Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Honey Thief by Nazaf Mazari and Robert Hillman

The Honey Thief is a collection of thirteen related short stories based in Afghanistan about the Hazara tribe. Some stories are anecdotal and some are about the history of the tribe. 

This book is quite nostalgic for me. No, I didn't grew up in Afghanistan nor do I belong to the Hazara tribe. It is nostalgic in the sense it reminded me of the stories I grew up reading in a popular children's magazine in India called "Chandamama" which means 'The Moon' and also the stories my mother, sometimes my father, my grandmother and great-uncle narrated to us as young kids. These stories sometimes were fable like, sometimes folk tales, sometimes anecdotal, sometimes myths based from Indian epics, but always enjoyable. This is what this collection is some fable like, some anecdotes, some history to give us a sense of place and setting, some very sad, war does not paint pretty pictures but all very interesting.

The first story gives a brief introduction about the author and his identity as a Hazara. 
The second story, 'The Wolf is the most intelligent of the creatures' touches upon the relationship between grandfather and grandson is very heart-warming. The short story where an English man comes to Afghanistan during the communist rule to get a photo of a Snow Leopard, is an interesting tale with a slight twist in the end, and is my favourite in this collection.  I always thought people living in extreme conditions are attuned to nature and believe that nature is their best friend. In this story the opposite is relayed, nature is not one's best friend, but a treacherous enemy one should always be wary of looking for signs, or one would easily fall prey to it. Interesting short stories with some Hazara food recipes thrown in. 

Disclaimer: I received an ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.

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