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The Wasted Vigil by [Aslam, Nadeem]
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The Wasted Vigil Kindle Edition


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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Review

"Extraordinary . . . Nadeem Aslam's new novel is an audacious panorama, seeking as it does to encapsulate several national histories as well as the overlapping destinies of individuals caught up in apparently disparate events. Yet Aslam manages to describe the lives of his many characters, and their illusions and despair, with consummate skill . . . Describing Casa's vulnerability, Aslam makes his character undergo, in just a few skillfully crafted pages, the complete gamut of Dostoevskian emotions . . . Aslam's determination to gaze resolutely at the darkest side of our many cold and hot wars is what gives "The Wasted Vigil" its depth and power."
-Pankaj Mishra, "New York Review of Books
"
"A harrowing yet beautiful depiction of an Afghanistan mutilated by war and oppression . . . With astonishing lyricism and compassion Aslam creates unforgettable characters while telling a story that is as gripping as it is affecting."
-"Boston Globe
"
"A searing, multifaceted novel . . . Its polyglot characters inhabit a seething cauldron of human drama . . . You might think that there is a particular specter haunting Afghanistan in these early years of the 21st century-the Taliban-but in Aslam's penetrating view, there are multiple forces at work there."
-"San Francisco Chronicle
""Unafraid of political complexity, Aslam is also unflinching in his examination of depravity. Yet his writing also encompasses tenderness. His characters are intricately wounded and geographically diverse . . . This novel seeks to reveal the psyche not just of one rural village or one immigrant community but of Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States and Afghanistan. The revelationsthroughout are artful."
-"New York Times Book Review
"
""The Wasted Vigil "is remarkable for being at once topical and timeless-a complex and layered vision of contemporary Afghanistan . . . Like Michael Ondaatje before him, Aslam has a way of breathing life into larger historical and political backdrops with sensual details and lush interior lives. "The Wasted Vigil "shimmers with moments of poetic beauty and seems destined, like "The English Patient "to become a classic of modern, globalized literature."
-"Time Out New York
"
"Nadeem Aslam offers readers surprising gems in his new book . . . The fabric of these characters' lives are interwoven with rich, carefully researched detail about Afghanistan and the intricacies of life in a country still grappling with the lasting influences of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. It's a bold task to attempt to point out the similarities between a Muslim fundamentalist's zeal and an American CIA agent's righteous view of his job, yet, amid a sweeping story about love, Aslam does exactly this with considerable poise . . . A book that is both lyrical and sharp."
-"Christian Science Monitor
""Arguably the best novel available on the current situation in the Middle East. The jihadists, the warlords, the crusading Americans-all are given voice in calm, relentless, shatteringly beautiful prose that reveals the essential wrongness of the current conflict from every angle. There's no whitewash or caricature here, just authentic writing that delivers the world-and a range of extraordinary characters. Highly recommended."
-"Library Journal "(starred)
"An intense, empathetic, magisterial interpretation of clashing beliefs andentwined fates, in a harsh and ruined, yet lovely place . . . Complexity, beauty, violence and tragedy mark the pages of Aslam's affecting story . . . [The novel has] insight and somber impact."
-"Kirkus Reviews "(starred)
"Kiriyama-winner Aslam takes an ambitious and moving look at the human cost of Afghanistan's war-torn reality . . . An unflinchingly clear picture of a country whose history of strife is still being written."
-"Publishers Weekly "(starred)
Reviews from the UK:
"Stunning . . . The book is beautiful and brutal . . . "The Wasted Vigil" spans 30 years of what the media used to call the 'Afghan conflict, ' which has now transformed into the front line of the West's war on terror . . . There are episodes in the book so intense that you have to close it and breathe before you can start again. Similarly, there are images so stunning that you pause and read again to savour the sheer beauty of the language."
-"Independent
"
"Remarkable . . . Nadeem Aslam's stark, outraged, thoughtful novel, with its unsettling, sorrowing beauty, [is] a universal book. It is a huge achievement, immense in its wisdom and humanity . . . The characters are real, the narrative power worthy to stand shoulder to shoulder with Tolstoy . . . "The Wasted Vigil" is an inspired book, the quest novel we should-no must-all read . . . Aslam confirms he is a writer of singular genius."
-"Irish Times
""Enthralling . . . Like Michael Ondaatje in "The English Patient," Aslam knows how to handle the rich material in front of him, because he is not merely a novelist; he is an artist and a poet . . . The novel will stay with the reader long after it ends."
-"New Statesman
"
"An ambitious and luminous novel . . . "The Wasted Vigil" reminds us that fiction can do things that mere reportage can't."
-"Sunday Times"
"What makes the book most compelling is Nadeem Aslam's gift for elevating even the hellishness of war to poetic heights. His eerily lyrical rendering of the beauty of the natural world and his sensual prose throw into dramatic relief the human acts of cruelty and barbarism he depicts . . . A humane and remarkable novel."
-"Literary Review
" "
""Spellbinding-a beautifully drawn web of the fragile connections of trust, misunderstanding, memory, sacrifice, and, against the odds, love, that people who have lost everything else in the deadly stupidity of war must live and die by. Nadeem Aslam is a master of words and arresting images."
-"The Times"

"From the Hardcover edition."

"Harrowing yet beautiful. . . . With astonishing lyricism and compassion, Aslam creates unforgettable characters. . . . As gripping as it is affecting."
--"Boston Globe"
"Extraordinary. . . . Aslam's determination to gaze resolutely at the darkest side of our many cold and hot wars is what gives "The Wasted Vigil" its depth and power."
--Pankaj Mishra, "The New York Review of Books"
"Unflinching. . . . [Aslam] seeks to reveal the psyche not just of one rural village or one immigrant community but of Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States and Afghanistan. The revelations throughout are artful."
--"New York Times Book Review
""Heartbreaking. . . . Important. . . . This novel deserves as wide an audience as the recent bestseller "The Kite Runner.""
--"The Oregonian "
"
""The power of Aslam's novel lives in the explosive adjacency of brutality and love, the poison of fanaticism diluted by the perfume of Persian lilacs."
--"O, The Oprah magazine
"
"Unforgettable. . . . Tragic and beautifully written. Aslam is a major writer."
--A. S. Byatt
"Even more beautifully written than his much-acclaimed "Maps for Lost Lovers.""
--"Financial Times
"
"Remarkable for being at once topical and timeless--a complex and layered vision of contemporary Afghanistan. . . . Like Michael Ondaatje before him, Aslam has a way of breathing life into larger historical and political backdrops with sensual details and lush interior lives. "The Wasted Vigil "shimmers with moments of poetic beauty and seems destined, like "The English Patient," ""to become a classic of modern, globalized literature."
--"Time Out New York
"
"A searing, multifaceted novel. . . . You might think that there is a particular specter haunting Afghanistan in these early years of the 21st century--the Taliban--but in Aslam's penetrating view, there are multiple forces at work there."
--"San Francisco Chronicle
"
"Both lyrical and sharp. . . . It's a bold task to attempt to point out the similarities between a Muslim fundamentalist's zeal and an American CIA agent's righteous view of his job, yet, amid a sweeping story about love, Aslam does exactly this with considerable poise."
--"The Christian Science Monitor
"
"Stunning. . . . In this epic of a novel, Nadeem Aslam's narrative takes in the explosive realities of Afghanistan. He navigates this minefield with sharp reflexes and a rare poise. . . . Beautiful and brutal."
--Mohammed Hanif, "Independent "(UK)"
"
"Ambitious and luminous. . . . Reminds us that fiction can do things that mere reportage can't. . . . Aslam does not simply appropriate a few headlines for easy currency. He has immersed himself in a country and a culture and drawn upon art, mythology and history to provide an involving and morally complex tale of the ruthless betrayals and the queasy compromises that are made by nations and individuals alike."
--"The Sunday Times "(London)"
"
"At its core, "The Wasted Vigil "is not a book about Afghanistan, but of love. . . . Aslam's Afghanistan is both beautiful and fraught with danger, with stunning images and landscapes that bring his characters' world to life, all of it rich with symbolism."
--"Charleston City Paper
"
"What the reader finds, in Aslam's exquisitely written, gripping narrative, is that although war destroys lives and shatters families, and people are capable of the greatest brutality, love and humanity still survive."
--"Daily Mail "(London)
"The softly gleaming beauty of Aslam's prose is immediately reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje, and the moral clarity of his concerns heralds a brave new voice in the mold of Salman Rushdie."
--"St. Petersburg Times
"
"Spellbinding--a beautifully drawn web of the fragile connections of trust, misunderstanding, memory, sacrifice, and, against the odds, love, that people who have lost everything else in the deadly stupidity of war must live and die by. Nadeem Aslam is a master of words and arresting images. . . . The sheer, astonishing loveliness of this novel's language fills the reader with hope that the transformative power of beauty can, somehow, still save the day."
--"The Times "(London)
"Piercing. . . . There isn't enough beauty in the world, but isn't it true that a work of art can be too beautiful? Aren't there depths of suffering and barbarity that demand that the writer rein in the verbal glory? Nadeem Aslam doesn't think so, as he proves with his astonishing new novel."
--"The Observer "(London)
"Enthralling. . . . "The Wasted Vigil" is a delicate work of art, a tapestry, which connects people in a mesmerizing story of loss, memory and pain, but where humanity and love and its fragility emerge out of the debris."
--"New Statesman "(London)

Harrowing yet beautiful. . . . With astonishing lyricism and compassion, Aslam creates unforgettable characters. . . . As gripping as it is affecting.
Boston Globe
Extraordinary. . . . Aslam s determination to gaze resolutely at the darkest side of our many cold and hot wars is what gives The Wasted Vigil its depth and power.
Pankaj Mishra, The New York Review of Books
Unflinching. . . . [Aslam] seeks to reveal the psyche not just of one rural village or one immigrant community but of Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States and Afghanistan. The revelations throughout are artful.
New York Times Book Review
Heartbreaking. . . . Important. . . . This novel deserves as wide an audience as the recent bestseller The Kite Runner.
The Oregonian

The power of Aslam s novel lives in the explosive adjacency of brutality and love, the poison of fanaticism diluted by the perfume of Persian lilacs.
O, The Oprah magazine

Unforgettable. . . . Tragic and beautifully written. Aslam is a major writer.
A. S. Byatt
Even more beautifully written than his much-acclaimed Maps for Lost Lovers.
Financial Times

Remarkable for being at once topical and timeless a complex and layered vision of contemporary Afghanistan. . . . Like Michael Ondaatje before him, Aslam has a way of breathing life into larger historical and political backdrops with sensual details and lush interior lives. The Wasted Vigil shimmers with moments of poetic beauty and seems destined, like The English Patient, to become a classic of modern, globalized literature.
Time Out New York

A searing, multifaceted novel. . . . You might think that there is a particular specter haunting Afghanistan in these early years of the 21st century the Taliban but in Aslam s penetrating view, there are multiple forces at work there.
San Francisco Chronicle

Both lyrical and sharp. . . . It s a bold task to attempt to point out the similarities between a Muslim fundamentalist s zeal and an American CIA agent s righteous view of his job, yet, amid a sweeping story about love, Aslam does exactly this with considerable poise.
The Christian Science Monitor

Stunning. . . . In this epic of a novel, Nadeem Aslam s narrative takes in the explosive realities of Afghanistan. He navigates this minefield with sharp reflexes and a rare poise. . . . Beautiful and brutal.
Mohammed Hanif, Independent (UK)

Ambitious and luminous. . . . Reminds us that fiction can do things that mere reportage can t. . . . Aslam does not simply appropriate a few headlines for easy currency. He has immersed himself in a country and a culture and drawn upon art, mythology and history to provide an involving and morally complex tale of the ruthless betrayals and the queasy compromises that are made by nations and individuals alike.
The Sunday Times (London)

At its core, The Wasted Vigil is not a book about Afghanistan, but of love. . . . Aslam s Afghanistan is both beautiful and fraught with danger, with stunning images and landscapes that bring his characters world to life, all of it rich with symbolism.
Charleston City Paper

What the reader finds, in Aslam s exquisitely written, gripping narrative, is that although war destroys lives and shatters families, and people are capable of the greatest brutality, love and humanity still survive.
Daily Mail (London)
The softly gleaming beauty of Aslam s prose is immediately reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje, and the moral clarity of his concerns heralds a brave new voice in the mold of Salman Rushdie.
St. Petersburg Times

Spellbinding a beautifully drawn web of the fragile connections of trust, misunderstanding, memory, sacrifice, and, against the odds, love, that people who have lost everything else in the deadly stupidity of war must live and die by. Nadeem Aslam is a master of words and arresting images. . . . The sheer, astonishing loveliness of this novel s language fills the reader with hope that the transformative power of beauty can, somehow, still save the day.
The Times (London)
Piercing. . . . There isn t enough beauty in the world, but isn t it true that a work of art can be too beautiful? Aren t there depths of suffering and barbarity that demand that the writer rein in the verbal glory? Nadeem Aslam doesn t think so, as he proves with his astonishing new novel.
The Observer (London)
Enthralling. . . . The Wasted Vigil is a delicate work of art, a tapestry, which connects people in a mesmerizing story of loss, memory and pain, but where humanity and love and its fragility emerge out of the debris.
New Statesman (London)"

Product Description

'This land and its killing epochs.'

Nadeem Aslam's dazzling new novel takes place in modern-day Afghanistan. A Russian woman named Lara arrives at the house of Marcus Caldwell, an Englishman and widower living in an old perfume factory in the shadow of the Tora Bora mountains. It is possible that Marcus's daughter, Zameen, may have known Lara's brother, a Soviet soldier who disappeared in the area many years previously. But like Marcus's wife, Zameen is dead; a victim of the age in which she was born.

In the days that follow, further people will arrive at the house: David Town and James Palantine, two Americans who have spent much of their adult lives in the area, for their respective reasons; Dunia, a young Afghan teacher; and Casa, a radicalised young man intent on his own path.

The stories and histories that unfold - interweaving and overlapping, and spanning nearly a quarter of a century - tell of the terrible afflictions that have plagued Afghanistan. A work of deepest humanity, The Wasted Vigil offers a timely portrait of this region, of love during war and conflict. At once angry, unflinching and memorably beautiful, it marks Nadeem Aslam as a world writer of major importance.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1497 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Opem market e. edition (4 September 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571238777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571238774
  • ASIN: B002RI9ZS6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #261,162 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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