Book Review: The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad

by britishmisk

The main selling point for this book was the fact the writer is a retired Pakistani civil servant who spent most of his life serving in the tribal regions west of the country, and so knows the people and customs of a very introverted society. When I started to read this book it felt as though it could potentially be a new Kite Runner, but eventually one comes to understand the writer is attempting to provide a window into a part of the world that many people cannot have the opportunity to experience. The story of Tor Baz, the main character is merely a means to enter into the world the writer would like us to experience.

As I was progressing through the book I felt as though I was reading non-fiction, as there are large sections that are dedicated to explaining certain tribes or customs, that eventually build up to very little story, and leaves one wondering why the writer bothered to explain all the facets of that particular thing. I felt Ahmad could have focused more on the story, and let that by itself explain and unravel the ways of the Pashtos and Balochis, rather than putting the story back to a secondary narrative. This is Ahmad’s first book, so potentially now that he has practiced once his next attempt may do away with the criticism I have, which is very minor. It still remained an interesting read and provided a first step into the work of an author who could potentially bring it out a great classic piece of literature.