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The Wandering Falcon Paperback – 2 Oct 2012
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"Superb. The work of a gifted story teller who has lived in the world of his fiction, and who offers his readers rare insight, wisdom and-above all- pleasure." – Mohsin Hamid, author of Moth Smoke and The Reluctant Fundamentalist
"I’ve been talking about this book to anyone who will listen. From page one, I was transported to a land of nomadic tribes who live and die by ancestral codes. But The Wandering Falcon is not only about tribes. It is about honor, love, loyalty, and grace. And it is about borders--geographical, political, and personal. The terrain where Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan meet may be cruel and unforgiving, but every page of this book is filled with beauty and humanity. By the final pages, I found myself transformed." – Nami Mun, author of Miles from Nowhere
"I've been talking about this book to anyone who will listen. From page one, I was transported to a land of nomadic tribes who live and die by ancestral codes. But The Wandering Falcon is not only about tribes. It is about honor, love, loyalty, and grace. And it is about borders--geographical, political, and personal. The terrain where Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan meet may be cruel and unforgiving, but every page of this book is filled with beauty and humanity. By the final pages, I found myself transformed." – The New York Times
"[Y]ou instantly care so much about that boy and his fate that you can hardly stand to stop reading. The early chapters are reminiscent of masterpieces like Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, which also features a boy alone in a gorgeous but harsh and often terrifying desert landscape.... [T]he characters, the tales, and the landscape are rendered with clarity, sympathy, and insight. The author makes us travel with him.... The book offers a rich picture of the "mountainous, lawless tribal areas" we have previously known mainly for bullets and bombs." – Steve Inskeep, NPR
"A striking debut...The power and beauty of these stories are unparalleled in most fiction to come out of south Asia." – The Guardian
"[W]ritten with such a terrible beauty...With this novel Ahmad has followed Mark Twain''s advice to write what he knows. And what he know is all the more fiction-worthy for his lived experience among these hardy people, much feared and little known...Highly accomplished first novel...Elegiac voice...They are neither romanticized nor vilified but shown in all their terrible, resilient beauty." – The Independent (UK)
"Tautly written... Fantastic... Drawn with tenderness but without sentimentality... Ahmad is a deft storyteller and his slim volume possesses a strong allure." – Financial Times
"Outstanding...The novel is more than a beautifully written piece of fiction; it is a socio-anthropological account of a tribal landscape that is changing rapidly. Executed brilliantly...This is a book worth more than its weight in gold." – Business World India
About the Author
Jamil Ahmad was born in 1930 and died in 2014. He joined the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1954 and served mainly in the Frontier Province and Baluchistan. He was also development commissioner for the Frontier and chairman of the Tribal Development Corporation, and was posted as minister in Pakistan's embassy in Kabul at a critical time, before and during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. He lives in Islamabad with his wife, Helga Ahmad, a nationally recognized environmentalist and social worker. This is his first book.
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After being passed from one 'caregiver' to another, Tor-Baz grows up as an nomadic wanderer moving across the deserts crossing the boundaries of these countries. The story continues, till Tor-Baz decides that it's time for him to marry and settle down with a family.
There was as such no character development in the book or any specific event to highlight in the life of Tor-Baz. The story isn't magical or haunting but rather simple.
This book gives a good insight into the customs and traditions of tribes. The plus points about the book was the picturesque description of the desserts of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan and glimpse to the hardship of the nomadic life of people in these countries.
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