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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by [Rodriguez, Deborah]
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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,348 customer reviews

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Length: 316 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

If you like The Kite Runner, you'll love The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. This compelling story of a cafe in the heart of Afghanistan, and the men and women who meet there, is full of heart and intelligence (Look Magazine)

An eye-opening and uplifting tale about sisterhood and survival (Grazia)

This compelling tale features the stories of five women in Afghanistan and how living surrounded by conflict and danger affects their lives (Bella)

A heartwarming tale about female friendships (Cosmopolitan)

A brilliant story of strength and appreciation of difference that restores belief in humanity (Daily Telegraph)

A unique insight into the women of this volatile, fascinating place (East Anglian Daily Times)

Captivating and addictive. A perfect book-club read (Take a Break)

A heart-warming tale (Good Book Guide)

Book Description

The internationally bestselling novel about a little café in Kabul, and the five extraordinary women who meet there - as if Maeve Binchy had written The Kite Runner

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1214 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (20 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089YH976
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 1,348 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,676 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was first brought to my attention by a member of the Kindlers Club book club. I doubt I would have read the book had it not been selected as the December read.

The book tells the stories of a host of characters in Kabul, Afghanistan. The link amongst them all is the coffeehouse of the title. This is definitely a book focusing on the lives of women there, although there are several interesting male characters. I enjoyed reading about the different characters and wanted to see how their stories developed. I was largely satisfied by the plotlines for each of them, but not entirely so. The author intertwines the stories well but, for me, I found some plot developments too convenient and the odd character change a little too abrupt and unbelievable.

The ending will please readers who like everything resolved neatly, but it just didn't ring entirely true for me. I felt it ended leaving a sugary taste in my mouth - too sweet and schmaltzy and 'Hollywood' for my liking. The setting is Afghanistan, and while everything is not a happy ending (no spoilers here), we would surely expect some loose ends in reality.

I should stress that this didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book. I learnt a lot about Afghanistan and its culture. The writing was very atmospheric and I really felt the danger the Afghans must feel on a daily basis. What surprised me most about the book was that living in Afghanistan is not entirely the unpleasant experience you would expect. Of course it is unsafe, but there is beauty to be found in unexpected places and people there live with goals in life to change the place for the better. Some of the characters' efforts to change Afghanistan for the better were inspiring.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a nice easy read but I felt the characters lacked depth.

I am a fan of 'The Kite Runner' and 'Thousand Splendid Suns' and if you are expecting this book to be similary well set out and written you will be disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To compare this with The Kite Runner or a Hundred Thousand Splendid Suns is like comparing Barbara Cartland with Shakespeare. I bought the book because I found those other 2 books moving and well written, this let down in all aspects. I found the characters one dimensional and the few good points of the book were lost in a schmaltzy overlay that didn't engage me.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for my book club, otherwise I would have not read beyond the first paragraph. There is certainly some background knowledge, but both the good and the bad aspects of the Afghani situation lacked detail and were over-sentimentalised. Trite plot-lines, stereotyped characterisation and little beyond the coffee house itself is other than sketchy - I wanted to feel I knew Khabul better and I learned very little about it. The best thing about the novel is its pinpointing of the terrible attitude of the culture to women, but even that was somehow Disnified by the ending. The writing is really poor! - very simple and providing little except surface detail and some explicit repetitive character traits (little is left to the readers intelligence or interpretation). Finally shockingly prejudiced against the British, despite a nominally British character. I feel really cross at being accused of racism by an AMERICAN!!!! - (no sense at all of British, Danish etc troops in Afghanistan - the usual insular knee-jerk, American response - even when criticising their presence in the country.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a good book to take on holiday, and having enjoyed Khaled Hosseini's books about Afghanistan, most notably A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed, I hoped this would be something similar. I couldn't have been more wrong. It's like a bad American sitcom, based in a coffeeshop - but wait, there's a twist! They're in Afghanistan! Golly, what difficulty that will be, running a "proper western" coffeehouse (that phrase was uttered more than once) in a war zone! There's sure to be some action to be found here... but no. Don't read on if you don't want spoilers, because I'm going to break down this entire awful book for you in the following paragraphs.

The "main" character, Sunny, an American expat who decided for no particular reason that the reader is made aware of to set up a coffee shop in Kabul, has the terrible task throughout the story of having to do her job, build a wall, and try to decide which of the two (white and Western, of course) men in her life she wants to be with more. One is grumpy, buys her a dog she doesn't want but somehow learns to love instantaneously and has a wife, the other one keeps going away to do his job and is very handsome. In the entire book they don't seem to have any other discernible traits, other than of course being completely in love with Sunny. Who is also not particularly interesting, since all she does is run a coffeeshop (although she has an Afghan guard, Afghan cleaner, Afghan cook, and Afghan old-lady-who-helps-with-things, so really all she does is worry about money and send emails.
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