Caravans A Novel of Afghanistan



❰KINDLE❯ ❅ Caravans A Novel of Afghanistan Author James A. Michener – E17streets4all.co.uk In this romantic adventure of wild Afghanistan master storyteller James Michener mixes the allure of the past with the dangers of today After an impetuous American girl Ellen Jasper marries a young Af In this Novel of MOBI ó romantic adventure of wild Afghanistan master storyteller James Michener mixes the allure of the past with the dangers of today After an impetuous American girl Ellen Jasper marries a young Afghan engineer her parents hear no word from her Although she wants freedom to do as she wishes not even she is sure what that means Caravans A ePUB Æ In the meantime she is as good as lost in that wild land perhaps foreverAn extraordinary novelBrilliantTHE NEW YORK TIMES From the Paperback edition.Caravans A Novel of Afghanistan

Tales of Novel of MOBI ó the South Pacific which inspired the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific won the Pulitzer Prize for FictionToward the end of his life he created the Journey Prize awarded annually for the year's best short story published by an emerging Canadian writer; founded an MFA program now named the Michener Center for Writers at the Caravans A ePUB Æ University of Texas at Austin; and made substantial contributions to the James A Michener Art Museum in Doylestown Pennsylvania best known for its permanent collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings and a room containing Michener's own typewriter books and various memorabiliaMichener's entry in Who's Who in America says he was born on Feb But he said in his A Novel of Epub à memoirs that the circumstances of his birth remained cloudy and he did not know just when he was born or who his parents were.

Caravans A Novel of Afghanistan PDF/EPUB ☆ Caravans
  • Hardcover
  • 320 pages
  • Caravans A Novel of Afghanistan
  • James A. Michener
  • English
  • 14 May 2016
  • 9780812969825

10 thoughts on “Caravans A Novel of Afghanistan

  1. says:

    James Michener was such an amazing man Intrepid adventurer brilliant scholar prolific author We shan't see the likes of him again 's the pity He traveled extensively in Afghanistan prior to writing this novel I don't envy him the physical discomfort that must have entailed but I loved the authenticity it brought to the story This book is only about 340 pages a mere novella by Michener standards It takes place in 1946 Mark Miller is sent on a diplomatic mission to find Ellen Jaspar an American woman who married an Afghan man and then disappeared Miller's travels take him to the remotest reaches of Afghanistan's deserts and mountains He suffers extremes of heat 130 degrees and cold He witnesses appalling barbarity but also finds great warmth and hospitality and just barely begins to comprehend the complexity of the Afghan mind and culture Plot and character development are somewhat sacrificed early in the book in the interest of educating the reader I thought it was a than fair trade off for what I got to learn about Afghan culture history and terrain Deeper into the story Michener drops out of teacher mode and lets the story flow without interruption so I'd say that's the exciting portion of the book But it was ALL fascinating to meRANDOM FUN STUFF 1If you make a camel mad at you you have to remove all of your clothes and leave them in a pile so the camel can fight your clothes The camel will stomp on them gum them and toss them around as a substitute for fighting with you and then she will forgive you and become cooperative again 2Should you ever doubt Michener's sense of humor here's my one big laugh from the book I wondered how a man ever got an English girl into bed What did they do with her hockey stick?

  2. says:

    It is a great book and gives you a feel for Afghanistan It was written in the 60s about the 40s And if you replace Taliban for Mullahs and deemphasize the Russian's it could have been written today Afghanistan truly is a uniue place and the book captures that well For example early in the book it talks about how the German's came into Afghanistan and built all of these amazing bridges but after a season or two they were destroyed But the simple Afghan bridges lasted years and years A long history has destroyed the land and left nothing but mountains and deserts I have been to many of the places mentioned in the book and it was great to read about the places I haven't been but flown over desert near the Iranian border and the Buddha statues since destroyed by the Taliban At the end of the book there is a note to the reader about changes in the 17 years from when the book takes place and when it was written I will tell you the Afghanistan of 2011 mirrors 1943 than the 60s During the 60s and 70s Afghanistan strove towards the west with electricity euality for women and suchthe 1989 2011 has set it back to previous centuries

  3. says:

    Relatively short for a Michener bookthis is about 1940s Afghanistanand was written in the 1960sAfghanistan wouldn't have been much in the news thenfew people in the US would have heard of itBut Michener liked to write about places off the beaten trackIt is another matterthat to mehis books seemed to go on foreverand lacked paceMichener had travelled through Afghanistanand his description of the land and the people is authenticThe story itself is rather dull and meanderingHoweverthe potential for endless conflict was present even thenand Michener foresaw it in his conclusionI have certainly seen Afghanistan mired in a series of bloody conflictspractically all my life

  4. says:

    Despite perhaps because of its age Michner's view of the then current affairs and potential futures for Afghanistan make fascinating reading now Forty five years ago he recognized the potential of fundamentalist Moslem control of the land but he voted for the secularists He was wrong but it didn't have to be that wayI never saw the motion picture based on Michner's book and encourage a reader to seek the novel rather than the movieFor a modern alternative ending to Afghanistan's latest chapter as political football to world powers and religions read Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea

  5. says:

    This is the first book I read for my 1963 reading list It was #4 on the bestseller list for that year At under 500 pages it is short for a Michener book The location is Afghanistan The year is 1946 I would bet that the country was not much in the news in the year after WWII ended though it was a time of anxiety about the USSR and the spread of communism In the story however the anxiety at the US Embassy in Kabul is over an American young woman who had married an Afghan man she met in college and returned with him to his countryWhen the story opens Ellen Jasper's parents back in Pennsylvania have not heard from their daughter in some time and have contacted their senator asking him to put pressure on the Embassy to investigate her whereabouts and well beingMark Miller descendant of Jewish immigrants to the US from Germany in the mid 19th century is now posted in Kabul as a junior grade State Dept officer Since he speaks the language the assignment goes to him to find Ellen Why mention that he is Jewish? It plays into the story in an interesting wayThe novel is a wonderful introduction to this country in the days when Kabul today shows what Palestine was like at the time of Jesus as they were wont to say at the Embassy In fact the Mullahs rule the society and Miller is a witness to two incidents of stoning; one of a female adulterer and one of a male homosexual But there are also young men who wish to bring the country into modern times both as a society and technologically Ellen's husband is one of those menAs Miller sets out in pursuit of the missing woman Michener takes the reader on a journey through the mountains and deserts of that forbidding land According to his Author's Note he himself spent time traveling in Afghanistan before writing the book Plenty of adventure ensues during which he draws a complete introduction to the lives issues and customs of the times Of course there is also romance and some pretty racy scenes for a Michener bookI was somewhat amused by Michener's treatment of the Ellen Jasper character Miller does find her She is fearless wild and in complete disagreement with wars and progress and the American imperialist agenda She goes through men as if it were the free love era of the 1960s Michener was no fan of hippies protesters or any anti American sentiments Indeed he was a complete patriot So he approaches this character with a combination of psychological interpretation and condescension However Mark Miller falls for her and hard I could see how the book became a bestseller in 1963

  6. says:

    Another marvelous book by Michener This time we go back in time to one of his earliest works and take a close look at the country of Afghanistan I had only wished the US State and Defense Departments had read this work before we decided sent troops over there Michener writes this book in 1963 and sets it in 1946 He does not use his standard plot devices instead here he begins with an American diplomat stationed in Afghanistan and he is being sent on a mission to find a young girl from Pennsylvania who ran off to Afghanistan with a man to be his 2nd wife and her parents have not heard a word from her in 13 months This is all Michener needs to roll along with a tour de force trip in which the countryside and culture of Afghanistan takes center stage Oh we do meet a lot of interesting characters along the way and our diplomat eventually find the long lost girl but we see all the beauty and savagery of this country and we begin to understand some of the problems that will always be a part of this area of the world If you like Michener and have not read some of his earlier works then this is a great book to read plus it does not tip the scales at over 1000 pages as many of his other works I do have one major criticism of the book I bought the ebook on Kindle and there are hundreds of misspelled words and horrid editing mistakes It is not Michener's fault that these are so prevalent in this edition and therefore I did not reduce the rating for the book But beware of these awful flaws in the Kindle edition You can see my full review at

  7. says:

    What a book Best one I have read in awhile Extremely thought provoking and enlightening even though it was written uite awhile ago and then about an era even before that I would have LOVED to have had someone read this book at the same time and we could discuss it By far the best book I have read that would be awesome for a book club

  8. says:

    At just 336 pages Caravans is a tight talky and wonderfully insightful piece of work set entirely in Afghanistan The novel centers on Mark Miller a young American diplomat stationed in 1946 Kabul who is charged to find Ellen a woman who married an American educated Afghan named Nazrullah and then disappeared He eventually finds her among a group of nomads Miller’s traveling companion meanwhile is Dr Otto Stiglitz a Nazi war criminalMore than forty years after the publication of Caravans we live in a world obsessed with competing moral visions eg torture is necessary when we do it evil when they do it But these are hardly new as Michener suggests over and over His characters struggle with the barbarity of traditional culture even as they are confronted with the overwhelming force and yes barbarity of encroaching modernism Nazrullah for instance makes an impassioned speech suggesting that for all its faults at least Afghanistan is no Germany ie we stone women and children but at least we don’t gas themI went to Germany at the age of twenty Before that I’d been educated by private tutors whose main job it seems to me now was to impress me with the moral depravity of Afghanistan and the timeless glory of Europe I knew no better than to accept their indoctrination at face value and reported to Germany fully prepared to exhibit my tutors’ prejudices But when I reached Göttingen I found that the true barbarians were not the primitives who stone women in Ghazni and we have some real primitives in this country but the Germans From 1938 through 1941 I remained as their guest to witness the dreadful degeneration of a culture which might once have been what my tutors claimed but was now a garish travesty Believe me Miller I learned in Germany than you’ll ever learn in AfghanistanAs you know I went from Germany to Philadelphia where half the people thought I was a Negro What I didn’t learn in Germany you taught me Why do you suppose I wear this beard? Before I grew it I made a six week experiment I decided to be a Negro lived in Negro hotels ate in their restaurants read their papers and dated Negro girls It was an ugly ugly life being a Negro in your country maybe not so bad as being a Jew in Germany but a lot worse than being an Afghan in Ghazni To prove to Philadelphians I wasn’t a Negro I grew this beard and wore a turban which I had never worn at homeBut what I love about Michener is that he doesn’t settle for the easy argument Ellen eventually leaves Nazrullah for the Nazi Stiglitz who converts to Islam The Jewish Miller is forced to confront the German while the Afghan assures him that purity racial moral exists only in Hitler’s head “If the facts were known” Nazrullah tells Miller “probably half our Afghan heritage is Jewish For hundreds of years we boasted of being one of the Lost Tribes of Israel The Hitler decreed us to be Aryans which gave us certain advantages”Later Ellen describes her own disillusionment with the easy bigotry of Americans during the war years with “kept professors” whose “moral responsibility was to dissect the world” but who instead “were paid to defend it” Her father she explains was one of those men“'What I mean is my father described anything out of the ordinary as ridiculous and I wanted to outrage his whole petty scale of judgment What was the most ridiculous thing I could do? Run off with an Afghan who had a turban and another wife' She laughed a little then added 'Do you know what started my disillusionment with Nazrullah? That turban He wore it in Philadelphia for show He’d never think of wearing it in Kabul'”Of course Ellen does top herself when she trades in her manly turban for a mixed up Nazi No easy answers little room for self righteousness this is what I love about Michener

  9. says:

    Have read or at least started most if not all Michener books Looking back over the decades Caravans comes to mind most often Book's focus not fragmented Recently read this one again Surprisingly applicable to our contemporary world If prone to using that 5th star I'd do so after the reread

  10. says:

    I bought this book after loving Michener's Hawaii hoping for a similarly wonderful reading experience I was disappointed The best I can say is that I learned some things the book takes you around Afghanistan in the 1940s introducing a variety of places and cultures and including pertinent historical information and that's why it gets 2 stars despite being otherwise awful This book suffers from the twin problems of an uninspired meandering plot and a narrator who is one of the most unlikeable characters I've encountered in uite a while First the plot The book is marketed as a tale about a diplomat Mark searching for an American girl Ellen who married an Afghan then disappeared But the first 100 pages of the 400 page book are all about everyday diplomatic life in Kabul there isn't even any conflict to keep readers entertained and we're past the halfway point before Mark bothers to ask Ellen's husband about her whereabouts despite the fact that everyone has known the husband's location all along and he has nothing to hide A plot that serves mostly as an excuse to explore a setting can work but in a novel descriptions of the geography and culture can't just replace interesting events and dialogue For that matter all of the characters work to avoid plot advancement before actually sending someone to search for Ellen or even talk to her husband the US government interviews all of her former boyfriends and roommates in an attempt to figure out what was wrong with her that made her marry an Afghan in the first place and there's much serious discussion of whether Ellen's hometown was objectively a bad place If Michener intended to poke fun at the investigation this might have been clever but unfortunately he seems 100% serious providing some unintentional comedy If missing persons investigations are conducted this way in real life I'm surprised anyone is ever found Then there's Mark He's a jerk For instance he theorizes that Ellen chose her unusual lifestyle because she can't have kids resulting in wait for it a barrenness of spirit I haven't even gotten to his creepy relationship with the Nazi refugee Stiglitz a prime example of character relationships that make no sense Mark is Jewish and prides himself on having table manners despite that fact as if Judaism and etiuette were mutually exclusive and he veers back and forth between wanting Stiglitz dead for the atrocities he committed and wanting to be his friend I can't imagine why since Stiglitz like Mark and most of the other characters is utterly unappealing and unsympathetic Oh and it's worth mentioning that Mark has random plot irrelevant flings with most of the female characters in the book Give me a break Ultimately this book was a huge letdown It read like a travelogue dull with little plot or conflict and uninteresting characters It felt incredibly dated I suppose I should have known that from the plot summary it is after all a book about a white man traveling around an Eastern country getting closer to earth and attempting to rescue an American woman he has no reason to believe is even in danger Unfortunately after Caravans I will be wary of Michener books in the future For those who want to learn about Afghanistan through enjoyable fiction I'd recommend Khaled Hosseini's works instead

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