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Kandahar Cockney: A Tale of Two Worlds Hardcover – 7 Jun 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (7 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007156960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007156962
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,253,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Excellent, gripping and thought-provoking… I thoroughly enjoyed it.' John Simpson

‘Funny, pacy, illuminating … it really is as good as everyone says. I recommend it hugely’ Mail on Sunday

‘A moving and intelligent book. Culture-clash is an old theme but few have done it better’ Economist

‘I read Kandahar Cockney in a single sitting. Not only is it suspenseful, but the descent into the strange and terrifying world of the asylum-seeker is both revealing and told with humour. This book is a bridge between two very different but sometimes oddly similar cultures. It reinforces my conviction that the British and the Afghans share many traits and values: a great sense of humour, abundant self-control, cheerful resilience in the face of enormous odds and a courage that is often heroic.’ Nick Danziger

'Part travel, part memoir, part biography, Kandahar Cockney is more than a remarkable and vivid portrait of an Afghan refugee in Britain: it captures the essence of modern exile itself, with its expectations and hopes, its setbacks and fears, and the immensity of the cultural divide between East and West. Sad, funny and poignant, it also provides a disturbing look at the British legal system in its too often arbitrary, casual – and racist – dealings with those who seek asylum. I don't think I have ever read a better picture of what exile means. A wonderful read: terrific writing. I loved the book' Caroline Moorehead

Jack Magazine, June 2004

'touching, utterly compelling book...a sensational first book.'

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
With so much rubbish these days on TV and with so many unreadable books, it's always refreshing to come across something like this one, which is very well written in an articulate and intelligent manner with very good characterization and general description of things (it really is 'like you're there'). Although this book is a recollection of events that really happened, it reads like a novel and if you didn't know the story behind it then that's what you think it is.

With large sections of the media not always particularly favourable towards refugees, it's also an excellent look at the life of one of them and enables you as a reader to see how it can be for them. It should certainly be given to a few politicians and journalists to read. It describes life as a refugee sometimes in a humourous, tongue-in-cheek manner (some great descriptions of culture shock for example) while never losing sight of the deeper issues involved, which makes it all the more readable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a thought provoking account of an Afghan asylum seeker in London. Mir had worked in Afghanistan as an interpreter for journalists, including the author James Fergusson, who helped him come to Britain after Mir's family was imprisoned and tortured by Taliban. Reading about the hoops asylum seekers must jump through is sobering and does not reflect well on our Government's attitudes towards those who seek refuge. This should be read by anyone who thinks refugees have it easy with everything handed to them on a plate. Mir finds work in a restaurant which pays him £2 an hour. Fergusson tries to help by finding him work in his father's garden but after putting in a day's work, Mir, with typical Afghan sensibility, refuses to accept money from his friend's father.

Kandahar Cockney reads like a well-paced novel and is in turn funny, sad and touching. I'd like to know more about what happens next in Mir's life. Mary Smith No More Mulberries
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By A Customer on 17 Dec. 2004
Format: Hardcover
A great book, very sad in parts, but also very uplifting. Helps you understand how hard it must be to be a refugee in England. James is obviously a bit of a dude.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting and enlightening book, I never realised that London, or at least certain areas of it, had been taken over to such an extent with afgans.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved it so much read it twice.....
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