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Showing posts from October, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Casual Vacancy

Published in Daily Times / 20 Oct 2012

Author: J.K Rowling
Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal
Published under the Title: What Happens in Pagford

Thanks to Liberty Books for the review copy

Someone drops dead in a golf club. A malicious rumour mill kicks into action. A silent war brews somewhere in the Council.

And because this is not a whodunit doling out cocktails of conspiracy at the door, there will be no big reveal at the end. J.K. Rowling’s latest book — ‘The Casual Vacancy’, uses the demise of one Barry Fairbrother to pry into the soul of a quaint looking town called Pagford.

The battling citizens loom in view, caught in a stormy sea of addiction, abject poverty, class divide, domestic abuse, molestation, moral deviance, apathy and social injustice. Fans still under the spell woven by heroic wizards and witches might be ill prepared for the culture shock that awaits them beyond the gates. The reigning queen of fantasy returns to the world of fiction tilling an arid field for inspiration. Her…

BOOK REVIEW: No Easy Day : The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

First Published by Daily Times / Oct 06, 2012

Authors: Mark Owen & Kevin Maurer
Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal
Published under the Title:Signed, SEAL(ed) and Delivered



The men who paid Pakistan a hurried visit in the dead of the night typically do not leave calling cards. Or talk shop with strangers. And they are expected to shun the limelight. One broke the commandment recently. As a member of the SEAL Team 6 — Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DEVGRU, Mark Owen (not his real name) had been in the downed ‘helo’ (helicopter) — the one Pakistanis discovered lying in their backyard.

His book provides a valuable timeline of events leading up to ‘Operation Neptune Spear’ in Abbottabad (or ‘Abababa’ as they insist on calling it), cutting through the official haze. With 13 consecutive combat deployments to his credit, the author paints a group portrait of America’s finest that had been handpicked for the job in an attempt to overturn the media-created hype. He calmly reasons, “If my com…