before you go to Stan

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by oldtyke, Oct 23, 2007.

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  1. Someone very dear to me has stuck his hand up to go to Afghanistan next year. Clearly being raving runs in the family. Anyway can anyone recommend a book for him that best gives the (sandy) flavour of being out there and doing the great job that a lot of you do?

    Thanks in advance

  2. The Kite Runner, I read it in Sangin last summer. Good read.
  3. For a truly historical perspective of the region and to prove that nothing changes, 'The Great Game' by Peter Hopkirk is very good and thick enough to last a few weeks as well. Full of stories of derring-do, tragedy, farce and herosim in equal measure.

    'The Sewing Circles of Herat' by journalist Christina Lamb is also not bad and gives a good personal view of the last 15-20 years of Afghanistan history covering the rise and fall of the Taliban as she documents her own travels there. She meets some of the key players along the way, including a young Karzai when he was flirting with the Taliban (before the lunatics took it over) which makes it all the more interesting.
  4. The Kite Runner is set in Kabul, during both Northern Alliance and Taliban rule. Can't recommend it enough.
  5. thankyou for those good ideas. is there anything autobiographical by someone who has recently served there that you recommend?

  6. what exactly are you sniffing for.
    something not right here.
    you from the papers.
  7. 3 PARA the book by Patrick Bishop

    to get a feel of how it came to this

    Taliban by Ahmed Rashid

    where the HUMINT comes from

    The Interrogators Chris Mackey and Greg Miller (US forces) reading this at the moment. Not bad but not warry.

    Warry film 9th Company. Russian language with english subtitles. Very good but pehaps a tad off putting. Follows russian conscripts through training and to one of the last battles before the pull out in 1989. Maybe not something to show the parents though...

    Edited to add, some rave about The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad but I found it just too depressing going on about how badly women were treated. Not our culture and we are not going there to change it.
  8. Desert of death by Leo Docherty - perspective from the Operational, Mentoring and liason Team (OMLT)
  9. Second that . Great film :salut:

    And good luck to the person going out there to do the business
  10. really good film, better than the beast
  11. Just to second this - two thirds of the way through and I've been blubbing like a good un...

    Joking aside, a good (but so far bloody sad) read.
  12. Anyone read An Ordinary Soldier? Beattie was an CSgt at RMAS when I was there - came accross as a top man. I hear it's a good read?

    Also, out of interest, how did Ross Kemp come across in his series? Is it worth getting hold of the DVD?
  14. 'The Places In Between' by Rory Stewart and 'From Africa To Afghanistan' by Greg Mills are both excellent factual reads. Stewart (a diplomat) walked across Herat province in early 2003 (I think!) and the book details his contacts with the Afghan CIVPOP.

    Mills worked as an advisor to Gen Richards in Kabul and his book is about trying to rebuild the country's infrastructure.
  15. 1) "The great game" by peter Hopkirk, A great historical read on the area and why it is such a complex place to try and control. will give the reader an understanding of the people and their mindset

    2) The entire Flashman series