Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Surviving the Taliban by Jay D. Fluckiger

Title:Surviving the Taliban
Author:Jay D. Fluckiger
Publisher:Cedar Fort Books
Imprint:CFI Distribution
Pub. Date:12/06/2011
ISBN:1599559641 (ISBN13: 9781599559643)

In a culture where Christianity is punishable by death, an extraordinary man known only as The Poet has survived repeated assassination attempts and spent eleven years on the run in his search for truth, safety, and freedom. Delve into a hidden world of cruelty, suffering, and extremism, where despite the deadly consequences, the Poet has tested the limits of human courage and endurance and embraced the gospel of Christ.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


For a man simply known as "The Poet," living in Afghanistan and Iran has been beyond horrible. His natural curiosity and love of learning has made him suspicious to the Muslim extremists around, especially those in his own family. Much of his life, he is forced to constantly run from those who want him dead. After being nearly killed by his brother, The Poet pays smugglers to take him to London. There he converts to Christianity, and becomes even more of a target to extremists. The Poet paints a heartbreaking picture of what life is like for anything trying to live their own lives in a rigid belief system.

I had a couple problems with this book. While The Poet mentions early on in the book that his dealing were with the most extreme of Muslim fundamentalists, I felt like this wasn't emphasized enough throughout. Maybe something was lost in translation? I guess I just would have felt better if he had consistently referred to them as "extremists' or "fundamentalists" other than the general "Muslim" term. The other thing is that The Poet presents some pretty harsh accusations about the current government in Afghanistan and current US and UK governments but presents little to no solid evidence. I just feel like that is just fueling people who are looking for any reason to hate. It just didn't sit right with me.

Those things aside, this book was a very compelling story. The things The Poet has be forced to endure is horrific. It does make one very grateful for the freedoms we have, especially as it pertains to our freedom to worship however we choose. What this man had to go through even before he converted was very difficult, and it makes me wonder if that hasn't colored his view of his past some. If nothing else, the story of The Poet should remind us that we need to recognize and celebrate the differences we all have. Helping and learning from each other will make this world a much better place.

Galley provided for review.

1 comment:

Lenasledgeblog.com said...

Sounds fascinating. I could see on the big screen as a film. What a tragedy to be a target by your own family for a different belief system. What a shame. Great review.