Article first published as Book Review: Sikander by M. Salahuddin Khan on Blogcritics.
Sikander by M. Salahuddin Kahn is a fictional book which chronicles the life of a Pakistani man and how it changed after 9/11. While this book could be considered a coming of age story, I believe it is more.
The publisher is giving away one copy to two winners of this book—use the form at the end of the post to enter.
- 586 pages
- Publisher: Karakoram Press; First American Edition edition (July 26, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0578052881
My rating for Sikander – 5
Sikander by M. Salahuddin Kahn is not only interesting, fascinating and well written, but also an absorbing glimpse into the daily lives of modern Muslims. The cultural insights of the book were delightful and you will find yourself immersed in them from the beginning.
Mr. Salahuddin brings forefront the chaos and confusion which cause the protagonist, Sikander, both grief and joy. As with other novels I enjoyed, Sikander’s life intertwine in world events beyond his control. As with many of us, we find that very rarely are their big, defining moments, but only small ones which come together to tell the story of our lives.
The book also explores the consequences and impacts wars have on both soldiers and individuals. With the exploitation of the “War on Terror” in the media and the shortened sound-bite attention span, it is easy to forget that there are actually people involved and that it is not merely video games played on green screens with big boys toys.
As the geo-political sophistication of many Americans grew so did the acknowledgement that not all, if not most, of Middle Easterners are “bad”, so did Sikander. From a Pakistani boy to the patriarch of his family, from a struggling student to a successful businessman. Through the eyes of the protagonist we read about coming of age in a time of war which first as seen as a blessing, then as a curse and ends up, as all things in life – a combination of both.
History and conflicts can be told from several angles. The big picture gives the reader some context, but to get deeper understand we have to delve to personal stories in order to put events within said context. The book will give you a different perspective of the Afghanistan/Pakistan region. The culture, conflicts, cuisine and most importantly – people – all come through to vivid life.
Seventeen year old Sikander is studious Pakistani who dreams of America. His plans change after a raging quarrel with his family which prompts him to leave home. Ending up as a mujahideen warrior in neighboring Afghanistan, Sikander fights the Soviets and due to his language skills is picked to go to Scotland in order to learn Stinger missiles.
As the Soviets retreat, Sikander returns to a life in Pakistan, marries a beautiful Afghani woman and becomes a successful businessman. However, Sikander’s life is thrown into turmoil after 9/11 when, through unfortunate coincidences, his trip to America is more perilous than he envisioned.
Giveaway ends: May 13, 2012
US/Canada Shipping Addresses Only
No PO Boxes
Winners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, otherwise an alternate winner will be picked
Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
- Bounty Should Be Dropped on Osama bin Laden says Author of SIKANDER (prweb.com)
- Christian protest on death of Sikander Masih in Islamabad (mumbailaity.wordpress.com)
- Giveaway of & Thoughts on: Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall (manoflabook.com)
- Stauss-Kahn in new rape claim (timesofmalta.com)
BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read Sikander? If so link up your review below: