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Kabul

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2002

    Spellbinding- a timely window on an exotic country

    'Kabul'is a great read on several levels. I read this book when it originally came out in hardcover back in 1986 and then again recently. In the eighties, at the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, I found it to be a great story with compelling characters and a window on an exotic country that I knew absolutely nothing about. Now, in 2001, I have reread it and absorbed far more about the tumultuous and confusing political situation that brought Afghanistan into the situation in which we see it today. 'Kabul' features the half-American family of a minister to former King Zahir Shah. The eldest son is a journalist later turned rebel leader. The daughter of the family is American educated. We see her life in the the U.S., tormented by political and familial loyalties and contrasted against the lives of her women friends back home. The youngest son is educated in Moscow and we see him evolve from a spoiled rich kid into a passionate and patriotic man. Issues of tribal loyalties and boundary disputes that I am reading about in the news every day are much more understandable to me after reading this book. I literally made a check list of the many conflicts Hirsh dramatizes so effectively in fiction that are now playing out on the world stage.

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