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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi

"You know, father, sorrow can turn to water and spill from your eyes, or it can sharpen your tongue into a sword, or it can become a time bomb that, one day, will explode and destroy you"

Earth and Ashes is the spare, powerful story of an Afghan man, Dastaguir, trying desperately to reach his son Murad, who has left his village to earn a living working at a mine. In the meantime the village has been bombed by the Russian army, and Dastaguir, with his newly-deaf grandson Yassin in tow, must reach Murad to tell him of the carnage. The old man is beset on all sides by sorrow, that of his grandson, who cannot understand, that of his son, who does not yet know, and his own, made even crueler by the message he must deliver.

Atiq Rahimi, whose reputation for writing war stories of immense drama and intimacy began with this, his first novel, has managed to condense centuries of Afghan history into a short tale of three very different generations. But he has also created a universal story about fathers and sons, and the terrible strain inflicted on those bonds of family during the unpredictable carnage of war.
Summary taken from

For me this was another case of the book not being for me despite the beautiful cover. This book was already out of my comfort zone because we all know that short books are not usually books I like. I mean honestly this book is only 84 pages long and I only read it a few days ago but I don't remember a thing!

Well thats not true. This is what I remember:
Man and grandson survive village being destroyed.
Man and grandson wait for transport to Man's son and child's father.
Car came.
Man couldn't talk to son.
The end.

SERIOUSLY I'm not lying thats all I can remember. I think that this is also because the story was very jumbled. The story went from looking at events happening in the present tense to him slipping back into his mind and his dreams when he slept.

To me it was as though the author was trying too hard in terms of the writing and making it overly smart. If that makes any sense at all. It just seemed like the author tried too hard and in my opinion failed and failed miserably at that.

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