This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
“The fog of war” is a phrase that keeps coming up in Khristmas in Kabul, Ian T. King’s brilliantly and intricately composed verbal concerto about the longest-running war in US history. His text presents us with the challenge of the greatest of literature at any time in any place—the challenge of the ambiguities of human existence. King’s use of the second-person point of view is a rarity in my experience. Vibrating behind the poetry throbs a heartbreaking story. There is a major with a Ph.D., Jack O’Donnelly, a Texas evangelical in the U.S. Army stationed at a base near Kabul around Christmas time. He dreams of his wife and two children back home. He has had a mind-numbing experience of having to shoot a child determined to become a martyr. He believes in helping the locals, building a library, giving presents to the kids, employing “trustworthy” Afghans to work on the base, and ignoring the unsavory local customs such as pedophilia, the subjugation of women, and the harvesting of crops destined to create addiction around the globe. He “feels” for the desperate inhabitants of this war-torn place where one cannot know friends from enemies.
Ian T. King’s use of the second-person point of view attached me to Khristmas in Kabul right away, put me there as if I were Major O’Donnelly, the protagonist. The “you” approach made me feel the place, breathe it, wander in the foggy danger of not knowing what was real and what was not. Yes, it anchored me in a kind of phantasmagoria in a war where even the most innocent-appearing persons and things could be lethal—from trusted servants, assistants, comrades, marketplaces, children, even dogs, and each and every rock or bush that may be hiding an IED. And a war that we, here at home, rarely think about. And what swept me along was the poetry of King’s devastatingly stunning prose. Elegance wedded to sarcasm and bitterness. The horror is not political, not one side against the other, who is right and who is wrong, but rather the horror is man’s aloneness in the universe. It’s the horror Kurtz discovers in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness—the mayhem and death. All that suffering ... and for what?