- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (6 Feb. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571287948
- ISBN-13: 978-0571287949
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Blind Man's Garden Paperback – 6 Feb 2014
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The Blind Man's Garden by Nadeem Aslam is a stunning novel from the author of The Wasted Vigil, presenting the war on terror through the lens of one family's experience.
About the Author
Nadeem Aslam is the author of three previous novels, Season of the Rainbirds (1993), Maps for Lost Lovers (2004) - longlisted for the Booker Prize, shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize, and awarded the Kiriyama Prize and the Encore Award - and, most recently, The Wasted Vigil, described by A. S. Byatt as 'unforgettable ... tragic and beautifully written'. Born in Pakistan, he now lives in England.
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It's always interesting, full of fine moments, but also of unconvincing ones and unbelievable coincidences. Nor is the personal drama fulfilled in a dramatic or mythic way.
If you know little of Pakistan and Afghanistan, if you haven't thought much about American actions there, haven't much idea of how living in an Islamic society might be, then read it. You'll learn something but if you're looking for a satisfying, well constructed piece of literature you may be disappointed, as I was. Though I will obviously and eagerly read his next.
Embedded in a moving family saga the reader learns about the hard life in rural Pakistan, presented by Rohan's family who is very much affected by the struggle between leading a peaceful life and the aftermaths of 9/11. Even though it is fiction, the characters become quite vivid, but for a westerner remain quite strange the way they are shaped by tradition and beliefs. The book helps to understand the cultural differences and difficulties Pakistan has to struggle with.
The story is well written, has a rather poetic touch, unfolding beauty and unbelievable religious fanaticism at the same time.The writer is able to keep the tension up to the end and I could not stop reading the book .
The central character, Mikal, is a sensitive man caught up in the confusing and violent actions of Afghani warlords, Muslim terrorists, and American soldiers. Mikal is captured and traded by all three factions, even though he is innocent of any violent intentions. In places the story is a difficult read, with many different strands interweaving in the narrative. However, the beautifully drawn main characters lead the reader on through their individual hopes and fears.
The essence of life in such a complex, conflicting and violent country is vividly portrayed and provides many valuable insights into the "war on terror".
Very sad in some parts and not a lot to lift the spirits but gives a good insight into how ordinary, non-militant, muslims live and how the taliban makes their lives a misery.
I would like to see this book required reading in all schools.
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