A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear

A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear

A Novel

eBook - 2011
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Random House, Inc.

Farhad is a typical student, twenty-one years old, interested in wine, women, and poetry, and negligent of the religious conservatism of his grandfather. But he lives in Kabul in 1979, and the early days of the pro-Soviet coup are about to change his life forever. One night Farhad goes out drinking with a friend who is about to flee to Pakistan, and is brutally abused by a group soldiers. A few hours later he slowly regains consciousness in an unfamiliar house, beaten and confused, and thinks at first that he is dead. A strange and beautiful woman has dragged him into her home for safekeeping, and slowly Farhad begins to feel a forbidden love for her—a love that embodies an angry compassion for the suffering of Afghanistan’s women. As his mind sifts through its memories, fears, and hallucinations, and the outlines of reality start to harden, he realizes that, if he is to escape the soldiers who wish to finish the job they started, he must leave everything he loves behind and find a way to get to Pakistan.

Rahimi uses his tight, spare prose to send the reader deep into the fractured mind and emotions of a country caught between religion and the political machinations of the world’s superpowers.



Publisher: New York : Other Press, 2011
Edition: Other Press ed
ISBN: 9781590513620
1590513622
Characteristics: 1 online resource (155 p.)

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debwalker Jun 10, 2011

"Though the book spends a lot of time with the narrator dazed and confused about where he is and what’s happened to him, his disorientation becomes the perfect metaphor for the time depicted there — the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. An Afghan student named Farhad is caught in the middle of the turmoil, trying to maneuver through vicious soldiers and a labyrinth of Islamic custom. Like the characters in Keilson’s Comedy in a Minor Key, Farhad is in danger and hiding. His “crime” is essentially acting surly at a checkpoint, for which he’s brutally beaten. He finds temporarily safety thanks to a beautiful, mysterious woman named Mahnaz (who has a troubled past with the authorities) and her son Yahya (who keeps calling Farhad “father”). Now, his only salvation seems to be exile from his own land. Rahimi’s tale of confused nationality, indiscriminate punishment, desperate survival, and no clear way to safety depicts decades-old events, but it feels especially poignant amid the US-led war in Afghanistan that’s spanned the greater part of the past decade."
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