumping from story to story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2005

    well done . . .

    I loved this book. I thought that it was insightful to a woman's life during the Taliban and more specifically how resticted life under the burka.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2005

    A slow read

    I found this book redundant and boring. I had to read it for summer reading and didn't enjoy a minute of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2005

    Insightful and Intelligent

    I found this book to be the best look into the day to day life in Afghanistan I have read yet. Words like Taliban, Afghanistan, Kabul, oppression and Islam are used so overwhelmingly in western media that it is hard to get a grip on what they really stand for. We hear so much about Afghanistan and yet know so little about life and culture there. This book gives an excellent insight into a normal family living their normal life in a country so different than our own. Don't read this book if you are looking for a fluff happy ending instead read this book if you are looking for a realistic account of life in one of the most oppressed countries in the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    Very easy to read, inspirational for women everywhere

    Very easy to read, like a newspaper. Moving stories of the plight of women. Fantastic descriptions of exactly what it's like to wear a burka.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2005

    Not as good as Kite Runner.

    This book was slow and disappointing. The time frame of each character jumps around. There are many relatives and you only get bits and pieces of each character. Although this is a fairly short book, it took long to read because it was sooooo slow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2005

    A glimpse into life in Afghanistan

    This is a good, quick read. It offers a fascinating glimpse into life in Kabul. It is not designed to offer wider analysis or comprehensive comments on the political situation or the culture. But for an idea of how some people live in post-9/11 Afghanistan (and how they lived during the Taliban), it is great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2004

    Amazing

    This is an amazing book if you want to know more about the people and the culture of Kabul and surrounding regions. It is extremely interesting to read about the main characters family with relation to school, life, and arranged marriages. This book tells the story of one man who is willing to risk it all in order to preserve books and story telling.

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    Posted May 25, 2009

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    Posted April 15, 2009

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    Posted April 16, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2009

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    Posted November 11, 2008

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