peteg's blog - noise - books - 2021 09 08 JamilJanKochai 99NightsInLogar

Jamil Jan Kochai: 99 Nights in Logar.

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Kindle. A pointer from Mohammed Hanif. Briefly, a family living in the U.S.A. returns to Afghanistan in 2005 to visit their ancestral compounds and adventures ensue. There's some magic realism and some funny bits ("You swear to God you'll lie?") that mostly mine the chasm between the cultures. I often found it hard to figure out the family relationships and pronouns and articles of clothing etc. Cross-dressing in a burqa was a crime of cliche. It is mostly well structured but I'd lost interest by the time the story of Watak was presented as pages of untranslated text.

Very well marketed. Hanif softens many things: for instance Marwand doesn't "tease" the dog, he tortures it, gleefully. I didn't see the motivation for that and hence felt it undermined rather than underpinned the whole story. Goodreads didn't dig it.