Customer Reviews for

The Swallows of Kabul

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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  • Posted February 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Beautifully Written

    This book did start off a little slow for me. I was patient with it though. It's not supposed to be something that's action packed and fast paced. It was slow, but the writing style is lyrical and poetic. The author really brings in the feeling of emptiness and despair of Kabul during this time period. I think the writing is extremely well done, it describes Kabul and its' people and you can feel what they feel. You can picture the hot climate and the dry desert almost accurately. This book is basically written for the reader to feel the emotions of the main characters but also to experience how it is to live there during that time.

    The characters are all right. It's Atiq that really develops throughout this book. I liked Musarrat the most. She had this inner strength within her despite her health deteriorating and I admired her devotion and loyalty especially towards the end. I also pitied her the most as she had tried so hard to love Atiq and understand him. When she finally does though, it just seems too late. Which reinforces the feelings of sadness and despair which seems to be the main theme in this book.

    Aside from the slow pace which sort of put me off, I couldn't help but continue reading. I wanted to know what happened to these four people. My heart went out to them because of what they had to live through and the eventual outcomes of their lives towards the end of the book. Don't expect any happy moments in this book (I can only think of one, and it didn't end so nicely). You find yourself immersed in this story because of the way it's beautifully written, and the emotions it can trigger while you're reading it.

    Overall, although it's a short book, it might feel as if you've been drained of all emotion. Don't let that put you off of this book. It's written with a wonderful lyrical and poetical skill and with great detail to emotion and description that you'll feel as if you're actually there with the characters and going through their personal tragedies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2008


    I am sorry I disagree, I thought the book was just okay, it bored me until over half way through the middle of the book. The ending was good but sad and tragic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2006

    Emmotionally Driven and a wonderful book

    I will have to disagree with the previous reviewer who believes the books shows 'what happens to wives who disobey their husbands.' In reality the book demonstrates what happens when husbands refuse to listen to their wives. Atiq loses his last chance at happiness because he does not reveal his heart's desire like Mussarat told him to. And Mohsen's death and humiliation are caused by his refusal to listen to Zunaira's depiction of the bleak streeets of Kabul. He has even seen this himself, but like Atiq refuses to accept what he has become and what Kabul has become. This book was very interesting and insightful. It started out a bit slow after the intial execution with the inner thoughs of the characters, but it was a wonderful story to read. I could actually picture these characters and the obstacles they faced everyday just by going outside and choosing to live or work within the Taliban's chaotic society. For anyone wondering what life was like in Kabul under the Taliban this is a wonderful reference source, even though it is a novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2005

    Very good book

    I enjoyed reading this book, which gives the reader a glimpse of the lives of several Afghan families and their experiences with not only the state Kabul is in, but how the social ruling of the Taliban deeply effects the core of their lives. In reading this book, the author does make a point in what may result when women do not obey their husbands, but on the other hand, he makes a comparative measure of Afghani life with that of a swallows in that even they choose death over life in Kabul. This was a fantastic book and I look forward to reading all of Yasmina Khadras' books.

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    Posted April 19, 2012

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    Posted November 28, 2011

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    Posted June 19, 2010

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted January 17, 2011

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    Posted July 19, 2009

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