Silent Trees: A Novel of Afghanistan

Silent Trees A Novel of Afghanistan It s the winter of in Kabul and all seems quiet Habib Dhil is a member of the privileged elite of Afghanistan As the head of a powerful manufacturing concern he has wealth education opportunit

  • Title: Silent Trees: A Novel of Afghanistan
  • Author: Nasir Shansab
  • ISBN: 9780910155939
  • Page: 416
  • Format: Hardcover
  • It s the winter of 1978 in Kabul and all seems quiet.Habib Dhil is a member of the privileged elite of Afghanistan As the head of a powerful manufacturing concern, he has wealth, education, opportunities to travel, and a family history that gives him tremendous prestige Yet Dhil is aloof, unable or unwilling to accept the notion that malfeasance and exploitation are prerIt s the winter of 1978 in Kabul and all seems quiet.Habib Dhil is a member of the privileged elite of Afghanistan As the head of a powerful manufacturing concern, he has wealth, education, opportunities to travel, and a family history that gives him tremendous prestige Yet Dhil is aloof, unable or unwilling to accept the notion that malfeasance and exploitation are prerequisites to fully joining the ruling class.Despite his efforts to avoid entangling himself in government business, he has brought a complication upon himself He is having an affair with Miriam, the daughter of the ruthless Prime Minister Khan and already promised in marriage to the king s son Dhil is careful to keep the relationship a secret but worries they will be discovered.One morning, he learns that his assistant has been arrested at the central depot while negotiating for the purchase of supplies Dhil is compelled to personally arrange his employee s release, but doing so requires him to navigate through the unwieldy bureaucracy he has consciously avoided For Dhil it is a loathsome task.He thinks of seeking help from his close childhood friend, Alam Gol, now a colonel in the army Gol s path has led him to seek the kind of power and influence that Dhil rejects.Dhil does not know that his friend is on a mission assigned to him by the prime minister himself, who seeks even greater control over the nation If successful, it will solidify Gol s influence in the government But at the same time, Gol s actions may inadvertently put into motion events that could ruin or even destroy Dhil.Dhil begins to realize that perhaps it is time for a new life in a different place, but the pull of his native land keeps a powerful hold Can he let go And if he can, will he have time to leave before it is too late This is an Afghanistan that few Americans ever experienced Silent Trees offers a rare glimpse at the country before the freedom fighters known as the Mujahedeen, before the Taliban and the Warlords, and even before the time of the Soviet invasion Although the story is fictional, it is remarkable in its accurate portrayal of the Afghan people of all types and its provocative exploration of larger, universal truths about the consequences that accompany the unchecked pursuit of power.In Silent Trees, Habib Dhil will learn as we all must that when a select few ruthlessly control a people, everyone the street vendor and the politician alike is corrupted and suffers profoundly from the absence of liberty.

    One thought on “Silent Trees: A Novel of Afghanistan”

    1. I started this book weeks agod then life interrupted me all my reading was put on hold for a while. When I started to read it again, a few days ago, I found it slow and plodding to read, but I persisted because I thought it would take me a while to find my way back to reading again find my momentum again. But I really wasn't enjoying the early part of the book because it was slow, meticulously detailed in its descriptions, and very gloomy. Then there was a point when the book suddenly exploded i [...]

    2. Silent Trees: Power and Passion in War-torn Afghanistan, by Nasir Shansab, is a haunting story of a country on the verge of chaotic collapse. Most of the book is set in the late '70s, before the Soviet Invasion. It is told from the viewpoint of several major players, most notably the businessman Habib Dhil.Despite assurances from American acquaintances that things are 'stable' in his home country of Afghanistan, Dhil has the intuition that this is not the case, and that the fragile stack of card [...]

    3. In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this book for free through First Reads.When I received my hardcover copy in the mail about a week before I started reading, I had a feeling it would prove to be a quick read and I was accurate in my guess. Considering our long-running war in Afghanistan, this novel accurately conveys a country marked by tragedy. Considering the paucity of impressive literature about or emerging from this nation sandwiched between Iran and Pakistan, it was nice to se [...]

    4. A strange book. I received it as a First Reads win (thank you). At first I was a bit put off by some very awkward writing in the first 100 or so pages, but I did get swept into the "okay, what is going to happen next" mind set as the author spun out the parallel stories of his protagonists.I had wanted to read it because I was very intrigued at the thought of an Afghanistan-set novel by someone who had, perforce, been steeped in the history and struggles and culture of that country.ButI don't kn [...]

    5. As an American, I feel that my knowledge of the true culture of Afghanistan is rather limited to what comes across the television every night. Thus, I picked up Silent Trees not really knowing quite what expect. Though Silent Trees is a fictional account of Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion, I really felt like I had an understanding of what it was really like to live in that culture in the 1970's, with the pressures of success and living under a corrupt bureaucracy. I guess that's not surpr [...]

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