MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from The Taliban Shuffle by Kim Barker, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Taliban Shuffle

Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan

by Kim Barker

The Taliban Shuffle
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2011, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2012, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kevin Bartolotta

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"God, I could use a drink," I muttered, staring at the petrified mess. As far as I knew, Afghanistan was a dry country. I hadn't even tried to find alcohol.

We ate some kebabs. I worked on a story. And then, late at night, I heard a knock at my door. I hesitated to open it, even if it was Farouq. Like every female journalist here, I had suffered problems with overly friendly fixers, mainly in Pakistan, where one translator had pouted for three days because I refused to share a hotel room and a drink or four with him. I opened the door a few inches. It was Farouq, and he was bearing a gift—a bottle of vodka from Uzbekistan.

"I thought you might want this," he said, handing it through the door. "Have a good night."

Then he left, to go tell jokes to Afghan friends in a nearby room or to watch a Mr. Bean movie, both common ways for young men to pass the time here. The vodka was practically undrinkable, but at this point, it was clear—Farouq could do anything, and he was just the right kind of friendly.

The next day, he even found me an Internet café, the first to open in Kandahar. This was a revelation—the Taliban had banned the Internet and any depictions of people, whether in photographs or movies. For the uncensored Internet to be available, especially in Kandahar, represented a real change, definite progress. The café was in a house that looked like a cross between a bordello and a bomb shelter, with thick velvety curtains protecting the privacy of every so-called "cabana" and taped Xs on the windows protecting the customers from any explosions outside. I wondered what the young men of Kandahar spent their time looking at, so Farouq and I hopped from computer to computer, each cobbled together from old spare parts and, yes, duct tape, checking the lists of favorite websites and the recent surfing history.

"Most of them are about sex," Farouq whispered.

"Most of them are about sex with animals or boys," I corrected, clicking on ultradonkey.com before reaching for my hand sanitizer.

Apparently, freedom had arrived in the south. For now.

Excerpted from The Taliban Shuffle by Kim Barker. Copyright © 2011 by Kim Barker. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: City of Secrets
    City of Secrets
    by Stewart O'Nan
    In his new novel, City of Secrets, Stewart O'Nan spins a tale of espionage and intrigue as ...
  • Book Jacket: The Atomic Weight of Love
    The Atomic Weight of Love
    by Elizabeth Church
    A prologue set in 2011 introduces readers to this novel's unforgettable narrator. Meridian ...
  • Book Jacket: Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    by Con Lehane
    It doesn't matter if you're stopping in your favorite library to quickly pick up a book, or settling...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
    by Phaedra Patrick

    In a poignant and sparkling debut, a lovable widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Who Said...

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Greek T M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.