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The Wasted Vigil: A Novel. by Nadeem Aslam - First Ed USA, so stated.  - 2008. - from Black Cat Hill Books and Biblio.com

The Wasted Vigil: A Novel.

by Nadeem Aslam

Condition: See description


New York, NY Alfred A. Knopf: Borzoi Books, 2008. Hardcover First Ed USA, so stated. First Ed USA, so stated. Very Near Fine in Very Near Fine DJ: Both book and DJ show only minute indications of use. Book shows barely discernible shelf-wear; else flawless; binding square and secure; text clean. DJ shows the mildest rubbing; else flawless; price unclipped; mylar-protected. Overall, very close to 'As New'. NOT a Remainder, Book-Club, or Ex-Library. 8vo. 320pp. Hardback with DJ. Aslam accomplishes much in this heartbreaking yet beautiful tale. Numerous books have been published over the last few years that have focused on the Middle East, the Taliban, Muslim Fundamentalists, and the general mistreatment of women and children in that part of the world. I honestly thought nothing new could be said, but Aslam has done a magnificent job of shining a new light on the mayhem and injustice. Taking place in today's Afghanistan, the story includes a diverse band of characters. An English ex-pat, his Afghani wife and daughter, and the stories from their village lend their voices to the tale. An American ex spy, the sister of a dead Soviet from the 80's, an American Special Forces agent, and a young jihadi infuse their backgrounds into the tapestry..each life is significant in creating the final image. The narrative is infused with the details and events of complex and often tragic lives. In his picture on the back cover of the book, Aslam looks to be under 30. His perception and understanding of the human spirit and ability to tell this story without prejudice has completely amazed me. He is too young to have accomplished this wise endeavor! All the characters pulled me into the story, but I was especially interested in the young terrorist. Casa's educational process was "devoid of literature, history and politics" and certainly helped to create this pitiless killer of innocents. He had been separated from his parents at a young age and had no contact with women. How can a soul develop when deprived of all the beauty and complexity that is life? The Special Forces character also revealed prejudices born of these terrible times. Specifically, his inability to see torture as an evil onto itself provided an insightful look at the viewpoint these men have as they try to protect and defend our freedoms. The cultures continue to clash with out much discussion or understanding of each other. This novel in all its melancholy softly protests the outcomes of war. It silently screams at the injustices that have become so prevalent through the actions of extremists and it lends a voice that quietly pleads for the splendor of different lands, traditions, and people to rise up and erase the evil that so often seems to triumph. It is after all our stories that show the truth and beauty that we were all created to celebrate. The Wasted Vigil, then, is one of the most beautifully written books I have read in the past dozen years or so, employing striking imagery and flashing colors and complex references to the past, as far back as Homer. The fates of the main characters who live through the multiple invasions of Afghanistan, kept me glued to the book, but it was the writing that caused me to reread the text again. This is a novel that I could not put down. Twice.

In The Wasted Vigil, Nadeem Aslam, the award-winning author of Maps for Lost Lovers, brilliantly knits together five seemingly unconnected lives to create a luminous story set in contemporary Afghanistan.There's Marcus, an English expat who was married to an outspoken Afghani doctor; David, a former American spy; Lara, from St. Petersburg, looking for traces of her brother, a Russian soldier who disappeared years before; Casa, a young Afghani whose hatred of the Americans has plunged him into the blinding depths of zealotry; and James, an American Special Forces soldier. Aslamreveals the intertwining paths that these characters have traveled, constructing a timely and intimate portrait of the complex ties that bind us and the wars that continue to tear us apart.From the Trade Paperback edition.




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