Entangled Lives

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

This novel should be required reading for all westerners.

Imran Omer puts a very human face on 'the Enemy' by showing us the way young boys are indoctrinated and abused then sold to the Taliban as fresh young 'soldiers' for their cause, never really knowing what they are doing, or why they are doing it.

Raza, a very believable character, is raised and isolated in a Pakistani madrassah run by a fanatical and abusive Mullah, then sold across the border into Afghanistan as a Talib.

The writer states in more than one place in the novel that not all madrassahs are like this and we learn something about the history/culture/poverty of the area and that there are many...

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This book tells the story of Raza and Perveen who grow up in a madrassah, which they try unsucessfully to escape. Raza is ultimately forced to travel to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban. Twice, in different circumstances, he meets Rachael, an American Journalist.

The narration of the story switches between Raza and Rachael. I found Rachael's narration to be extremely absorbing and one which read almost as a memoir. In fact, the whole book has the feeling of a true story, I suppose because, in part, it is based on real conflict and recent history. It is tragically sad in parts, but is also one of those books which gives you a glimpse into a different culture and a very, very...

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Entangled Lives
by Imran Omer
Release Date: July 27, 2018
Roundfire Books
ISBN: 978-1785357848
Jane Smiley (author of Private Life and Some Luck) said that “in our dangerous world, the freedom and empathy that fiction develops in its remains essential.” She was defining how fiction has the power to show us not only human truth, but to make us feel the power of that truth. And she goes on to explain that “reading fiction is and always was about learning to see the world through often quite alien perspectives.” And that brings us to Omer’s Entangled Lives. A novel that shows the interconnections between a journalist, a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan, and the lives that are tangled...

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This is a well written book with excellent descriptive narrative.  It gives an insight into the lives of young Arabs caught up in the conflict and also the culture of their lives.
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The author gives the reader an inside look at how many of the soldiers that fight for the Taliban are brainwashed and forced into obedience. The story follows Raza, a young Pakistani lad who through poverty and abandonment ends up in a strict madrasah. There he was abused and beaten for any minor misbehaviours. He sees and falls in love with Preveen, and they try unsuccessfully to escape. At 17 he's forced to go to Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban. While there he meets Rachael Brown, a war correspondent, once when she interviews him and once in very different circumstances. Their lives become entwined as the title suggest. Very well written and I recommend reading...

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An american journalist and a poor, orphaned Pakstani forced into fighting for the Taliban pre-911 cross paths on two occasions. the first is a brief interview and the second is a life-threatening situation. The story of Raza, the Pakistani forced into fighting for the Taliban and Rachel, the American journalist with her own set of problems is a forceful depiction of life and humanity.
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Raza, Perveen and Rachael, three people whose paths cross and each will never be the same. Raza and Perveen both are growing up in the slums of Pakistan. Rachael is an investigative journalist who has worked in the area for years and struggles with her own demons.
My main reason for wanting to read this book was to understand the path to becoming a Taliban soldier. The author accomplishes this, and it’s not a happy road to follow. Perveen, Raza’s love, being a female in the land of Sharia law has it so much worse. She doesn’t gain as much attention and compassion in the story as she deserves. The lives of each of these youth are so dispensable, unloved, not cherished.
Rachael is a very...

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It’s always satisfying when someone does what they say they will do and Roundfire have done it with this novel. Their claim that. “Put simply we publish great stories” rings true with this work from Imran Omer. His insightful probe into the inner thoughts and beliefs of the Taliban were both informative and alarming and the world is a better place now that they are gone.

Imran blend of cultures, Eastern and Western is seamless and convincing and his character development is well rounded.
This is a novel that leaves more questions than it answers and, to my taste, that is exactly how it should be. Wanting more.
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An emotional read that will keep thinking and rightly so. The conflicts involving countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan are what we only see and get the view point from the media. We never learn about where the hate comes from and why. Raza, one of the main characters in this story grew up in a madrasa in Pakistan after his mother left. Were the boys at the madrasa were treated badly and became dollars per head to go fight for the Taliban. Most of which didn't understand the war and were hopelessness turned into hate. But not hate targeted towards one individual but a hate in general. Imran Omer's voice is important for us to listen to so that we can truly understand and fight against it.
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Kudos to Imran Omer – he has the audacity to take the perspective of a Taliban fighter (of course not to absolve him from his crimes, but to shine a light on his perceptions) and to confront Western readers with the historic realities of people living in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Most people in the West (me included) do not know enough about these regions, although some local conflicts have been prompted and shaped by Western politics. Just as Arundhati Roy’s "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness" (in which Kashmir plays an important role), “Entangled Lives” immerses its readers in these conflicts and shows how they affect families over generations.

Omer’s book tells the...

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