The Swallows of Kabul

by Yasmina Khadra, John Cullen | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1400033764 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingKarenBCwing of Prince George, British Columbia Canada on 10/31/2005
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
37 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingKarenBCwing from Prince George, British Columbia Canada on Monday, October 31, 2005
This is a travelling BookRay book! It is beginning it's journey in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada on a frosty early winter morning - winging it's way to librarymousie in New Hampshire, US!

Mailing Order for the BookRay:
1. librarymousie – New Hampshire, US
2. ldpaulson – California, US
3. EMA375 – California, US
4. amambaw – BC, Canada
5. ajsmom – BC, Canada
6. Hellie – UK
7. cnfotp – UK
8. scotsbookie – UK
9. Sternschnuppe28 – Germany
10. lauraloo29 – Canada
11. morsecode – New York, US
12. KarenZero, New York, US
13. Fifna, in the Netherlands
14. ElHurricane
15. samulli

Journal Entry 2 by librarymousie from Portsmouth, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Arrived today! Thank you, KarenBC, for including me in this ray!

Journal Entry 3 by librarymousie from Portsmouth, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, November 27, 2005
From the back of the book:

Kabul under the Taliban, a devastated city ruled by executioners and crows, where laughing in public brings down the wrath of the religious police. This is the world in which Yasmina Khadra--the pseudonym of a former officer in the Algerian army--sets his cauterizing novel of fanaticism and tenderness.

With an implacable eye, Khadra follows two couples: Mohsen and Zunaira are dispirited survivors of Afghanistan's educated middle class; Atiq is a brutish jailer bound by a debt of gratitude to his dying wife, Musarrat. One day the horrified Mohsen finds himself taking part in the stoning of a condemned prostitute, an action that will impel all four characters toward new destinies. As spare as carved bone and filled with images that explode like bombs, The Swallows of Kabul is a work of haunting power.

This book features some absolutely beautiful writing. The imagery is striking--even haunting. The story is...difficult. There are times when it was painful to read. Khadra's depiction is of an Afghanistan that has lost everything of importance. In the guise of religious zealousness, the leaders have lost the meaning of what it is to live any sort of life with value.

I think this is an important book--I think it's important for those of us who live in the West to have any sort of glimpse into a world we tend to vilify. In looking at the lives of the two couples depicted in Swallows, I'm reminded of the fact that most of us--regardless of country or religion--want simply to live in peace with our families. And, unfortunately, I'm also reminded of the sad fact that this isn't always possible.

PMing ldpaulson so the book can begin the next leg of its journey. Hopefully it's warmer there than in snowy NH!

Journal Entry 4 by librarymousie from Portsmouth, New Hampshire USA on Monday, November 28, 2005
Sent today to ldpaulson via USPS Media Mail.

Journal Entry 5 by ldpaulson from Ventura, California USA on Monday, December 26, 2005
Retrieved from my mailbox. Will start reading once a couple of other titles that are book rings have been finished.


Journal Entry 6 by ldpaulson from Ventura, California USA on Monday, January 02, 2006
Horrifically brutal. The stuff of unspeakable nightmares is contained in THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL. This is the third of three books in short succession that I've read about war and its exacting personal aftermath that knows no age, no gender, no class, no bounds.

The rating is the result of the incredibly mixed sentiments this has stirred up. Am I glad I read it? Yes. And no. Sleep tonight? Probably not, which is why I tried to read it fast -- so the images wouldn't sear their way into my psyche. Even so, the bleak lives these characters lead and the fact that there is no release, no redemption, not even the slightest possibility of anything resembling hope ... it's too unbearable. An existential novel gone wrong.

We certainly can't expect life or books to always have happy endings, but no hope? That ... it's ...

Journal Entry 7 by EMA375 from Santa Clarita, California USA on Saturday, January 07, 2006
Arrived today. I will get started on this book as soon as I can. Thx!

1/17/05: Mailing out today to next person. What a remarkable book. I generally read nonfiction but this book made the same impact on me as a nonfiction book would. Thank you so much for sharing this book. I feel very fortunate to be a woman living in the country I do.

Journal Entry 8 by amambaw from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Friday, February 03, 2006
Just caught this bookray yesterday in the mail. Thanks to Karen for the opportunity to read this one. I don't have anything ahead of it and I've got two days off Monday and Tuesday! WHOO HOO! Read-o-rama, here I come.

Journal Entry 9 by amambaw from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Monday, February 13, 2006
What an amazing story. This book is a deceptively easy read. The prose is fluid, the descriptions easy to visualize, the characters easy to get into. Khadra has done a phenomenal job of portraying the surrealism of living in a war-torn nation. As you read, you become numb to the horrors the author describes, even as they hit you in the guts. I found my head and my stomach fighting for dominance as I read through this.

The story is poetic. I was interested in the contrasts between the male and female characters. While the women seemed to be more bound and restrained, they seemed to have an ethereal quality, almost saintly. The men were more free, and yet were more traumatized, driven mad by what was going on around them.

I really appreciated that Khadra didn't draw this story out. It all seems to happen in only a few days' time, which is a mercy to this reader. I can only imagine what a portrayal of decades would have done to my psyche!

Thanks so much to KarenBC for sending this one out. For all of you interested in Afghanistan, I highly recommend that you see the Canadian film Kandahar. It's a great accompaniment to this novel. I'll be sending it on to AJsmom in the next day or so. Please be aware that if it isn't journalled right away, it is because AJsmom will be away for most of the rest of February (she let me know via email!).


Journal Entry 10 by ajsmom from Quesnel, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Received today (first day back from holidays) along with a stack of other bookring books. I will get to it asap!

Journal Entry 11 by ajsmom from Quesnel, British Columbia Canada on Monday, February 27, 2006
As someone else pointed out, this was a deceptively easy read. It was also devestating. When I finished it late last night, ajsdad and I had a long conversation about life in North America, and how we could never imagine a political group like the Taliban gaining power here. But then we noted that the regular Afghanis probably never imagined it either. (And as an aside and a nod to another thread going on here, I'll bet the women of South Dakota never imagined they'd have to travel away from their homes to obtain an abortion...women losing power over their own bodies seems like one small step towards giving up other freedoms, IMHO).

I wonder how many couples in Afghanistan there are like Zanuira and Mohsen - regular, middle-class, educated couples that find themselves living in a mad country. Of course the men must go bezerk; they know their wives are suffering, but are powerless to do anything about it. One of the few scenes of beauty was when Atiq sees Zanuira without her burqa on and realizes how rare it is to see a woman for herself, rather than the shadow women have become in Kabul. The Taliban has indeed succeeded in destroying a certain type of humanity.

I have PM'd Hellie for an address and will have this book on its' way. Thanks neighbour KarenBC for starting this ray.

Released 12 yrs ago (3/2/2006 UTC) at mailed to next reader in Postal release, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



This book was sent to Hellie this morning. And my local book club is going to read it for April! So I will be off to buy my own copy. :)

Journal Entry 13 by Hellie from South Shields, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Thursday, March 09, 2006

update: 29.03.06

Read this today...
is it jujst me who had to emind myself this was a novel and not a true account?
It was the most graphic and harrowing in terms of physical brutality book on Afghanistan I have read...
At times I had to stop reading and turn the page.
That said it evokes the effect the Taliban etc regime in Afghanistan had on the people of the country and their lives.....which were clearly altered beyond belief. I cannot comprehend living in a couintry whyere such brutality virtually becomes normal...
A very thought provoking and haunting book which leaves you in hope that these peoples' lives can return to some kind of normal, someday, somehow borne of my own feeling that nothing can ever be as hopesss as this book leaves you believing life is...

pming for next address...

Journal Entry 14 by cnfotp on Thursday, April 20, 2006
Why is it that anytime I meet our postman in the street he has a book for me, but all those days I spend sitting by the letterbox nothing turns up!

Anyway, book arrived today - thanks Hellie! I have really been looking forward to this one and I can't wait to get stuck in..

Journal Entry 15 by cnfotp on Friday, April 28, 2006
I actually finished reading this book a couple of days ago but the emotions stirred by this book were still too raw when I first came to write this entry.

A very sad, harrowing story with some of the most shocking and sickening images I've read. This book will stay with me forever (not literally - don't worry).

I have scotsbookie's address and am hoping to make it to the Post Office tomorrow as it's a bank holiday weekend. Thanks for sharing KarenBC :)

Journal Entry 16 by cnfotp on Saturday, April 29, 2006
On it's way today ~~~safe travelling vibes~~~

Journal Entry 17 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, May 05, 2006
Arrived safely with me this morning. I will be reading after I finish my present book.

Journal Entry 18 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, May 13, 2006
What a brutally frank & horrific book. The effect of a brutal & violent regime on 4 people. It was at times a difficult read, the image of Afghanistan as a country that has lost everything including its soul. In saying that I found myself being unable to put the book down as it was so well written.

Thank you KarenBC for including me in the ray.

Have PM'd Sternschnuppe28 for their details.

Journal Entry 19 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, May 20, 2006
Posted to Sternschnuppe28 this morning. Happy Reading!

Journal Entry 20 by Sternschnuppe28 from Flörsheim am Main, Hessen Germany on Friday, May 26, 2006
thanks for sending!

Journal Entry 21 by Sternschnuppe28 from Flörsheim am Main, Hessen Germany on Wednesday, May 31, 2006
First of all: Before I read this book, I always thought that Yasmina Khadra was a female writer from Algeria, but indeed his name is a pseudonym for a military officer.

Anyways, with "The Swallows of Kabul" he re-vives the life in Kabul under the terror reign of the Taliban, when the city and its life was a stoned nightmare. A very plastic story full of tragedy - disturbing, touching, thoughtful.

I will mail the book off to lauraloo29 today.

Journal Entry 22 by winglauraloo29wing from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Arrived safe and sound today. I recently finished digging myself out of a bookring pile. :) Whew! I'm in the midst of a really good book and was wanting to read another very soon. So this one will be third. I'll keep it moving. Thank you!

And I love the lovely card. :)

Update - June 13th - I'm beginning the book today.

Journal Entry 23 by winglauraloo29wing from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Wednesday, June 14, 2006
I would agree, this is an important book. It gives us only a taste of what this life would be like.

I'll be forwarding it on to the next person this Friday. Thank you for sharing.

Journal Entry 24 by morsecode from Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA on Monday, June 26, 2006
Arrived safe and sound in Buffalo, NY today.
Can't wait to read this one!

Journal Entry 25 by morsecode from Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA on Thursday, June 29, 2006
I'm counting this book toward my big reading challenge for this year: the 5 Books, 5 Countries, 5 Continents challenge.

I try not to read the earlier journal entries when I receive book ring books because I don't want to cloud my first impressions of the book. I found this to be such a moving book that I'm really looking forward to reading the other readers comments.

Swallows of Kabul is a beautiful and heart-wrenching book. Deceptively easy to read, the novel immerses the reader in Kabul under the Taliban, following four individuals who have been struggling under the repressive regime for so long that they are unable to recognize themselves.
Khadra’s characters are so human that it is impossible for the reader not to sympathize with them even when they are at their worst.

Here’s one passage that really hit home for me:
“That’s true,” [Musarrat] admits. “But you’re all that I have. When you are annoyed at me, when you’re silent and scowling, I feel as though the whole world is turning its back on me. I’d give everything I have for you. I try to deserve you at all costs, and that’s why I make all these blunders. Today, I forbade myself to upset or disappoint you, yet that’s exactly what I can’t stop doing.” (57)
When I opened this book, I was surprised to learn that 'Yasmina Khadra' is actually a pseudonym for a male author. How interesting that he took a feminine pseudonym to evade military censors. After reading this book, I'm definitely going to try to read more of his work.

I'll be mailing this out to KarenZero on Saturday.

Journal Entry 26 by KarenZero from Brooklyn, New York USA on Thursday, July 06, 2006
Received safely. Will read ASAP.

Added some folks:

Fifna (prefers EU, can ship intl)
ElHurricane (Portugal, can ship anywhere)
azuki (US, prefers to ship US)

Journal Entry 27 by KarenZero from Brooklyn, New York USA on Tuesday, September 05, 2006
This was an interesting book, although I wouldn't say I loved it necessarily. The ending was a little depressing, eh?? Thanks KarenBC for sharing the book, I had wanted to read it for quite sometime. I will be sending this off to a new reader shortly!


Off to the Netherlands!!

Journal Entry 29 by wingFifnawing from Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, October 26, 2006
Book arrived safely today, thanks for sending, KarenZero! I have one bookring ahead of this one, so should be able to get started on it soon.

Journal Entry 30 by wingFifnawing from Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Monday, November 13, 2006
Such a haunting story, showing how all the life and soul can be sucked out of a city like that and how it effects all the people, no matter who they used to be before it all happened. Thanks very much for sharing, KarenBC. I sent the book on to ElHurricane on 10 November.

Journal Entry 31 by ElHurricane on Tuesday, November 28, 2006
And here it is! Arrived today. I'll try not to retain too much time.
Thanks Fifna

Journal Entry 32 by ElHurricane on Saturday, March 03, 2007
Finally read it. It was the second book I've read about the awful Taliban period in Afghanistan and I can't believe it! The book is fantastic as it shows the horrifying way of life of Afghan people on an amazing way.
Thanks Karen.

It goes to samulli next week

Journal Entry 33 by ElHurricane on Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Sent yesterday.
Destination: Germany (samulli)

Journal Entry 34 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Arrived here safe and sound today. Seeing as I am the last person in the ray at the moment, I will take my time reading it. Thanks, KarenBC, for starting the ray and everybody else for sending it on.

Journal Entry 35 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Friday, April 13, 2007
I'm finally finished reading this book. It has taken me quite a while, even though it's just a wee little book. I really had trouble getting into it, and to the end I didn't manage to care about any of the characters. Don't know why, but it left me completely cold.
I was also quite taken aback to learn that the author is a male army officer instead of a woman. Again, I am not sure why that fact should have disturbed me in any way (since he had a good reason to choose a female nom-de-plume), but it did. I guess, I always feel cheated when authors don't use their real names. It almost seems like they are afraid to admit they wrote it.

Well, anyway, at least now I can say I have read it. Whatever that's good for.
I will try to keep the ray travelling, if I find more readers.

Journal Entry 36 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Saturday, April 14, 2007
The ray will continue.
Here is the list of new participants who signed up so far:


Schneefee (Germany)

Journal Entry 37 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I have tregossip's address now and the book will resume its journey today.

Journal Entry 38 by Tregossip from St. Austell, Cornwall United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Arrived safely today - thank you
Difficult to think this books been to so many readers - in good condition which shows what a considerate and careful lot we BXers are.

A very well written and constructed book about a violent regime and the effects on 4 people. Enjoyed and thanks to one and all
Off to rapturina once got address
rapturina is away til 15/6 and asks to be skipped (profile) so not hanging around in post box so will PM nuttyreader as next on the list

Journal Entry 39 by Tregossip at -- Controlled release in St. Austell, Cornwall United Kingdom on Thursday, May 10, 2007

Released 11 yrs ago (5/14/2007 UTC) at -- Controlled release in St. Austell, Cornwall United Kingdom



to nuttyreader (air-mail)on it's next leg

Journal Entry 40 by nuttyreader from Wichita Falls, Texas USA on Sunday, May 27, 2007
Yeah! Thanks for sharing Tregossip and for the extra childrens book for my gkids. I had several in my box today so I will read the thin ones first to get them on the way to others. I have just read several on Afganistan.

Journal Entry 41 by nuttyreader from Wichita Falls, Texas USA on Monday, May 28, 2007
Great book but black moods which I can uderstand. Will send on to rootmartin.

Released 11 yrs ago (5/29/2007 UTC) at via post in Via Post, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases



Sent on to rootmartin.

Journal Entry 43 by rootmartin from Wellesley, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Thanks! I just received this in the mail yesterday. It's great to receive a book that's been traveling for so long. I have a couple of other books to read before this one but I should be able to start it in a week or two. It looks great.

Journal Entry 44 by rootmartin from Wellesley, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, July 08, 2007
I finished up this book just a day or two ago. What a powerful story! The writing was absolutely incredible. Khadra has a way of painting a beautiful, evocative story with a spare word usage. It was a haunting novel and I couldn't put it down when I got close to the end. That said, my first words when I finished it to my husband were "That book was grim."

It certainly puts my life and liberties in perspective.

I have ealasaidmae's address and will pop it in the mail.

Journal Entry 45 by rootmartin from Wellesley, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, July 14, 2007
Mailing on to ealasaidmae today.

Journal Entry 46 by ealasaidmae from New Orleans, Louisiana USA on Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Arrived safely today! I have a couple rings in front of it, but they're short books and shouldn't take too long...Thank you samulli and rootmartin!

Journal Entry 47 by ealasaidmae from New Orleans, Louisiana USA on Friday, July 27, 2007
I had to force myself to finish this book. It upset me. Usually I can divorce myself from books like this; even though I know that the terrible things in them have actually happened to real people, I remember that the particular story I'm reading is just a story. That was much harder to do with this book. I'm not quite sure why. Maybe because I read it on the heels of another difficult book, "The Life and Times of Michael K" by JM Coetzee. I intend to spend the next week or so reading nothing but fluff.

Journal Entry 48 by ealasaidmae from New Orleans, Louisiana USA on Monday, July 30, 2007
I mailed this to passiontoread on Saturday but forgot to make a journal entry! Sorry!

Journal Entry 49 by passiontoread from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, July 30, 2007
Got the book today in the mail. Thanks for sharing. I have one bookring before this but will get this read in a timely manner and get it traveling. Anxious to read it!

Journal Entry 50 by passiontoread from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, August 07, 2007
A very interesting and sad novel. The author seems to relate well to the reader how life is like in Kabul with relationships between husband and wife. I would like to think the men are capable of loving women even though they have to abide by religious rules and the rules of the Taliban. I read this book in a day and felt like it was a fast read since it was so interesting. Already have the address for the next person in line so will mail it tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this book.

Journal Entry 51 by passiontoread from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania USA on Thursday, August 09, 2007
I mailed the book out to msjoanna yesterday via media mail. Happy reading and enjoy!

Journal Entry 52 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Tuesday, August 14, 2007
This well-traveled little book has arrived (very quickly) in New York City. I''m in the middle of another book, but have some travel this weekend and will take this book along for the flight.

Journal Entry 53 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Monday, August 20, 2007
A moving book devoid of even a glimmer of optimism. I found this book gripping and compelling, but completely heart-wrenching. Closing the book after the last page, I just wanted to cry or scream at the injustice of the world; the author was unflinching and offered no redemption or neat endings. A few times, I felt that either the author or the translator slipped into cliches, but I was willing to forgive those moments because of the overall power of the story. I recently picked up a copy of The Attack by the same author; I''ll have to move that closer to the top of my TBR pile after reading this powerful book. Thanks for sharing this little novel and to everyone for taking such good care of it during it''s long journey.

The book goes in the mail today to menita.

Journal Entry 54 by rem_PRM-849164 on Monday, August 27, 2007
Aug 27: Arrived today in Philly, thanks msjoanna! After reading all the previous posts I'm a bit scared to start reading, but will do so soon anyway...

Journal Entry 55 by rem_PRM-849164 on Saturday, December 01, 2007
OhMyGod, did I get this one end of August? Where does the time go? Unbelievable. Anyway, I think I finished it ..ehm..two months ago? *^^* I thought it was really gripping, but at the same time these people are living such different lives that it is hard to think it's actually (sort of) a real descriptionof their lives.
So,I wasn't too emotionally involved.
Sorry for stalling the BookRay for so long....I will -most likely- get it out today to Deadsteen!

Journal Entry 56 by deadsteen from Cortlandt Manor, New York USA on Thursday, December 06, 2007
Arrived today. I have 1 book ahead of it. There are so many distrctions this time of year, but I will try to put in some "quality book reading time" to move these books along.

Journal Entry 57 by deadsteen from Cortlandt Manor, New York USA on Sunday, December 23, 2007
Everyone that has read this book and made a journal entry has said the same thing. My entry will only reiterate what everyone else has already written. Well written. Horrific. Brutally honest. Reading it during the holiday season really had me saying thanks for all that I have including freedom.

Journal Entry 58 by totoroandmei from Fukuoka / 福岡市, Fukuoka-ken Japan on Friday, January 25, 2008
Thanks. This arrived today.

Journal Entry 59 by totoroandmei from Fukuoka / 福岡市, Fukuoka-ken Japan on Monday, March 03, 2008
My apolgoies for having this for so long. I will be sending it off soon.

Released 10 yrs ago (3/19/2008 UTC) at To a fellow BookCrosser in By Mail, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases



Journal Entry 61 by rapturina from Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Saturday, June 14, 2008
It's here! Wow, that took a long time! I have one book to read before I can get to this one, but I don't expect it to take me very long, I'm a quick reader and I have the next week off from work. :D I'm really looking forward to getting started on this book as I'm really interested in Afghanistan and have read quite a lot of books about the country already.

Thanks for sending it all the way from Japan, totoroandmei!

Journal Entry 62 by rapturina from Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I finished reading this book this morning and it was definitely an interesting read. What I liked best about this book is that it gives you a very good insight into how living under a regime like that Taliban changes perfectly "normal" people and affects their daily lives. A lot of books about Afghanistan go into elaborate descriptions about everything the Taliban ruled illegal or imposed upon Afghanistan's people, but this is the first book I've read that really goes into what happens to a person's psyche - or personality or whatever, don't know what exactly to call it! - when having to live with such a brutal and oppressive regime. So in that way I think this book is very valuable. Also, because it tells about what happens to the men living under the Taliban. Most books focus on the women, but it's not just the women who suffer under the Taliban, and I think "The Swallows of Kabul" shows that really well. On the other hand, I did get a bit annoyed about the language. I mean, the writer has a beautiful style, but half the time I couldn't stop thinking "people don't say that in such a way". It seemed artificial, I guess. And I really didn't care for the ending; I found it very hard to believe that Musarrat would do what she did for her husband, and that a woman would react that way to the news that her husband has fallen in love. But then again, maybe I am too tangled up in my own cultural frame of reference to be able to imagine such a thing? Something interesting to think about, and definitely something that will occupy my thoughts for a while!

I have Schneefee's address but I will hold on to the book a bit longer so I will have a few books to send when I go to the postoffice. :D

ETA: Sent to Germany on June 28th. Happy travels!

Journal Entry 63 by Schneefee from Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, July 04, 2008
The book arrived save in Dortmund, dank je wel!
I've to finish a dutch ringbook first, and dutch makes me a sloooooow reader, but since I'm the last one in this ray so far it won't be a problem, I hope.

Journal Entry 64 by samulli from Weimar, Thüringen Germany on Monday, July 07, 2008
Much to my own surprise I found even more people interested to get to read this book, which is why I will continue the ray one more time. :-)

seethroughfaith (Finland -> Finland)
ruzena (Finland -> intl')
lottuli (Finland -> intl')
azuki (US -> US pref.)
spaceystacey (US -> US)
Supertalya (US -> pref. US/can do intl')
Kiri (US -> US)
Erishkigal (US -> intl')
Guinneth (US -> pref. US/can do intl')
juli2007 (Australia -> Australia)

Ray closed for new participants.

Journal Entry 65 by Schneefee from Hagen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Monday, September 01, 2008
Ooops, I completely ignored the fact that meanwhile samulli had found more readers. To tell the truth, I didn't even start the book, and due to my piping-"career" I'll have to cut my reading-time, so I'll pass it on for now, but will keep it in mind :-)

Journal Entry 66 by seethroughfaith from Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Friday, October 17, 2008
I just arrived back in Finland and this book was waiting for me at the postoffice.

Due to studies, I won't be able to begin it until the end of the month, but it's not too thick (190 pages) and quite big type, so I think it won't take me long to read it once I get started then it'll go across Finland to ruzena :)

Thanks for this bookring. It looks a serious but good read "Khadra's prose is gentle and precise ...makes a powerful point about what can happen to a man when 'the light of his conscience has gone out' (The New Yorker)

Journal Entry 67 by seethroughfaith from Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Monday, November 10, 2008
Just about to start reading this. Sorry this has been delayed. I'll get Ruzena's address so I'm ready with that and hopefully get this book moving again this week.

Journal Entry 68 by seethroughfaith from Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Monday, November 10, 2008
This is the third or fourth book I've read this year that's been set in Kabul and they've all been fascinating in their own right. The Kite Runner is pretty famous and a wonderful, if haunting read, but even more poignant for me was the story of a woman hidden behind the Burka in My Forbidden Face

The Swallows of Kabul is beautifully written. It opens with the scene of a woman being stoned to death for adultery. And I can't help comparing what happened to the woman who was simiarly accused in Jesus' time (John 8:1-11)

Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them. The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.

Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?"

"No one, Master." "Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin."

The Biblical narrative is a story of loving redemption. What we read (in this novel) of the rule of the Taliban is quite quite different :(

Edited to add these links

Somali woman excuted by stoning (October 2008)

and also here

Journal Entry 69 by seethroughfaith at Hämeenlinna, Kanta-Häme / Egentliga Tavastland Finland on Monday, November 10, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (11/11/2008 UTC) at Hämeenlinna, Kanta-Häme / Egentliga Tavastland Finland



This ray goes off to Ruzena in the morning.

Journal Entry 70 by wingruzenawing from Vantaa, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, November 14, 2008
The book is here. Thank you, stf, for the extra sharp point too ;)

Journal Entry 71 by wingruzenawing from Vantaa, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Wednesday, December 03, 2008
orig. Les hirondelles de Kaboul, 2002. Transl. John Cullen. Anchor Books 2004. 195 p.

Fundamentalism in action, the consequences seen through the author's deep psychological insight. A wonderful work, beautiful, awful. These books must be written, and must be read. No need to say anything more.


Journal Entry 72 by lottuli from Pieksämäki, Etelä-Savo / Södra Savolax Finland on Thursday, December 04, 2008
I did not remember I had signed on this one... I now know I have, but interesting how missed putting this on my ring list. I really really look forward reading this!

I'll PM the next person on list soon, to get the address ready.

Edited to add: May I fix the book a bit? Covers will break unless fixed.

Journal Entry 73 by lottuli from Pieksämäki, Etelä-Savo / Södra Savolax Finland on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sorry for keeping this book with me this long!

This book feels depressing to me and I think it's time to leave Kabul for little while, I know it's important to know what's going on in this world but these books make me feel so helpless and angry and depressed...

Well written and a good story, but not for me right now.

I PM right away to London-Shade to get her address and post the book asap.

Edited to add: May I fix the book a bit? Covers will break unless fixed.

Edited to add: London-Shade asked to be skipped.

Journal Entry 74 by lottuli at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, January 22, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (1/22/2009 UTC) at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland



In the post to the following reader in this ring!

Journal Entry 75 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Monday, February 02, 2009
I signed up for the ring back in 2006 but somehow I was skipped over. So I am really glad that I finally get this in my hands. It's amazing how long this book has been travelling. Thanks so much. Look forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 76 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The book reminds me a lot of A Thousand Splendid Suns. It is a much shorter tale but no less beautiful and potent.
In some way, one can argue that the characters brings the sad fate upon themselves, though they won't have acted in such ways where they not living under such straited circumstances.
Thanks for sharing this lovely book, which is now on its way to spaceystacey.

Journal Entry 77 by spaceystacey from Bridgeton, New Jersey USA on Friday, March 06, 2009
Received in the post yesterday, but did not have time to journal. I will be reading this one this month and then posting to Supertalya. I have already pm'ed her for address.

06/01/2009 Finished reading this evening and will get it into the post tomorrow a.m. along with 2 other books which I am RAVCKing to supertalya.

Journal Entry 78 by Supertalya on Thursday, August 06, 2009
I have received this today. I actually have a copy of this now so I will move it along. Kiri is bogged down with books to read and her schoolwork so I will PM Erishkigal for her addy.

Journal Entry 79 by Supertalya at postal mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, August 23, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (8/23/2009 UTC) at postal mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases



It is on its way to Utah!

Journal Entry 80 by erishkigal from Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Wednesday, September 09, 2009
thanks, Supertayla~~ it arrived in this mornings post~~not bad time at all, considering the distance!

I'm reading another ring now, but it won't be long to get to this long-awaited book! In the meantime, I want to recommend a film I watched some time back: "Osama." It's the story of a young girl whose family dguises her as a boy, when the Taliban would no longer allow the mother to go to work (as a nurse) or to the market without being accompanied by a male. Powerful film!

Journal Entry 81 by erishkigal at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Utah USA on Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (10/30/2009 UTC) at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Utah USA



this is on it's way to the next reader~~suddenly realized other books in the batch were being journalled, I'd better make notes on "Swallows." Such a beautifully painful book....

I'll try to get back later to say more, but I've got to get off to work now~~

Journal Entry 82 by Guinneth from Manchester, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This has arrived safely in New Hampshire - thank you, Erishkigal, and THANK YOU for the extra goodies as well! :-D What a lovely surprise.

As is usually the case, two ring/ray books have arrived at once so it may take me a little bit to get to this, but I will read and move it along as soon as I can. Thanks for sharing...this is one well-travelled little book!

Journal Entry 83 by Guinneth from Manchester, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I really tried but I've got to throw in the towel on this one. I'm not in the right place to appreciate this now; the subject matter (and the way the story is delivered) just isn't something I can stomach.

As soon as I have an address for juli2007 I'll be sending this along.

Journal Entry 84 by Guinneth at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Monday, December 07, 2009

Released 8 yrs ago (12/7/2009 UTC) at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases



Mailed this off to juli2007 in Australia today.

Journal Entry 85 by juli2007 from Beachmere, Queensland Australia on Monday, January 04, 2010
Received safely here in Australia! Looking forward to reading this one, thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 86 by juli2007 at Beachmere, Queensland Australia on Saturday, February 09, 2013

Released 5 yrs ago (2/9/2013 UTC) at Beachmere, Queensland Australia


Adding this into bag for my Valentine!

Journal Entry 87 by wingLadyIndigowing at Orange, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, February 16, 2013
A big bag of goodies arrived from my Valentine Exchange partner
Thankyou so much for Every-thing!!

Happy days

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