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The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Divided Nation Paperback – July 22, 2021
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- Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing (July 22, 2021)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1408868490
- ISBN-13 : 978-1408868492
- Item Weight : 10.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 7.83 x 1.02 x 5.08 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #581,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Having lived in Islamabad I thought I’d know a lot of what would be covered in these pages but there’s so much I had no idea about.
SO well written too, never got boring or a slog, in fact the pace is brilliant
Top reviews from other countries
Generally it was an interesting read with some well drawn out vignettes of some well and some lesser well-known figures through Pakistan’s history. Walsh is an engaging writer who can hold the readers attentions.
Which is all the more disappointing as his book lacks depths and often reverts to well trodden western tropes of Pakistan. He is at pains to point out that many of the protagonists drink (shock horror Muslims drink) and the usual 'western liberalism' versus reactionary mullah debate.
He makes some very basic factual errors (Jinnah was born a Shia [he was born Ismail’i] the religious establishment didn’t want an independent Muslim state but a pan national caliphate [the deobandis where opposed to the creation Pakistan and there were no calls for worldwide caliphate amongst the Indian ulema], and his comments on Sufism are orientalist ['mystics', mystical, liberal and so on ]).
Furthermore this book feels out of date, and the author should have drawn out his narrative more fully to 2020. Finally, there was a definite feeling of hopelessness with some of the vignettes. Why not distill Pakistan through the persona of Edhi? Or what about some of the more interesting and neglected early pioneers of Pakistan (Mohammad Ali Bogra or Suhawardy?)
An interesting but flawed book, which feels sensationalist and lacking in depth. Suzy Hanson’s “Notes on a Foreign Land” is a far better example of a journo trying to unlock and understand a complex nation.
Asma jahangir...played into the hands of Indians as we see in the latest EU Disinfolab report... Col Imam was not brigadier but a Col.
The book is more of a ready mix formula of presenting the pakistani society where people are fighting for freedom of expression, IsI being the bad guys.