Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The bookseller from Kabul

Evil Killeri reminded me of the fact that I had with a great effort managed to forget: that there was a sale in Akateeminen. I went there and bought 4 books. Started reading ├ůsne Seierstad's The Bookseller of Kabul. The author has stayed with a Kabul family for a while during the post-Taliban period and written a book about them. As an account of life in Kabul it would have had a bit more credibility if she had bothered to learn Dari and not just relied on the few family members who spoke English, but it is highly entertaining - a lot more so than Kinski's real and imagined sex life. The funniest parts are excerpts from Taliban's decrees ("7. Prohibition Against Kite Flying. Kite flying has wicked consequences, such as gambling, death amongst children, and truancy. Shops selling kites will be removed.") and Taliban math textbook ("Little Omar has a Kalashnikov with three magazines. There are twenty bullets in each magazine. He kills 60 infidels with two-thirds of the bullets. How many infidels does he kill with each bullet?").



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