A novice newspaper journalist recounts his experiences in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. He’s never been a foreign correspondent; he’s never been a war correspondent. So his reader will learn through him how to blindly set out to a war-torn country bereft of the simplest comforts…running water, for example. The heart of the book is the story of Garcia, a social worker turned journalist, and his friendship with his Afghan interpreter, "Bro". Each chapter is a series of vignettes drawn with care to illustrate the exhaustion of people ruined by and tired of war, but trapped by political confusion, the economic devastation, the official corruption. The adventures of Bro and Garcia (called “khaarijee”, meaning “outsider”) represent what one sees on the street, how one survives in a ravaged country filled with dangers beyond the imagination of most westerners. The Khaarijee is a satisfying, vicarious adventure in an exotic locale, without political sermonizing.
Jul 7, 2010