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"In 1839, about 50,000 British troops entered Afghanistan to replace the Amir with someone more palatable to the Empire. In this fictionalized account, we meet Burnes, a British explorer who ventures into the capital city of Kabul and befriends the soon-to-be-ousted Amir Dost Mohammed Khan. Burnes becomes an emissary for the British government and attempts to forge a relationship with Afghanistan. The novel switches between Afghanistan and England, and in addition to Burnes, the reader meets many other characters, among them Bella, the woman who falls for Burnes but won't follow him on his journeys; Charles Masson, a deserter of the English forces who one day finds himself in Kabul and later plots the downfall of Burnes; and Vitkevich, Burnes's Russian counterpart, who is attempting to double-cross the Amir. The events of which Hensher writes mirror the present and maybe the future, giving the book a timeless quality. This well-executed work will appeal to serious fans of historical fiction. Recommended."
- Library Journal (US)

‘Prepare to be dazzled … A really terrific read.’
- Daily Telegraph (UK)

‘A delightful entertainment, a timely social and political commentary, and a highly literary and ambitious novel.’
- Guardian (UK)

‘A huge, perhaps unique achievement…deeply human, gorgeous, glittering and never dull.’
- Independent on Sunday

‘Exuberant, overflowing with life, highly-coloured, entrancing: a novel to lose yourself in.’
- Scotsman

Very favourable reviews on

Large format (trade) paperback 2002.

538 pages.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95, or $6.95 by tracked mail. If you are on rural delivery and want tracked mail, the shipping cost will be $9.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • NZ Post$4.95
  • tracked mail$6.95
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  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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