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4.5 out of 5 stars112
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 20 June 2013
It reminds of the type of book The Kite Runner is ... full of flavour of Afghanistan and its people but with so much charm and twist and turns ... seen through the eyes of a young Afghan boy, life in Kabul unfolds and through his eyes it is a world of wonder, of intrigue but also a hash reality check living in a very poor country. It's one of my best-loved books.
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on 16 October 2014
I thought this author's book on the troubles in Cyprus was brilliant, but this is as good if not better. Written from the perspective e of a little boy it is crude, funny and tragic. It gives wonderful insights into the Afghan culture and history.
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on 10 April 2014
Loved this story...another insight to the harsh realities the Afghan people have to endure., using a child as the narrator, added a uniqueness to a story we are all familiar with, it also added humour to the sadness and futility of the lives of the characters..Great Read!
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on 5 April 2014
I really loved this book, it deals with a difficult subject of the trials of those living in Afghanistan, but shows the strength and beauty of these people. Fawad, a boy of about ten years old, narrates the story, and his view if the world sometimes made me laugh out loud which doesn't happen too often when I read. The reason I didn't give this book five stars was that the plot line wasn't very visible, but it's more about him observing other people's struggles and joys. Very entertaining, definitely a four star rating, was close to a five!
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on 24 October 2013
I loved this book, kept me wanting to keep reading and not depressing as you might expect. Having read A Thousand Splendid Suns, I wasn't sure it would capture the spirit of Afghanistan, but I loved it.
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on 14 April 2010
This book was a pleasure to read. Combining the foreign characters with the locals is very well done, and is true to the actual reality. The statements that Fawad comes out with, and his exchanges with the local shop owner is so very amusing. Born Under a Million Shadows is about the day to day life of Afghans, and Ms Busfield demonstrates that she truly understands the culture and family traits. The story line is delightful despite the shadow of sorrow, and it was enjoyable to read a book about real people "on the floor" with only minimal politics to help set the "scene".

I greatly look forward to the release of Ms. Busfield's second book.
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on 2 September 2009
This is a wonderful book, easy to get into and hard to put down. The news we hear of Afghanistan, full of military operations, casualties, opium harvests and fraudulent elections, makes it hard to imagine growing up there. Andrea Busfield achieves this on our behalf. Her narrator an eleven - or perhaps twelve - year old boy opens with: "My name is Fawad and my mother tells me I was born under the shadow of the Taliban."

Taking this literally he thinks of her, `stepping out of the sunshine and into the dark', and this child's way of seeing the puzzling world around him sets the tone. We encounter the horrors and hardships through his innocent eyes and although he speaks of his fear and his sadness there is also humour and joy.

At the start of the book Fawad's father and brother have been killed, his sister abducted and their home burnt down. They live without welcome or comfort with his aunt and young cousins who beg from and hustle foreigners. Life improves overnight when Farad's mother gets a position as housekeeper to three foreigners living in a wealthy suburb of Kabul. Georgie, James and May are all trying to improve life for local people while sorting out their own problems and destinies, struggles viewed by Fawad with a wonderful mixture of sympathy, insight and perplexity.

Fawad is a Muslim and it is one of the strengths of this book that it portrays the acceptance of his own religion and a respect for the cultural Christianity of his employers as a fact of everyday life.

Although life is briefly peaceful after the move things don't stand still and the story unfolds with drama and tragedy but enough of a happy ending to leave the reader feeling uplifted and hopeful.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 January 2011
Fawad is an 11 year old boy living in Kabul after the fall of the Taliban. Having lost his father, brother and sister, he lives with his mother, Mariya, who works as a servant for three westerners sharing a house. Fawad becomes close to Georgie, May and James, even if their non-Muslim ways (they drink alcohol, one reads pornography and one is a lesbian) sometimes shock him. Nevertheless, Fawad is drawn into their lives and becomes especially close to Georgie, who is having a relationship with a high profile Afghan warlord. The book takes place over the course of a year, and Fawad's experiences reflect many of the realities of living in Afganistan today.

It's a very interesting setting for a novel and I learned a lot about Afghanistan. However I felt that the plot was somewhat aimless. It's an easy book to read, but I never felt particularly caught up in it, until the end when I realised how fond I had got of the characters. I felt that the choice to use a child as narrator meant that we never really got to understand what the adults - particularly Mariya and Georgie - were thinking and going through. It's hard not to compare it to The Kite Runner - while it's equally readable, it lacks the punch of that novel. It's humorous in parts and tragic in others. I'd describe it as perfectly okay, but not a standout for me.
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on 7 April 2011
I read/listened to this book last Summer and was so moved by this story, that I just wanted to know more about the author. I was intrigued by what type of woman could right such a book. I found that she was a journalist who lived and worked in Afganistan for many years and during the most intensive part of the recent war.

It is a story of relationships on so many levels. The relationships between the Westeners and Afganies; between street children; men and women; mother and son; the ideology of religion and the practicalities of life in a war torn city.

This book discribes the HORRIBLE why war totaly distroys peoples lifes and in parts does not make easy reading/listening, but it is a love story, and hope and love is in it's heart and ending. It was a joy to read such a hopful story.

I have recomended this book to all of my friends, and I can not put a high enough recomendation on it to any one else.

It's just wonderful.
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on 14 November 2013
Sad and happy in equal measure, this is an intriguing peek into life in Afghanistan.
Can't say too much without giving it away, but it was, despite the occasionally sad ( somewhat inevitable) subject matter, an easy read which at the same time painted a wonderful picture of this troubled land and it's people.
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