The Patience Stone Paperback – 6 Jan 2011
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"A deceptively simple book, written in a spare, poetic style. But it is a rich read... It is without doubt an important and courageous book" (Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns)
"This is a remarkable novel, written with a beautiful lucidity... it is a book which achieves what imaginative literature can provide better than any art form: it makes you think and feel at the same time" (Allan Massie Scotsman)
"An important and shocking polemic; it will outrage readers for the truths it reveals" (Eileen Battersby The Irish Times)
"We know so little about the day-to-day life of people in Afghanistan - and in particular its women - that glittering gems such as this ... become all the more valuable for shining a torch on a beleaguered and largely unseen existence" (Metro)
"Her monologue is a direct attempt on the part of Rahimi to rip away the veil over Afghan women's lives... An act of political courage and a beautifully constructed, deeply memorable novella" (Observer)
This explosive, controversial and moving short novel - winner of France's prestigious Goncourt Prize - is a compelling look behind the veil that confronts taboos of female oppression and sexuality.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The obvious literary link is with Khaled Hosseini, author of `The Kite Runner' and `A Thousand Splendid Suns'. Obvious in that, like Hosseini's works, this is set in Afghanistan and deals with the censorship of women there. Indeed, Hosseini provides a brief, thoughtful introduction to this English translation which has been beautifully translated from the French in which it was written by Polly McLean. But it's less melodramatic than Hosseini's books in my view.
The Patience Stone is set almost entirely in one room - the bedroom of the husband and just about the only character who talks is the wife (they are referred to as `'Man'` and `'Woman'` throughout). We are not even told on which side the Man was fighting or who he was fighting (although it appears to be a civil war rather than Western aggressors). This gives the book a strong focus that makes it feel that you are truly in the mind of the Woman throughout.
Perhaps only by writing in French himself, is Rahimi able to talk of the censored issues in his homeland. But the translation into English is superb and the poetic nature of this short book is fully maintained.Read more ›
Becoming increasingly outspoken as the novel progresses, and as her husband lies there, oblivious, the woman recalls childhood misdemeanours; their own unhappy marriage - finding that she can openly talk to him for the first time in their ten years together.....
I have to say I didn't really get into this one. A quick and somewhat forgettable read; I wasn't convinced that an Afghan wife kept (largely) away from the world would become so outspoken on sex once the chance arose. I found her less believable because of that.
In a language that is at the same time simple, spare and compressed, yet often poetic, Rahimi evokes the atmosphere in the room that is both calm and serene and, nonetheless, held in suspense by tensions lingering below the surface. As readers we feel like intimate observers of a domestic tragedy, yet at the same time, through the special lens that the room provides we can perceive the desolation and brutality of the outside world. Slowly, in sensitively conveyed step, the reader learns to understand the hard life of the woman, her family and background and also the intricacies of a society torn apart by tradition and power struggles. The woman opens her heart, expressing her deepest held thoughts to her man who cannot answer but might well hear her.Read more ›
"The Patience Stone" (2012 release from Algeria; 102 min.) brings the story of an (unnamed) woman who is tending to her wounded husband, who we later learn was shot when defending his family's honor after being insulted. The husband is markedly older than her. As the movie starts to unfold, the woman is starting to spill secrets to her comatose husband about her upbringing and, more importantly, her 10 year marriage to him. Apart from the emotional state of affairs, the woman and her two young daughters are trying to cope with living in a war-torn area (Afghanistan, presumably), where militia regularly search house by house. One day, the woman's house is searched by a commander and a younger soldier. To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this film is based on the book of the same name by Atiq Rahimi, who adapted his novel for the big screen and also directed this (and beautifully, I may add). There are several aspects of the film that are deeply unsettling, none more so than the submissive role Muslim women are forced to endure in the Muslim world. They didn't ask for it, yet they have no choice. At one point, the wife tells her husband about how her sister, then 12 years old, is sold off by their father in order to settle a lost bet, and nothing can be done about it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This story unpeels the dark, bold reality of oppressed minds & chained hearts. The writing is simple yet so captivating that you will finish reading it in one afternoon.Published 9 months ago by T. Atif
An amazing read, a sad but gripping account which represents women's suffering in war torn Afganistan.Published 18 months ago by Mrs A Springett
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK, WHICH TOOK ME ON A JOURNEY THAT WAS BROUGHT BACK DOWN TO EARTH WITH A THUMP. DID NOT EXPECT THE ENDING!Published on 2 May 2014 by BillieRaz
It is actually a novella rather than a novel. In Afghanistan, a woman keeps vigil at the bedside of her husband in a coma and begins to talk with him, who cannot hear her,... Read morePublished on 2 April 2014 by Anakina
Very different in a number of ways, but whilst the the storyline was nothing but consistent, I found it disappointingly thin. Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2013 by Robert S Godfrey
The Patience Stone turns up as a small but highly-intriguing novella and is the first of the many creative works I have been introduced to so far, belonging to 48 year old Atiq... Read morePublished on 21 Mar. 2013 by Susan Abraham
Atiq Rahimi was awarded the Prix Goncourt, the French equivalent of The Booker in 2008 for his Afghanistan based novella The Patience Stone. Read morePublished on 8 Feb. 2012 by R. A. Davison
Atiq Rahimi writes a compelling narrative from a fragment of a theme: an unnamed young woman tends to her motionless speechless "living corpse" of a husband and gradually divulges... Read morePublished on 12 Mar. 2011 by Kiwifunlad
Over 25 years ago Robert Altman produced a movie on Richard Nixon entitled Criterion Collection: Secret Honor [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] The entire movie was one... Read morePublished on 8 Mar. 2011 by John P. Jones III