Monday, April 25, 2005

The Bookseller of Kabul

I just finished this incredible book last night. What a read! I will be reviewing it for my paper, but I thought I would share some stuff with you that I know I won't have room for.

The most interesting thing I found was close to the end of the book. There are two warlords fighting in the southestern part of Afghanistan, each vying for a piece of a very small but strategic town. The interesting part is that one of the armies consists mainly of homo and bi-sexual soldiers. Apparently, homosexuality is 'widespread and tacitly accepted.' That's something you don't hear on the evening news. 'Many blood feuds have been fought over a young lover who divided his favors between two men. On one occasion two commanders launched a tank battle in the bazaar in a feud over a young lover. The result was several dozen killed.'

Another intresting aside is when Sultan Kahn's oldest son goes on a pilgrimage to the mosque believed to hold the remains of Ali, Muhammed's fouth in command. He sees it as a reason to start his life fresh and recommit himself to Islam. He fights with his father to be able to go, but once there, his religious recommitment only lasts through one prayer at dawn, and when he returns home, he has not changed one bit of his lifestyle.


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