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Publisher's Summary

Five disparate lives come together at the intersection of decades of invasion, occupation, and violence. There's Marcus, an English expat who was married to an outspoken Afghani doctor--she was murdered by the Taliban--and opens his home to the others, the house itself a strange and beautiful monument to the inconceivable losses his family suffered...

David, an American, formerly a spy, who has seen the Afghanis through the invasion of the Russians, the domination of the Taliban, and, now, the incursion of the Americans, and who has seen his own ideas of purpose and reason turned inside out... Lara, from St. Petersburg, looking for evidence 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 soldier in the Special Forces in whom David sees a dangerous revival of the unquestioning notions of right and wrong that he himself once held. In mesmerizing, unexpectedly expressive prose, Aslam reveals the intertwining paths that these characters have traveled, and the complex ties--of love and desperation, pain and salvation, madness and clarity--that bind them. Through their stories emerges a portrait both timely and timeless, broadly drawn and achingly intimate, of the "continuation of wars" that has shaped, and continues to shape, our world. In its combination of radiant language, hypnotic imagery, and unflinching drama, The Wasted Vigil is a luminous work of fiction.

©2008 Nadeem Aslam (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

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  • Audrey
  • Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 05-02-14

Poor reader marred the story.

What disappointed you about The Wasted Vigil?

I found the story very over-drawn and anti-Moslem. Predictable and overly-violent.

If you’ve listened to books by Nadeem Aslam before, how does this one compare?

I thought the reader was poor. The voices he employed when the characters spoke were inconsistent and caricatures. Nearly offensive.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

There was some lovely writing along the way and many interesting details about Afghan life. I took them as true though I don't know if they are.

Any additional comments?

I will never buy an audiobook read by Basil Sands.