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Book Review: Kabul 24

October 21, 2009

kabul24This post is part of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review program. Have a blog? Want free books? Check this out.

Kabul 24 is a stunning story that probably deserves better writing.

I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to write such a story. The authors did a masterful job weaving spiritual implications with political ones, and drawing out the deep personal emotion without dampening the international impact of the events in Kabul 24. They could have, perhaps, enlisted a poet or experienced fiction writer (apologies to either of the authors who may consider themselves such) to help develop the language of the narrative.

More than once, the fast-paced tension of the story was sharply broken by poor sentence structure or odd grammar. I had to skip several sentences because I simply could not decipher what was being said. On two or three occasions I’m still unclear whether the authors used the wrong character’s name, or skipped some crucial plot development.

Relatively minor and thinly spread offenses, but still very distracting in the midst of such an intense story.

The story, however, is worth it. I hardly remembered hearing about eight westerners captured by the Taliban shortly before the attacks of 9/11, but it’s a story that should be remembered. I appreciate all the research done by Pearson and Arnold in order to get it right.

In the end, Kabul 24 is a captivating true story about eight western Christians who answered God’s call to practically love the orphans and the poor in Kabul, Afghanistan. In the process, they found themselves in the center of international turmoil that would lead to a global confrontation that may take us to the end of this age. Innocent of violating any of Afghanistan’s religious laws, they were arrested without cause or explanation, tried in a courtroom set up simply to appease international media, and held for over 100 days in four different prisons – each worse than the one before.

I think I held my breath as I read the final pages of their adventure. The story of what they endured, and their faith through it all, is passionate and beyond inspiring.

The preface and epilogue mention a film Ben Pearson was working on by the same name. The DVD releases November 3, and I’ve already pre-ordered it. I was going to get the trailer to put up here, but someone doesn’t get viral marketing, so it’s not on YouTube or Vimeo. You can go to the movie’s website and it starts playing automatically.

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