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Winter in Kandahar    by Steven E. Wilson order for
Winter in Kandahar
by Steven E. Wilson
Order:  USA  Can
Hailey-Grey, 2003 (2003)
*   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

This debut novel has an exciting and timely plot. Unfortunately, the writing could have used another edit or two, and is often overly verbose. However, it's a grand effort for a first novel, and the author has conveyed the feeling of Afghanistan to someone, like myself, who has never been there. He seems to know the area well and writes of it with clarity. One can almost shiver from the cold in scenes at the Khyber Pass. Though I had trouble getting into this long book, it was worth hanging in there. The exciting and suspenseful parts kept my attention, despite the fact that the overall weave fell short, with just too many words to describe everyday motions.

Ahmed Jan, a member of the Tajik tribe of Afghanistan and the son and nephew of heroes in the cause of independence from the Taliban, strives to bring about an end to hostilities, and to find some peace in his own life. In pursuing his goals, Ahmed travels from Afghanistan to Amsterdam to Seattle to Karachi and then back to his home - he shows us how easy it can be to sneak from one country to another! Many of the well fleshed out characters involved in the plot could easily step off the pages into real life. With the proper editing, Winter in Kandahar could be a first rate book, and Wilson has started a second novel, Springtime in Kurdistan.

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