Omar Farhad's book "Honor and Polygamy" is riveting and should be a must read. We Westerners have so little understanding of the Middle East and Farhad's depiction of the frightening situation in Afghanistan is something most of us don't want to know. Having just re-read James Michener's "Caravans" about Afghanistan in the mid nineteen-forties, this wrenching tale of the country today points up how little we understand of the culture of the area, and the terrible danger its people deal with on not just a daily, but an hourly basis. I hope to read more of Omar Farhad's writing in the near future. Impressive debut novel, without a doubt.
I couldn't get past the writing style of this book. It was a book club pick and most of my fellow book club readers liked it, but I couldn't finish it. I quit midway through. I admire authors who have the drive and dedication to complete a book, especially when writing in a language that is not their first language. But I felt this one really needed an editor. Again, though, most of my fellow book club members enjoyed it.
I found this book truly captivating, riveting and timely. It offers the reader a view into the culture and traditions of the Afghan people not seen on the nightly news. It touches on the ever widening gap between the old traditions and the new generations lack of respect for honor and loyalty. It delves into one man's struggle to maintain his integrity and his fight for survival. Heart wrenching, realistic, and definitely thought provoking. Highly recommend.
This is an amazing story that simultaneously entertains and educates you. I think the author did a great job of putting things that most of us here in the US have never experienced or fully understood into an easy story telling flow. I didn't get completely hooked in the first chapter but I did after that. It's totally worth the read and the story is unlike any books I've read before.
Honor and Polygamy is a debut novel by Omar Farhad. It tells the story of an American UN employee who has just returned from his 4th overseas posting to Afghanistan when he's ordered back again. He hates to leave his wife and 2 children again so soon.
Nick is abducted and held prisoner by the Taliban and eventually escapes to seek asylum with a local family under the Pashtun code of honor. In order to protect Nick, his host and the villagers from the Taliban, Nick is forced to marry a second wife, the young daughter of his host. He eventually falls in love with her.
Nick is rescued and returns to New York but his reconciliation with his family goes slowly. It was a rather startling development when he leaves his wife and kids to go back to Afghanistan to find and bring his second wife back to the U.S. This decision results in an abrupt and brutal ending.
I found the storyline quite inventive, but the writing just isn't up to scratch. The narrative is in present tense while Nick's thoughts are written in a very stilted voice that I found irritating.
After his abduction by the Taliban Nick realistically lacks confidence but his thoughts seem naive for someone who's had previous work experience in these war torn countries.
Also, much of the political exposition seems immature and simplistic, like something written by a high school student.
By the end, I felt let down with Honor and Polygamy and was gritting my teeth to finish the book. The writer needs to get some honest professional feedback and polish his writing skills in order to tell this worthwhile story with drama and impact.
It was an interesting story. I believe I learned a bit about the middle eastern, Muslim culture. Was a sympathetic story from an unusual perspective. I would recommend it but its writing style is very simple and straight forward although the protagonist's conflict is not.