The Red Wrath: A Journey Between Two Destinies

The Red Wrath: A Journey Between Two Destinies

by Hatef Mokhtar


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I have often wondered about the nature of separation and why sometimes it feels so cruel. But is it really cruel or can it teach us something? Is separation the true test of feelings? I am sure God has given us this gift of separation for a reason. Perhaps separation is our real true friend, and through it we can hold on to our memories by filling different corners of our heart with those we have loved and lost.

After all, what is it that we take with us when we die, except for memories? When we die and go wherever our beliefs have promised to take us, we go on a journey where the final destination is where those who have gone ahead of us have already gone, and then we wait for those who will follow us.

The pain we feel in separation is the price we pay for love. I believe separation is the beginning of a long metaphysical chain of events that binds one spirit to another, connecting every corner of the world and reaching places we cannot see because they are beyond the reach of the living. We can only reach them when our imagination has taken over from where our breath has left us.

The Red Wrath: A Journey between Two Destinies is the story of young boy who lives in Afghanistan in the 1970s, but it goes much deeper than that.
Born in Afghanistan, Hatef Mokhtar grew up in a refugee camp in Pakistan and is now working as the Editor in Chief of The Oslo Times in Oslo, Norway. "The cries and sorrow of my homeland inspired me to write this book."

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618974594
Publisher: Strategic Book Group, LLC
Publication date: 07/31/2012
Pages: 474
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.06(d)

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The Red Wrath: A Journey between Two Destinies 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Keshavsingh More than 1 year ago
I always believed movies were much more effective than books in giving a clear picture and feel of the situation. To my dismay it proved to be completely unfounded when I started reading Hatef Mokhtar’s The Red Wrath A Journey between two destinies. I must appreciate Hatef for the visual treats he gives his readers when he pens the sadness and happiness in his book. His writings give us a view of Afghanistan with its people, culture and internal conflicts. The story revolves around a young boy Asif who lives a happy life with his family until the red revolution of the 1970s takes away his father and little sister. This leaves the family in an emotional vacuum as Asif tries to stitch what’s left over to give his family a dignified future. In between all these he is also encountered with the problem of saving his love from the evil minds of the world. The, book as the name suggests, is truly a journey between two destinies with Asif playing the central character. It is a book packed with emotions of all kind. Do read.
Anjubatra More than 1 year ago
The Afghan family features with a closeness and intimacy that has never been captured before as it has been in the engaging and powerful novel - The Red Wrath by Hatef Mokhtar. The effect can only be recreated by sharing an excerpt – Baba came in after Mori and carried Asif home where he was laid down on his bed. Baba had lifted him like that after ages. Asif felt like a small baby in the strong arms of his father. It reaffirmed his feelings for his father, who appeared tough from the outside but inside was full of love, respect, and concern for his family and his fellow beings. Many more family scenes abound in this epic, ambitious novel that places the magnifying glass on the historic events that took a nation down a dark, irreversible road to ruin. The crux of the novel is how well it puts across the vulnerability of human beings to extreme circumstances. War makes beggars of both the victor and the vanquished, and Mokhtar paints this truth in an extended, stretched canvas with great subtlety. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first time I got my hands on the book “The Red Wrath” by Hatef Mokhtar, I was apprehensive about whether this would be a good read. It seemed like an ordinary story of Afghanistan and its war-stricken problems. And of course, the cover page of the book did not help matters much. But once I started reading it, all my doubts were dispelled.  Hatef Mokhtar’s second offering, “The Red Wrath” is a fresh take on the country of Afghanistan and the life its people lead. His story follows the life of Asif who reminisces over his life with family, friends and love which takes him on a journey across three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Norway. The book is undiluted in throwing across a barrage of emotions at the reader and these results in a tumultuous journey of pain, longing, suffering and hope. Definitely a book to cherish!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Red Wrath is essentially a love story which is cut short by the atrocities of war and conflict only to make it more interesting. The novel is based in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Norway where Asif, the protagonist, makes an unforgettable journey across three decades. He lives through the loss of his family, love and friends but ultimately, emerges from it, born again. Through the eyes of the characters, Asif, Latifa, Mori and Zulfikar, we experience the rugged terrain of life in Afghanistan as the people out there lead their lives.  The writer, Hatef Mokhtar, makes a strong point of his book by focusing on the lives of the people and making them experience human emotions just as all of us do. He paints a different picture of Afghanistan from the one which incessantly strays in front our eyes whenever we try to imagine life in the country. This, in itself, elevates the book above many others, in its genre: a very evocative read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Readers of the book “The Red Wrath” will undoubtedly confirm that it has been a long time since such a thought-provoking book has come out. Hatef Mokhtar, in his second book, has managed to surpass himself with a vivid description of life in the land of Afghanistan. He puts forward details of life through a period of three decades and explains it beautifully with the help of the most basic of human emotions that of love, pain and hope. Asif, the protagonist, in Mokhtar’s book, goes through the rigid heartbreak of losing his family, friends and love and makes us all accomplices to his pain.  Through the writer’s words, the reader can get a beautiful, almost true-to life experience of what it means to be born under the circumstances of war, chaos and conflicts. A chance encounter with an old friend starts Asif off on his journey of nostalgia and helps indulge the reader in a generous bout of excellent writing. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hatef Mokhtar’s new book, “The Red Wrath” is not only a wonderful piece of fiction but is also an important part of the puzzle which helps us in understanding the lives of people living in Afghanistan. Right from the first chance meeting that Asif, the protagonist, has with his childhood friend, Akram, he is transported back to his childhood where his family still resides, in his memories. He pines for them and furtively wishes for a second, that he could get back to being a child, back in the comfort of his familial home, with his parents and siblings. Thus starts a journey undertaken by Asif which takes us onto three different countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Norway.  Asif imagines, in a melancholy manner, about a world in which he would have had the second chance to live his life, along with his family, friends and love, knowing it to be impossible.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first stereotypical thing which comes to our mind when we try to imagine Afghanistan and its people is a country rife with war and people living in continual terror. But Hatef Mokhtar’s new book makes an attempt to dispel all of the above and boy, does he succeed! “The Red Wrath” is an immaculately described new story by Mokhtar who relates to the life of an Afghan. He blends together a perfect fusion of human emotions in the backdrop of war and regime change. He focuses on the humane and human side of life led in the country and follows Asif, the protagonist, as he trudges through three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Norway in the hope of reclaiming his family, friends and lost love. A plethora of emotions are described fantastically by Mokhtar and it seems hard to believe that “The Red Wrath” is only his second book. For anyone who wants to get and insider peek into life in the war-ravaged nation and its recent history, Hatef Mokhtar’s book is a must read.
Nanda0 More than 1 year ago
Imagine this scenario. You are living in a country where most of it is ruled by goons and terrorists. Your father who was the main support of your family was killed and your little sister also perished to the evil plague. You have to feed your mother and younger brother and also have the responsibility of their safety. All this when you are just 14. Horrible you would say. This is what exactly transpires in Hatef Mokhtar’s Red Wrath A Journey between two destinies. The book speaks of Asif, who though faced with enormous difficulties, manages to give his family a decent living. The text takes us back to an age where love and respect meant everything for the Afghanis until the black era of 1970 where the reds took control. Everything looks downhill until Asif pledges to get his family out of the mess. From Afghanistan to Pakistan and finally Oslo, this is a journey you would not like to give a miss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Happiness flowed from heart to heart and home to home binding entire communities into close knit families that lived their lives in grace and peace.” There are passages from The Red Wrath by Hatef Mokhtar that can be read time and again for the sheer beauty of the descriptions of village life. They exemplify the pastoral make of Afghanistan in the 1970s. For the reader, there is a sense of having been there and lived among the village gentry at the village of Shir Abad. Situated in the Balkh Province of Afghanistan, this village is situated somewhere close to the well-known and historic city, Mazar-e-Sharif. It is an idyllic setting of a community living in peace, equality, and simplicity until the political turmoil with the rise of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) began and thereafter, the region began to seethe and it continues until today. There is no better way to understand communal life than to observe or study a village in any part of the globe. Therefore the portrayal of Shir Abad is one such example. In this village there lives a boy called Asif with his parents and two siblings and their neighbors. This village is an entire family unit. Further the village life is almost a sketch etched in a reader’s memory: the pristine landscape with a lake of ‘clear, blue water’, chinar trees, birds, the mosque, and the aroma of ‘delicious, steaming recipes’. There is a sense of something that evokes the humane and warmth on the pages of human memory.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
The story opens in an Oslo, Norway cafe when Asif, an Afghani expatriate, sees a childhood friend, Akram, after many years. Afterwards, he begins a mental journey through his past to the present, where he is attempting to put his life back together and gain inner peace. Asif remembers the love of his family, the closeness of his village, the respect and loyalty shared by those around him. In his small village, one could count on everyone coming together in support and friendship, regardless of any past differences. He lived a life innocent of any hate or violence. Simple people of honor surrounded him until the day it came crashing down as violence, fear and hatred intruded on his world, his country. Visciously, his family is torn from him. His life is now one of fear and pain. If not for his inner strength gained from the lessons his father and community taught him, Asif would never have been able to survive to make a better life elsewhere. Sadly, his scars run deep and he now struggles day to day. Will he be able to gain a new perspective, and put the past to use in a positive way for his future? Can he depend on his good memories to give him strength now? The Red Wrath: A Journey Between Two Destinies, is a gut wrenching story of polar opposites, love vs hate, peace vs war, hope vs desolation. It cuts deep into your soul with each emotion-filled page about a country torn apart by war and bloodshed, attacked by Communists and the Taliban, beaten into a cruel submission. For many of us reading this tale, the author has chosen to help us understand the way of life in this Muslim country. He kindly explains even the simplest things, so we may see better through the eyes of his characters. I greatly appreciated learning the correct names for things as mundane as an article of clothing, actually helping to keep me in the moment. Author Hatef Mokhtar has painted this story from his soul, relying on experience as his canvas. This is a book I will keep in my memory for a long time to come. I HIGHLY recommend it! This edition was graciously provided by the author, Hatef Mokhtar, in exchange for an honest review.
Esmeralda460 More than 1 year ago
When I got this book, I did not know what to expect. But I had chills up and down my spine, when I finished reading this book. It’s the excitement of exploration, and the drive of the human struggling life is captured in a real situation. The story shows a real visionary writer at work. Excellent story, characters. Twists and turns in just the right places. What else can I say except that it is an excellent novel? So stop reading this review and go out and get it, otherwise you will miss out on one hell of a novel.
ReadersFavorite4 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite Asif sat enjoying his favorite stress reliever, a cup of coffee. Perhaps it was fate that brought his old friend Akram Khan into the same café. Asif spent years trying to locate Akram only to discover that they had been living in the same city for years. The reunion brought back memories of their childhood in Afghanistan. He recalled the time when he broke his leg. The pleasant memory of Latifa, his Hummingbird, waffled through his mind. She had been promised to another, a man addicted to cocaine, 45 years her senior and abusive. Although Latifa deeply loved Asif, her fate was out of her hands and out of the hands of Asif. His thoughts moved forward to the time his land was invaded by the Russians. Their rule was brutal and cruel. Asif and his family fled their home. Zulfikar, Asif’s father, bravely stood up to the Communist Regime when he spoke at the Mosque. It led to his arrest and the need for young Asif to seek a way to support the family. When the Taliban came to power they proved to be just as cruel if not more so. "The Red Wrath" by Hatef Mokhtar is a love story set in a historical background. I found the cultural information fascinating. I had never heard of Pashtunwali. “The code was a set of unwritten laws of the Pashtun people, which had existed for over five thousand years. It was this ancient code of honor that Pashtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan followed much before the arrival of Islam.” I also did not know that “Buzkashi was their national sport, played on horseback.” Mokhtar’s description of the wedding ceremony was beautiful and yet left me sad. The author captured Asif’s love of his home land and his anger at the Communist Regime. The effect this tale’s characters will have on the reader is what makes this book special. I truly cared for Asif and his family. I must admit that I have a different perspective of the Afghans after reading this book. They have a great sense of honor and respect. Their culture is rich and their history often tragic. Hatef Mokhtar has brought both his characters and his country to life on the pages of "The Red Wrath".
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Stephanie D. for Readers Favorite Red Wrath: A Journey Between Two Destinies catches your attention and your heart. This really is a book that you can’t put down. Author Hatef Mokhtar has created a riveting and beautifully written work of historical fiction with a strong cultural if not political element. This is the story of Asif Khan, who grew up in Afghanistan but subsequently moved to Norway. Throughout his early life he is torn between his love for his family and his country, but his growing frustration at some of its cultural norms. Following the Communist Revolution, the Red Wrath, in which his family suffers terribly, and the rise of the Taliban, he can no longer tolerate how his country has changed and its once valued and tolerant traditions corrupted. He is finally exiled, a heartbroken man. The language of this book is powerful and almost poetic at times and conveys a deep love for the country that Afghanistan once was. However, the narrator does not shy away from describing the dishonor shown to girls so often by their families when they married them off to basically the highest bidder. He sees the faults but praises the virtues. The book has a glossary and includes Afghan words throughout, which is both educational and enriching for the reader, pulling you further into the world of the story. Also illuminating is the thoughtful insight we get into the Islamic faith, seeing the moderate and rational side of it, since so often the news presents us with only examples of untypical extremism perpetrated in its name. Although containing so much tragedy, it is also at heart an optimistic novel in that it shows the power of courage, love and determination. It is a challenging book, moving, enlightening and thoroughly absorbing.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice DiNizio for Readers Favorite Asif is an Afghan refugee living in Oslo, Norway. He meets a childhood friend, Akram Khan, who now lives in Oslo with his wife and children. As boys, Asif and Akram lived in Shir Abad, a town in the province of Balkhin in northern Afghanistan. Their town was a beautiful place with "close-knit families that lived their lives in grace and peace". Asif's mother, Hasiba, and his remarkable father, Zulfikar, love each other and their three children, Asif, Mohammad, and Sahar dearly. Asif falls in love with next door neighbor, Latifa, but as was the custom, she is married to a man forty-five years her senior. As was tradition, beatings of schoolchildren and pressuring them to learn occurred when Asif, Akra and Latifa were in school. This eventually forced some children to promote orthodoxies that did not define basic human rights. But while there traditions were observed, in those pre-Soviet days in Afghanistan, everyone from every caste was welcomed and supported. Then in 1978, Soviet Russia invades and takes over Afghanistan and Asif's family flees to the big city of Pol-e-Khomri, changing their lives forever. "The Red Wrath" is a brilliant and highly informative story about Afghanistan before, during, and after the time when the Soviets invaded. Author Mokhtar's characters of Asif, his family and neighbors are spectacularly developed and carry the author's story well. The plot line unfolds to the final pages. "The Red Wrath" is a first-rate read!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Bernadette Acocella for Readers Favorite "The Red Wrath" is a poignant read highlighting the plight of the people of Afghanistan. Despite the oppression of the Communist Regime the people maintained their bravery and courageously sought their independence. The rule of the communist was harsh but the rule of the Taliban was much worse. The people that resisted the loss of independence were considered dissidents and were imprisoned, tortured and put to death. "The Red Wrath" demonstrates the rich and colorful culture of the Afghans. The women were oppressed by society; they lived under the strict rule of their father until marriage at which time they became the property of their husband. The characters in this tale are fictional but realistic. Their actions demonstrate their strong will and desire for self-rule. In "The Red Wrath" we meet Asif and follow his journey from childhood to adulthood. He witnessed the takeover by the Communist Regime and the Taliban. He experienced the loss of his soul mate early in life. Although his mother attempted to force him into a loveless marriage Asif resisted. After his father’s arrest for protesting the communist takeover, Asif took a change of clothes to his father but was denied access to him. On his final visit he discovered that his father had been executed. "The Red Wrath" was written by Hatef Mokhtar. I found it impossible to put this book down once I began reading. I was quickly caught up in Asif’s life. Mokhtar is a master at bringing his characters to life. Many books have a strong plot or strong characters but this book is unique in that it has both strong, well-developed characters and an amazing plot.
JuliaHD More than 1 year ago
This book was truly amazing and I would surely rate it more than 5 stars if it was possibly. The story was totally heart wrenching reading about all the sacrifices Asif had to make in order to help and support his family. One of many things he sacrificed was his education, something he loved very much. In order for his family to survive and his brother to study, Asif had to work long hours every day. The author describes everything in a way which makes me feel like I'm in Afghanistan. I can see the green valleys and the azure blue lakes before it all is destroyed by bombs. I frequently felt my throat close up and a heaviness enter me reading about how Asif lost his father and sister and his home. Their lives change dramatically when the Russians attack A story that delves into the deepest sorrows and the spirit in everyone. This is a story about loyalty, friendship and redemption and I would love to recommend it to everyone.
jenniferrebeiro More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book, definitely one of my new favorites. I could not put this book down when I first read it. Descriptions were well written, plots seemingly solid, I really enjoyed very much the descriptiveness and insightfulness of characters and the customs of Afghan people. It’s just seemed as a new world to me. To be honest, I cried a little while reading it. When Latifa had to do the sacrifice for her family’s honor, I was so sad for her, it’s weird. I've got to say, this book was one of the greatest books I’ve read. I don't like reading much but this book really got my attention and I’m ready to read more books of him.
ruta09 More than 1 year ago
Hatef Mokhtar is a writer of exemplary skill and his portray of action and description is outstanding. You can tell he has spent time with his characters and their world. The Afghan customs is touching and does a great job of setting the back story. The net result is a book that is character driven and with characters that are 'believable' and ones that I could identify with easily, yet very practical and emotional. The universe feels expansive yet is without the fluff of detail that bogs down many novels. It is perhaps it's greatest strength that it has the feel of an epic without the tomb like qualities, I highly recommend this novel from a refreshing new author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Your achievement is a source of pride and inspiration to me. I am delighted & sure to know that so many others will appreciate your outstanding work as much as I do. Your attitude toward your characters in this book is so positive & the theme of the book is so practical and original.It showed the path of psychological,social & separation for love just amazingly. I liked the way you wrote the book with clarity & those caustic remarks just mind blowing. It is always a pleasure to read a book of great author like you. As always, it's great to know that I can count on you to go the extra mile. Thank you again for all you have done for humanity & literature.
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