- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: Julliard (August 26, 2002)
- Language: French
- ISBN-10: 2266205382
- ISBN-13: 978-2266205382
- ASIN: 2260015964
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Les Hirondelles de Kaboul (French) Paperback – August 26, 2002
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About the Author
Yasmina Khadra est l'auteur de la trilogie Les Hirondelles de Kaboul, L'Attentat et Les Sirènes de Bagdad. La plupart de ses romans, dont À quoi rêvent les loups, L'Écrivain, L'Imposture des mots et Cousine K, sont traduits dans 42 pays. Ce que le jour doit à la nuit – Meilleur livre de l'année 2008 pour le magazine LIRE et prix France Télévisions 2008 – a été adapté au cinéma par Alexandre Arcady en 2012. L'Attentat a reçu, entre autres, le prix des libraires 2006. Son adaptation cinématographique par le réalisateur Ziad Doueiri, sortie sur les écrans en 2013, a reçu de nombreuses distinctions. Son site Internet : www.yasmina-khadra.com
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Top customer reviews
But the women are indeed the key. Yes, the two principal characters are of course male, the only sex free to roam the city under the Taliban regime; this is Kabul in the year 2000 or so. But, just as if they too were constrained by a burqa of convention when they are with their peers, the men only appear fully in three dimensions when they are seen at home with their wives. Atiq Shaukat is a former hero of the Mujahideen, now given the sinecure job of jailer in the women's prison. But he is distracted because Mussarat, his wife of over twenty years, is suffering from a terminal illness. There is one chilling scene in which a friend advises him to divorce her: he has already honored her by giving her a house and a name; if Allah now wants to take her, that should be none of his concern. But Atiq feels bound by habit, gratitude, and an awkward kind of love. Mohsen Ramat, the other principal male character, is university-educated and formerly wealthy, but his living has disappeared under the Taliban and he is now too poor even to repair the broken windows of his house. His wife Zunaira is beautiful and intelligent, a former magistrate, deprived of her post without compensation, and forced to keep herself forever hidden. There is great beauty in the scenes in both men's houses, but great anger also. The tragedies that follow seem unpreventable.
It is an intense book, framed between two public executions -- a prostitute buried to the waist to be stoned, and a veritable festival of death in a sports arena -- and with religious fanaticism a demoralizing and ever-present danger. It is intense in its language too. I read only the first fifty pages in French before giving up, exhausted by a density of unfamiliar words (though I have a fair vocabulary), and finished in the lower-keyed translation by John Cullen. But the language also has the effect of enclosing the action in its own hermetic world. Unlike Khaled Hosseini's THE KITE RUNNER, this is not a book written from the perspective of an emigré, but from inside the nightmare itself (yes, I know that Yasmina Khadra is Algerian). It is a cloistered, contained book, more a novella than a novel, that comes into its own in the truths spoken in half-darkened rooms between man and wife. And there, it excels.