One night, Akram Khan walks out of his house towards an appointed time and place where he is supposed to detonate a bomb that will end his life and that of many innocent bystanders. As he wanders through the town he encounters Grace, whose life has been marred just as his has, forming an unlikely closeness borne of need and necessity. Akram tells Grace about his seemingly inexorable journey towards radicalization: a childhood within the tight-knit Pakistani community, his complex friendships among outcasts, his disastrous years in the army, and his empty arranged marriage to a woman who remains a stranger. Delicately drawn, Akram's War is an honest and shocking kaleidoscopic portrait of contemporary Britain, and of the ways in which the twists and turns of fate can scar and mark a life.
This is the story of Akram on his way to a suicide bombing. But then he meets Grace and at first I am all, what made you stop? And we find out. He tells her his story, and she tells him hers.
Akram was never a fundamentalist. He had an ok homelife. Sure the kids at school called him a Paki, but then kids are idiots. He went on with his life, he even joined the army (since they pay you for being there), and he even fought in Afghanistan. He made a good friend, who he had never liked before. But war makes your life fall apart. And his home life turned into a mess too when his parents arranged a marriage for him.
Grace was a mess from the start. Hooking. Mental issues. A kid that the social service took. She was broken. While he just gave up, she tried, and failed.
Even with the bomb he was never a believer. He was just lost. Though the end, I wonder about the end...I so wonder.
It was an interesting story, there are many roads that leads to his road. And the only reason I could like him was because he was not a bad man. He was a fool who did not even want this. He was a coward. Which ultimately makes it a sad story.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Atlantic Books