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The Horsemen (Anglais) Relié – 1 juillet 1968

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Book by Kessel Joseph

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15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Reality is often cruel--how else would we know love? read on 18 septembre 2001
Par Douglas W. Reiss - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
My complete review of this book was originally listed under the original French title "Les Cavaliers" (it is now removed, so it has been added below the following introduction:). The true meaning of this story is discussed there, without revealing the details of its triumphant, ending---just recall that every triumph has its price, and the price may not seem fair to some people. The spirit of Northern Afghanistan is represented in this tale, perhaps presaging events of this most surprising new century. While America still recovers from the horror of the World Trade Center bombing, and politicians discuss their intended actions and threaten each other, read the story of a man who relies on himself, rather than on strangers, eventually finds support and friendship, and ultimately, healing and success. The world is at times, a savage and lonely place, with no guarantees of success. This book may help you deal with it.

Review formerly posted at "Les Cavaliers" page:

Afghanistan - from a personal and social perspective, August 8, 2001

The Horsemen, as the title is translated, was the only book by Joseph Kessel to be made into a "Hollywood" film. It is, unintentionally, the story of the spirit of Afghanstan and its people, circa 1970 [the writing was completed in 1966], told in the form of a record of one person's adventures. The protagonist is a villager from a Northern Province [Meimana] who travels to Kabul in order to participate in the National Sport, the Bushkazi, during which the carcass of a goat must be transported, on horseback, around a goal post. The winner is the one who returns the carcass to the starting post. During the competition, he breaks a leg, and awakens in a hospital. After being informed that he will be operated on by a female doctor, the outraged and seriously chauvinistic Moslem patient to be -- escapes. The first part of the book describes his ordeal of return to his remote village, across the moutains. He battles fever from sepsis from the leg, a treacharous syce, or servant, and the servant's money and power hungry girlfriend, the environment of the mountain passes, and ultimately, himself and the broken leg, which situation he resolves before arriving in his native village. The high point, literally, of the first portion of the story, involves his meeting a "wise woman", and receiving her advise, warnings and assessment of his personal situation. His journey through the mountains is rewarded by passage through the Band-i-Amir, the accompanying description of its isolated mosque and seven-stepped lakes being beyond comparison in the pages of literature. His return to his native village begins the second part of the story, in which he recovers from the events in Kabul, and the mountains. He finds a trainer who can meet his [now] special needs [whom he actually met along the mountain journey beforehand], and surmounts nearly impossible personal circumstances to ultimately return to [Kabul--perhaps] performance on horseback and to glorious triumph, [both in the Bushkazi--inaccurate here sorry] over the barriers of his difficulties and permanent disability. A personal note--the film, with Omar Sharif and Jack Palance, presents many of the important points of the book, but only the book presents the full impact of the story. I read this book after leaving Yale University under very difficult personal circumstances, and this book gave me hope that I, too, could surmount the barriers to my success. In essence, this book inspired in me the will to continue living, and I believe that it can do that as well, for others. Although this novel is not as well known as "Belle de Jour", or "The Lion", and I have only read "Belle de Jour", I believe this novel of his may well be his most finely crafted, and his most inspiring. [modifications and corrections from my original posting have been made--some deletions or additions are square bracketed].
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
human motivations from an uncannily perceptive mind 27 septembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
A tale of a foreign country (Afghanistan), a foreign game (buzkhazi), and a foreign mind. Kessel approachs the wants and desires of anyman/everyman and allows the reader access to the whys and wherefores of these motivations. He plays the reader like an expert fisherman, and one vacillates between loving and hating the protagonists. A must read for anyone who likes adventure and/or treatises on the human condition
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Horsemen Joseph Kessel 20 novembre 2009
Par Judith Van - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I read this book thirty years ago. It changed my life. It helped me understand the strength of human will, and of the Afghan character. I am a voracious reader. This is one of the best books I have ever read. Not the most endearing or the most fuzzy and warm for sure, but for purity and beauty of language, image and plot this book is a standout. Since reading it, I understand that it will do NO country good to fight in Afghanistan. The Afghani's will fight until they all die. They won't comporomise. Too bad America can't go back to the early 1900's and start all over with them. They are an admirable people.
13 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A fearful tale of cruelty, arrogance, ordeal, and ego. 15 octobre 1999
Par Margaret Fiore - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
A unique look at the stubborn inner self, and self-punishment. And a revealing view of humankind.
A proud and savage prince has been trained all his life to win a game that goes beyond a game. He is an outstanding athlete, his father raises outstanding horses, and he and his horse have been groomed and trained to win. Nothing less.
This is the tale of a struggle to deny reality. It is a painful, frightening, revealing, gripping story, and nearly impossible to put down. I have never forgotten it, though I read it many years ago, and I doubt anyone else could forget it either.
5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
This book provides you with the real meaning of life. 12 octobre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Even if life is different in each country, men are the same. This book, which takes place in Afghanistan, tells you the story of a journey, the journey of mankind on earth. Through a fairy tale, Kessel (as TimO'Brien does) finds out the real meaning of life... what more could you expect from a book?
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