wilderthan: ((Akihiko) Oh yeah?)
[personal profile] wilderthan
I've been intending to read one of Khaled Hosseini's books for quite a while. I've been warned about what a Western style its in and one of my friends found it boring, etc, etc. I have to agree that the style does seem very similar to things I would normally read, Western stories, and I can't say I learnt much about the Afghan society that I didn't already know from the (limited) exposure we get to it through the news and media.

I did enjoy the book, though. The style is very readable; the only thing that was difficult was the sprinkling of Afghan words (ones more complex than burqa or hijab -- those come up in Western media). I suppose they help to give a sense of the culture, and it feels reasonably natural.

The story focuses mainly on the role of women, with a love story in the background. It goes reasonably predictably -- or at least, I wasn't surprised by the murder or the subsequent self-sacrifice. Parts of it are touching, some parts I mostly felt indifferent towards. There are some nice little touches of character, such as Mariam's resentment of Laila, and Rasheed's little touches of kindness and humanity. The ending is unfair. I know, I know, life is unfair, but it's not a great thing that for one woman to escape, another had to die. And that it was the older, plainer one.


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