The Taliban Shuffle

  • by Kim Barker
  • Narrated by Kirsten Potter
  • 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Now a Major Motion Picture titled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot starring Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, and Billy Bob Thornton.
From tea with warlords in the countryside to parties with drunken foreign correspondents in the "dry" city of Kabul, journalist Kim Barker captures the humor and heartbreak of life in post-9/11 Afghanistan and Pakistan in this profound and darkly comic memoir. As Barker grows from awkward newbie to seasoned reporter, she offers an insider’s account of the region’s "forgotten war" at a time when all eyes were turned to Iraq. Candid, self-deprecating, and laugh-out-loud funny, Barker shares both her affection for the absurdities of these two hapless countries and her fear for their future stability.

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What the Critics Say

“Read this and try not to hurt yourself laughing. Who knew war could be so funny? The Taliban Shuffle isn’t like any other book out there about Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s witty, brilliant, and impossible to put down. Think P. J. O’Rourke meets Paul Theroux. Kim Barker is a gifted storyteller, and her intrepid, sometimes wacky travels through these two strife-torn nations will leave you informed, amused, and—depending on your sense of adventure—wanting to tag along on her next trip.” (Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone)
The Taliban Shuffle is Scoop meets Dispatches, remixed with a 21-century Bollywood soundtrack. Laugh-out-loud funny, it is the true story of what it is like to be a female journalist in one of the world's most exotic war zones, while telling the reader much about what is really going on today in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” (Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden and The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda)
“Yes, there are bombs. And there is carnage. And all sorts of mayhem. But mostly there are people, human beings even, with appetites—for life, for adventure, for riches, for love. Ms. Barker offers this world—the human world caught in the crosshairs of history—with a vitality rarely seen in accounts of the war. A compelling read that offers readers a glimpse of the goings-on behind the byline.” (J. Maarten Troost, author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Stuff

I enjoyed every minute of this audio book. It gives a feeling that you're getting the 'real' story about the wars and lives in Afghanistan. Yes, there is humor. But Kim certainly is not diminishing the seriousness of the issue in any way. I would say the humor of some of the situations reflects the reality of life which is too often focused on the fighting and not nearly enough on how we (U.S.) are affecting life where our military goes.

Thanks Kim. Great work.

Chris Reich
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- Chris Reich "Business Physicist and Astronomer"

Warring Your Way to Peace Does Not Work

War is not the answer was the overwhelming message I took from "The Taliban Shuffle". Through her personal experiences as a correspondent in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kim Barker gives a vivid account of the real situation there.

In one Afghan village Barker visited, the US army was about to withdraw, having trained the local people. There were two broken Humvies, with no equipment or knowledge to repair them. There was not even a pen. This is just one of the many stories which illustrates the shambles the coalition will leave behind when they withdraw.

Listening, I could taste the dust my mouth, feel my backside being pinched and be horrified by the senseless violence taking place.

Through all of this, Barker managed to make me laugh. But then, tragedy and comedy can be very closely associated.

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- Sue

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-22-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio