The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul is an apt title. This book reads more like a chronicle, less like a memoir. For me, what makes a memoir or biography interesting is being able to peer into the psyche of the author. Much of the prose in the book, however, is a dispassionate and matter-of-fact reporting of events. I find myself reading in-between the lines to figure out and relate to how the author must be feeling.
On the flip side, this book merits commendation for its outstanding journalistic value. Garcia provides an intimate portrait of the everyday life of people in Afghanistan. He describes how dread continues to loom over the country - even with the Taliban defeated, people continue to be nettled with the disquieting possibility of the Taliban regaining control and meting out their vengeance on the populace. Many women are reluctant to relinquish their burqas for fear that they'll be castigated for the infraction if indeed the Taliban were to return. To his credit, the author laments, in the spirit of journalism, of not being in Afghanistan while it was under Taliban rule so that he would have a greater appreciation for the post-Taliban climate.
The Khaarijee is an excellent piece of journalistic reporting. If your expectations for the book are primed for an unadulterated chronicle of events, then this book offers you an eye-opening window into the Afghan life after Taliban.